thermalben

Stacks of easterly swell for the holiday break

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 19th April)

Best Days: Most days: Plenty of E'ly swell (biggest over the weekend) but problematic winds for exposed spots in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW, best at sheltered locations. Better conditions on the Mid North Coast though with a little less size. Wave heights easing slowly from Monday onwards

Recap: We’ve seen slowly building E’ly swells over the last few days; Thursday built from 2-3ft to 3-4ft at exposed beaches and today has managed 3-5ft surf for much of the day (smaller at protected spots and the points). SW tending SE winds on Thursday gave way to gusty E’lies at some coasts today, though morning S’lies occurred at scattered locations.

This weekend (April 20 - 21)

Today’s Forecaster Notes are brought to you by Rip Curl

No change to the weekend outlook.

We’ll see the current E’ly swell plateau into Saturday before easing slowly later Sunday. At its peak, exposed beaches should manage 4-5ft+ sets though wave heights will be smaller at protected locations, and along the points. 

The models have ever so slightly eased back the strength of the coastal ridge which means the E/SE flow shouldn’t be quite as strong, though it’ll be problematic at open beaches, especially Saturday. A little less wind (and size) is likely across the Mid North Coast all weekend, and Sunday should see a minor easing of wind strength from Saturday too. Pockets of early SW winds are possible, though not guaranteed north from Yamba as the synoptic flow may override most topographical influences. 

Also in the water across Northern NSW on Sunday will be a small southerly swell, generated by a small but tight low well to the SE of Tasmania later Thursday and Friday. This should provide south swell magnets with occasional 2-3ft sets, though you’ll be lucky to be able to distinguish them from the bigger, more dominant E’ly swell. 

Next week (April 22 onwards)

The models have cooled on Wednesday’s fetch re-intensification in the Coral Sea, and instead weaken the ridge very slowly. Though, it’ll remain active for a few days so the overall surf trend will be a gradual easing from Monday thru’ Friday, initially 3-5ft across Far Northern NSW and SE Qld's open beaches (smaller across the points), easing to 2ft by Friday or thereabouts.

So that’s about half to maybe one foot of size loss each day - not particularly noticeable. 

Winds will be light and variable all week across the Mid North Coast under a weak pressure gradient, but we’ll see initially moderate E/SE winds (pockets of early light S’ly or maybe SW winds) in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW early in the week, also gradually easing as the days progress. 

So, expect reasonable conditions with plenty of peaky surf all week, though bumpy across the beachies early on (in the north). 

Looking elsewhere, and the next major synoptic feature is a succession of strong fronts through the lower Tasman Sea around Friday, that’ll supply strong southerly swell for Northern NSW for a few days into next weekend. 

More on this in Monday’s update. 

Have a great Easter! 

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 7:59am

Not many spots out of the wind today. Actually, I thought it'd be busier than this, being the Easter triumvirate: holiday weekend, decent E'ly swell, persistent E'ly wind.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 10:27am

Right on forecast down here...3-4ft and we got morning offshores until about half an hour ago although the cross/onshore is still very light.
Been a fun couple of mornings.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 10:40am

20 knots onshore straight out of the E here.

It'd drive a man to drink.

Easter is traditionally a time of very good surf. Old school nickname for QLD'er is bunnies because of the easter influx.

We sat through a week of pristine babyfood and when a proper E swell comes and we finally bust through the babyfood barrier it comes with 20 knots of straight onshore wind.

Thats cruel and unusual punishment, surely.
Huey is bending us over and dry humping us with a ten inch dildo without even the common courtesy to give us a reach around.

The beat goes on.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 7:27pm

Nicely put fr,bunnies everywhere down here too and i still havent had a surf.......burp.

simba

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 10:59am

Biggest surf of the week this morning on the MNC.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 12:20pm

Borderline unsurfable, got 3 waves and came in.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 1:19pm

Didn't bother this morning. Had a shocking surf in otherwise OK waves yesterday - totally my fault (and not the surf) - just one of those sessions where everything went wrong: leggie constantly wrapped around my ankle, vest seemed to be partially filled with water, always sitting a metre on the wrong side of the peak, etc etc. Couldn't buy a wave.

Some days you've just gotta chalk up the loss and come back again the next day. But I wasn't gonna improve on things out there this morning, that's for sure. 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 1:39pm

Chunky out the back of Currumbin.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 1:44pm

Easter is always fools gold, I reckon. The time of year often throws up some swell, but Easter tides make it a difficult proposition. The banks/rips change up so much you never get into a rhythm. Then you notice the little niggles more. Hard to have a good surf at Easter

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 1:52pm

if there wasn't end to end 15-20 knot Easterlies there would be insane waves from this swell.
as it is, it's junk.

Psyching up now, to deal with the madness of Byron Bay at Easter time.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 2:49pm

It appears us mid northers are getting a significant reprieve from the winds. Hope Easter improves for you far northers and the waves turn on somewhere, somehow...

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 4:42pm

No "redemption" swell in sight.

E'lies look ingrained until Mon when the swell dies.

Then zonal cold fronts.

Can May turn it around?

Umunga's picture
Umunga's picture
Umunga commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 6:04pm

Totally agree FR, three to four OK, not amazing mornings since Christmas, lost all interest with this getting hammered by flat out on-shores.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 4:09pm

Yeh awful waves around byron today. Tried my "once every 6 months" surf at the pass and it was a shit show left after 30mins.
Shoulda gone down the coast towards south west rocks as I'd originally planned :(

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 at 5:07pm

Fuck Freeride that’s a great way to sum things up.... reach around!!!!. I’ve been cackling to me self for 10 mins here. I’ve had great surf in newy early today then just body surfed crescent point.... not complaining ..

Luba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 7:52am

That glorious Easterly blew straight as an arrow 20 knots right through the night.
Heaven.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:02am

Well look on the bright side........mmm.......its got to improve sometime....i hope....

simba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:29am

Fuck this shit, I'm gunna go patrol the beaches and see if I can find an early moving patch of mullet.
Got to be a jewfish in amongst this muck.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:40am

Not a surfable wave to be had- off colour, onshore, strange mid-sized but weak, blue bottle ridden, soup of a swell.

Despite this at a local spot there were about 20+ easter hol surfers out in the lineup yesterday morning.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 9:10am

I had to laugh: Ballina surf report had a 5/10 rating yesterday for pure onshore gurgle.
It's been dialled back to a 4/10 today.

It should be a 1/10.

Ended up scrapping around in 6inch waves inside the river yesterday. Pretty fun as long as you eliminated all thoughts of bull sharks from your mind.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 12:11pm

I’m no local , but the shops around here are way busier than I’ve ever seen them. Been avoiding the known breaks as I imagine they would be overwhelmed with punters. Still got some fun waves .

I don’t understand how crew can live amongst crowds full time.

How’s the colour of the sky in autumn .....beautiful.

spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 6:56pm

Blowin "I'm no local" Brilliant! Jeez, how many of us would like to live the life of the traveling blowin. Luv your work Blowin. Glad your getting a few

Mata's picture
Mata's picture
Mata commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 12:27pm

Got lucky with my timing today at a very well known se qld point break. Scored some fun, long waves. Crowd mostly blowins, but very easy to deal with. Got more waves in a two hour session then I got all Oma. Pretty stoked considering it’s Easter Sunday!

Not stoked to see jet skis becoming the new norm at surf spots around here. Watched them head out, riding too close to the lineup, leaving their wake. Rolls eyes.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 1:16pm

South of all the onshore wind has been cooking. Proper. Bad luck about the winds further north. 

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 1:16pm

Also uncrowded as too big for most. Can’t believe it. 

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 2:15pm

Yep no complaints down here at all :-)

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:33pm

Pumping for days straight eh!

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:30pm

Too big for most? How big was it down there?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 2:27pm

Too big?

3-4ft here, can't be bigger than that down there Craig?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:31pm

Yep, known magnets 4-6ft yesterday even some 8ft bombs. Today more 3-5. Amazing stretch of coast for focussing ENE swell. 

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:40pm

Those big cleanups being nuts double up wedges. Waves were surfed mostly 4/6 and 3/5 though needed my stepup as one break was heaving. 

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 6:38am

Rough area?
South or North of Sydney?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 8:13am

North. 

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 8:17am

come on Craig tell us where you are so we can all come down and drop in on ya...

simba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 8:24am

8ft?!!!!!

from a 30 knot fetch in the Northern Coral sea and New Cal?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 8:26am

Yeah but this place is a notorious magnet for focussing anything from the east, that break wasn't great, as just big fat peaks. Other spots cooking, I'll have photos.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 2:35pm

Had a bit of a look through the sw rocks area on the way back from last trip, I can imagine it as being very nice with a bit more swell. Geology + light sand + turquoise water reminded me a bit of Esperance and to an extent Albany. Have fun NSW, at least you have something resembling a wave.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 3:06pm

Are you at the worst good wave in Australia, Craig ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 8:32pm

Nah ha. 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 4:03pm

Just had a super fun surf at the local. 3ft+ inside reforms (4-5ft wash-throughs out the back) and although wobbly with moderate onshores, the wave faces were clean and bowly.

And I had it all to myself.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 5:28pm

It turned it on up here this afternoon. Just had to negotiate a big rip.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 7:24pm

Looks like Tues or even Wed before this E'ly slackens off, which means 6 straight days of onshore winds putting a long dick into the guts of Autumn.

Looked like fun foiling in the river.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 6:58am

The last two years of utter shit is fast turning into three.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 9:14am

I got lucky like Mata, walked down the hill thinking a grovel and ogel and there were stacks of sharp fast barrels! A bit of north in the swell is a blessing.

Mata's picture
Mata's picture
Mata commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 4:21pm

On the high tide today?

Surfed on low tide today, crowd was a shitfest lol

You win some, you lose some

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 10:02am

Not my photo but..

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 10:19am

Average shot here but to show the general size, mate prob should of pulled in though was a tad deep :p This was taken by my mate as he borrowed the housing, I've got some crackers with a WOTD to come.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 11:06am

solid!

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 12:34pm

Very substantial.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 1:10pm

Fisherman killed after being swept off the rocks south of Lennox - if you're going to wet a line off the rocks, especially on an easterly swell, high tide with big lulls between the sets, don't be complacent.
Watching the ambos try and fail to revive him was less than pleasant.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 2:44pm

That was a suicide mission.......I feel terrible I didn't yell at the guy on his way out there and tell him it was too dangerous to be there.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 2:49pm

I guess we were all thinking the same thing - should we say something, does he know what he's doing...
The poor guys who found him floating looked distressed.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 2:58pm

Oh man sounds heavy.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 3:18pm

Did he get knocked out AndyM?

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 3:43pm

I don't know, I assumed so. I wasn't involved with the resus effort and wasn't close enough to see injuries.
I didn't want to feel like a hyena so I drove away and left all the literal ambulance-chasers to film it with their phones.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 4:17pm

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the wash-up.

Ballina Council will no doubt try and bring in mandatory lifejackets, like Evans Head have done.
But, by far the biggest danger at that spot and how people die is getting smashed on the rocks and getting knocked out.
With a lifejacket on, it'll make it much harder to swim away from the rocks if you get caught in there by a wave and knocked in.

And I know, because I've been knocked off there in the dark and pinballed in those rocks. I would not be here today if I had a lifejacket on.

Mcface's picture
Mcface's picture
Mcface commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 4:25pm

Can confirm Craig's observations (the 4-6ft bit at least), MNC absolutely cooking all weekend!

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 4:31pm

Finally cleaned up this morning around byron and some great waves to be had, got an absolute beat down and thought i was gonna drown on the inside.
Was just short of being really good, hopefully tomorrow does the trick.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 4:49pm

Yeah FR, unless I'm missing something, if you're in the water the last thing you want is to not be able to get under waves. I doubt very much whether local government law makers spend any time at all actually in the water and understand this point.
If you get knocked out and there's any swell/waves, surely you're fucked whether you've got a lifejacket on or not.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 5:00pm

I guess most can't swim, hence they'd be dead anyway without the lifejacket, so at least this keeps them afloat.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 5:33pm

Sounds like if you can't swim, wear a lifejacket, if you can swim, use your discretion.
I don't see blanket legislation as being the answer.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 5:53pm

Young Asian guy apparently.

Couldn't swim is what I'm hearing. Still, not sure whether he got knocked out on the rocks.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 5:57pm

Well, that's certainly a sure way to ruin your Easter.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 22 Apr 2019 at 6:02pm

I can't imagine the guys who dragged him in through the surf and everyone who tried to resuscitate him had fun either.
Traumatic for all.

sympathies to his family.