Plenty of S swell over the weekend with a windy, sizey S swell possible next week as low forms in Tasman

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 13th Oct)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Mostly offshore winds Sat with plenty of mid-sized S swell
  • Trickier winds Sun but should be workable options with easing S swells and a late kick in new S swell
  • Offshore winds Mon as trough deepens off South Coast with quality S swell in the water
  • Freshening S’ly winds late Mon and into Tues as low forms in Tasman
  • Plenty of size from the S Tues with lots of S’ly winds
  • Easing swells Wed, with swells tending more S/SE-SE into Wed
  • Mostly small pulses of swell from low Wed-Fri- revisions on Mon
  • Small into next weekend 


Long period S swells saw surf in the 3-4ft range yesterday at S exposed breaks, a notch bigger on the Hunter. Smooth conditions early under light winds before N’lies really kicked up, with a minor amount of NE windswell by close of play. This morning has seen a mixed bag of small leftover NE swell with some new S swell starting to show to 3ft at S facing beaches. W’ly winds provided groomed conditions before they tended more SSW across the Illawarra with an expected easing this a’noon. 

Plenty of energy on the Hunter

This weekend (Oct 14 - 15)

Today's frontal passage with strong SW winds out of Bass Strait a fetch moving NE past Tasmania looks good for a S swell tomorrow with a bit of size to it. Mid period directional S swell in the 3-4ft range should be in the water tomorrow morning, bigger 4-5ft on the Hunter. Winds look good, with another front bringing a W-W/NW flow through the morning with a tricky outlook for the a’noon. Likely patches of NE seabreeze before winds shift back W/SW late in the day. 

Sunday’s winds still look iffy as a trough lingers about the South Coast/Jervis Bay. Likely some S’ly component early (SW-S/SW), W’ly north of the Harbour before tending variable then NE in the a’noon. Winds look to remain relatively light though, so even if we see winds swirl around the trough line conditions should remain workable. S’ly swells will remain the major source with Saturdays peak coming down to 2-3ft before another pulse fills in the a’noon, pushing back up to 3ft, bigger 4ft on the Hunter. 

Next week (Oct 16 onwards)

We’ve got more clarity on the situation next week now as a lingering trough line from the NSW South Coast down to Gippsland is expected to deepen in response to a front and form a surface low in the Tasman Sea, likely later Mon.

Monday is looking good for the most part as the deepening trough brings an initial offshore wind flow to the region. The strong front passing under Tasmania late Sat into Sun should see longer period S swell to 3-4ft, bigger 4-5ft on the Hunter and select S facing beaches. By close of play, we’re likely to see strong S’ly winds kick in.

EC continues to be more bullish than GFS, with stronger and slower moving gales which would see fast rising S swell overnight Mon, with plenty of size Tues in the 6-8ft range under fresh S’lies, easing during the day as the low pressure system moves away to the NE. GFS has slightly less size but similar winds. We’ll see how it looks over the weekend below the line. 

The system may re-intensify further north in the Tasman with a fetch better aimed at the sub-tropics so we’ll expect easing surf in temperate NSW from Wed, with swells tending more SE as radial spread from the source fetch comes into play. 

Winds look light Wed/Thurs with size likely in the 3-4ft range Wed, smaller 2-3ft Thurs. Those figures will be revised Mon as we see how the storm behaves.

Easing swells into late next week and the weekend. There are some signs of instability off the South Coast/Gippsland region next weekend but it’s way too far out to have any confidence in any kind of swell generating system. Small surf and inshore winds is the far more likely outcome.

Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!


FrazP's picture
FrazP's picture
FrazP Friday, 13 Oct 2023 at 4:01pm

Please 8-10ft for a day or 2 to blast the shit banks

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 13 Oct 2023 at 6:36pm
sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Saturday, 14 Oct 2023 at 8:43am

100% fraz p ..local lifeguard born n bred here said its like the 80s with sand buildup ..definitely worse banks ever

Mcface's picture
Mcface's picture
Mcface Saturday, 14 Oct 2023 at 8:24pm

Can confirm there were banks today. Better days ahead going into... November? Say it ain't so!

daltz's picture
daltz's picture
daltz Saturday, 14 Oct 2023 at 10:37pm

Pumping in parts of the cenny coast today, beachies throwing out some sick tubs. Yewww

Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas Sunday, 15 Oct 2023 at 7:42pm

Finally some rip bowls and the start of some banks showing at my local on the n beaches, nothing great but a welcome change to relentless straighthanders.