Early sessions at open beaches

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 4th December)

Best Days: Saturday morning, Sunday morning, possibly Monday morning and Wednesday morning.


Inconsistent easterly trade swell has been providing good options in the 3ft range across the open beaches over the past few days. This swell came in handy yesterday as a southerly breeze was making for poor conditions elsewhere. This southerly breeze whipped up a sizey and much more consistent windswell for the magnets, however the quality was lacking.

Today, this southerly swell has eased, and the focus is back on the open facing beaches where inconsistent 3ft sets are filling in. A light onshore breeze is blowing, but not enough to be causing too many concerns.

This weekend (Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th):

As discussed in previous forecast notes, the easterly trade swell which we have been enjoying over the past few days will continue to be the dominant swell in the water over the weekend.

The source of this swell, an enhanced easterly trade-flow has weakned and is migrating southeast out of our swell window, however the resultant swell is forecast to peak this afternoon and into Saturday morning.

We are expecting open beaches to continue offering sets in the 3ft range, with the occasional bomb approaching 4ft throughout Saturday morning, easing thereafter. It goes without saying that the long range nature of this swell means that consistency is likely to continue being an issue.

The bigger sets will be few and far between, with lengthy waits in between. Smaller options in the 2-3ft range will be up for grabs in between.

Winds are looking good for the early session, with a light/variable-offshore airflow, before increasing from the northeast.

The sets are expected to fade from the 3ft range throughout Sunday, however hint of a southerly groundswell are expected to by showing at south facing beaches late in the day, although undersized, likely in the 1-2ft range.

Gusty northeasterly breezes late on Saturday are expected to ease marginally and tend northerly overnight, but there is a risk of some residual bump and wobble on Sunday morning. Despite this, conditions should be workable in the morning under light winds. Hit it earlier rather than later as a northeasterly breeze is likely to come up in the afternoon.

Next week (Monday 7th onward):

Easterly trade-swell will continue to fade early next week, with Monday morning seeing inconsistent 3ft bombs becoming increasingly infrequent, further on Tuesday with inconsistent sets fading from the 2-3ft range.

It’s looking like a summery wind pattern early next week, with northeasterly breezes dominating throughout the day. Even the morning session is looking onshore, despite being light. This will be the best time for a wave, but nothing epic. Tuesday is a similar story, although lacking that window of opportunity.

In fact, these gusty northeasterly breezes are likely to whip up a short range windswell to around 2-3ft, peaking late in the afternoon/Wednesday morning. South facing beaches will be the way to go in order to escape the wind, even then, keep your expectations in check.

A second pulse of southerly groundswell is expected to fill in late on Tuesday afternoon from the deep southern ocean, building to the inconsistent 2ft+ range at south facing beaches on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the slow decline of easterly swell will continue, providing 2ft options at most open beaches throughout the day.

Finally breeze look to tend northwesterly for the early session on Wednesday, holding for a good part of the morning, before tending onshore.

A southerly change is expected to move up the coast on Wednesday, evening, but shallow and fairly short lived. This change won’t have much swell generating potential, but will instead lead to a light/moderate south/southeasterly airflow for Thursday and Friday.

All swell sources look to fade late in the weekend, easing back to residual 1-2ft energy on Thursday and Friday.

Enjoy, hope you get some.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 5 Dec 2015 at 6:35am

Looking pretty tasty on the Northern Beaches this morning.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... Saturday, 5 Dec 2015 at 12:31pm

Great swell and wind direction this morning, pity the banks on the cenny coast are horse shit at the moment. Looks like manly is suffering the same close outs as us

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Saturday, 5 Dec 2015 at 2:25pm

ive always found dead east swell to be a bit too straight for most beaches around my neck of the woods (sounds like they are the same up there). need a bit of bottom structure or a very south or very north facing beach to turn it into anything but a cruching close out.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... Saturday, 5 Dec 2015 at 7:35pm

Sometimes the beaches pump up here on a dead east swell, but the sand at most beaches are close to shore with no defined gutters. Typical end of spring early summer. My personal opinion is that the sand banks will benefit from these east swells at open beaches and south ends, as the rips start pulling sand out and create rips in the right direction

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Saturday, 5 Dec 2015 at 8:02pm

Amen to that. No shortage of sand starved spots at the moment!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 6 Dec 2015 at 11:41am

Bondi's showing plenty of energy this afternoon. Conditions look great too.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Sunday, 6 Dec 2015 at 12:53pm

Morning report of 2-3 ft on eastern beaches was an under-call IMO. Size and energy has increased since Friday. This morning bigger than yesterday again.

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Sunday, 6 Dec 2015 at 1:40pm

Ben or guy, will the forecasted small South swell be in the water first thing tomorrow on the South coast? Cheers boys

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 7 Dec 2015 at 6:41am

I don't think it's the east swell direction, it's the larger period nature of the swell coming in as straight beach long close-outs which is useless unless you have an excellent bank or good reef.

oiley's picture
oiley's picture
oiley Monday, 7 Dec 2015 at 12:07pm

there were still some great waves around this morning, long wait between sets but well worth it