Craig

There's light at the end of the tunnel

UNLESS YOU LIVE AT THE BEACH, PLEASE DON'T TRAVEL TO SURF

COVID-19 is changing the way we think about surfing. Travelling to the surf now means you're putting an unnecessary strain on the resources of small regional communities. So, please stay home. If you live near the beach and want to surf, please maintain a healthy spacing in the lineup, don't hang in the carpark, and keep your surf sessions shorter to allow others the opportunity to get wet. Above all, stay happy, healthy and look out for one another.

Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 19th February)

Best Days: Exposed beaches Sunday morning, Monday and Tuesday morning, later next week

Recap

A small and clean 2ft wave for the dawny on the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island yesterday before the tide got to it, while into the afternoon some new inconsistent groundswell started to show as winds remained variable and conditions workable. The Surf Coast cleaned up with incoming storm activity but remained tiny.

Today a mix of new W/SW groundswell and S/SW windswell along with strong onshore winds have provided more size on the coast but conditions are very poor with only a handful of surfable options state wide.

This week and weekend (Jan 20 - 23)

There's no improvement to the surf expected over the coming days, with onshore winds due to persist as today's mix of groundswell and windswell ease back through tomorrow and Friday.

Fresh S/SW winds will ease through tomorrow with a mix of easing swells from 3ft on the Surf Coast and 4-5ft to the east, smaller Friday with the early W'ly wind that was possible for the Surf Coast now not on the cards.

Moderate to sometimes fresh SW tending S winds will continue to create poor surfing conditions Friday as the swell drops further.

Our pulse of S/SW swell from a small and strengthening low late in our swell window is now not on the cards for the weekend with it weaker and deepening east of Tassie instead of west.

Winds are onshore in any case Saturday, but we'll see a continuation of small swells and winds out of the S/SE. A more variable E/NE-NE breeze is due to develop Sunday morning but with small 1-2ft sets on the Surf Coast, clean and 3ft or so on the Mornington Peninsula, well worth making the most of.

Moving into Monday and we've got an upgrade in a SW groundswell due across the state, with a polar low that's currently in the Heard Island region due to generate a great fetch of pre-frontal severe-gale to storm-force W/NW winds in our far swell window.

The low will weaken slowly while moving further east and under the country, but we should see a moderate sized, though inconsistent long-period SW groundswell, building Monday, peaking later in the day and then easing slowly Tuesday.

Size wise the Surf Coast should build to an inconsistent but strong 3-4ft Monday afternoon, with 5-6ft+ sets to the east. Winds aren't too bad and will be lingering onshore out of the S'th, only light in the morning, increasing through the day, with Tuesday playing out similar as the swell eases. All in all with the strength of the swell there should be fun options into Monday and Tuesday morning.

Following early next week's groundswell, we've got a strong polar frontal progression due to develop south-west of us mid-late week as a node of the Long Wave Trough strengthens and moves in across us. This should bring plenty of swell and favourable winds for the Surf Coast into later next week, but more on this Friday.

Comments

PLStocks's picture
PLStocks's picture
PLStocks commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 11:41am

Finally, been a lean month

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 11:59am

Sorry Craig, but that forecast headline really is clutching at straws. That swell is way too far out west for anything meaningful and the winds are still going to be shit. Maybe get a few land breezes in early mornings but it's still locked into the S/E quadrant for most of the forecast period.
It really is a shit forecast for the surf coast. If we do get any swell from that system it will be inconsistent as all fuck. And to make matters worse, the good wind window will only be open for a couple of hours in the early morning. With the shitful run of surf we've had, people are really frothing, and it's a recipe for truly horrific crowds. Don't go booking any time off work thinking it's going to be good next week.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 12:49pm

Thanks for the uplifting additional information to whatever Craig wrote, V.L.

One thing as certain as death, however, is that the next decent day of surf around here will produce next level crowding and all the associated fuckery that goes with it.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 1:10pm

The only hope for an uncrowded surf during the next swell is if it's 8-10ft + and mean with it.
And to be perfectly honest, it would be a lot safer at that size compared to 3-5ft. Those mid-size swells are small enough for flappers to get out, and big enough for them to harm themselves and others.
"Oh no a three footer, I can't duck dive that. I'm just going to bail my board out between the legs at the last second. Who cares if it takes out the poor bastard behind me who thinks I'm about to duck dive"

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 5:32pm

Recently (early summer) had 3 Norwegian sounding fellows awkwardly paddle out and place themselves further out to sea from where I was surfing. I thought, OK, they are out the back, they can't possibly do too much damage. How wrong I was. A larger set approached and the middle bloke didn't even try to duckdive, no, he gently placed his board beside him in the lip and floated through the wave. The lip took the board and propelled it like a projectile right at me! Fortunately, they were soon caught in the rip and sped away.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 6:23pm

It's getting crazy at my local break. About a month ago, in an act of desperation, I paddled out in 2-3ft light onshores. Literally half the lineup couldn't make it down the face. You know that surf school scene where people don't paddle hard enough, and then pop up after the wave has passed underneath them? That was happening on a regular basis at the most advanced break on the coast. Duck dives? not necessary. Just chuck those boards folks. People were getting run over by flappers with the ultimate poo man stance. There's going to be a very serious collision soon.
I ended up forgoing my usual takeoff position because it just wasn't safe. Ended up having a half decent surf waiting at the end of the line and then going when the beginners stuffed up their wave (or somebody elses)
The question is, how do we discourage complete beginners or low intermediates from surfing advanced waves? Signs don't seem to work, and nobody benefits from people getting in way beyond their depth.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

papa-whisky's picture
papa-whisky's picture
papa-whisky commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 1:21pm

> The question is, how do we discourage complete beginners or low intermediates from surfing advanced waves?

Speaking as a beginner; something that I've struggled with is just knowing where to go to find appropriate waves for my skill level (i.e., once beyond the 'stand up in the whitewater' phase). It's difficult to get info because nobody wants to divulge the best spots, which I completely understand but cryptic references to 'the usual spots' or 'my local break' are of no help. So, you end up just paddling out, having a go, and try to learn from experience. I think a lot of people end up going with the strategy of 'the crowded break must be decent, so I'll go there too', although personally I try and avoid the crowds as I know I'm likely to have to bail a lot, I still suck at duck diving. It probably sounds dumb, but I'm often surprised by how poor I am at judging the power of the surf from the beach, a couple of times I've ended up paddling out in conditions beyond my skill level, sometimes smaller looking waves can be pretty heavy, sometimes bigger looking waves can be pretty mushy. Again, it becomes a 'learn by doing' kinda thing.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 1:55pm

Thanks for your honesty papa-whisky.
If you're coming down to the West Coast, sticking to the beach breaks is a pretty good start. If you wanted to surf some reefs, Torquay Point and Urquaharts Bluff are probably the two easiest points to surf. Another good way to judge whether a wave is suitable is to see how many mals are out. They generally like softer slower waves. If you don't see any mals at a break, that's probably not a suitable place for a beginner.
On the bright side, you'll love the progression and you've got a lifetime of surfing ahead of you. Enjoy the journey.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

papa-whisky's picture
papa-whisky's picture
papa-whisky commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 3:18pm

Thanks for the tips, much appreciated. I generally go to 13th or Juc (although both a little scary for me if its a bigger swell), or Torquay point. Torquay seems to be a decent beginner option, but always very crowded too. Will definitely give Urquhart Bluff a look, and keep an eye out for the longboards. Cheers!

One other thing that took me a while to realise is that the reports on sites like this and 'mystical ocean plants' are geared towards more advanced surfers, and 8/10 might be great for those people but probably too much for me. Anyway, will keep plugging away, and try to keep out of the way of the competent people :)

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 4:25pm

papa-whisky, I'd be avoiding 13th unless you're down the far end of the beach towards Torquay where it's a lot more manageable.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 1:18pm

Huh? I'm taking about the developments mid-late next week. Early next week's swell isn't great but the winds are workable. 

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 1:33pm

Sorry Craig, I'm not a subscriber so was only talking about the headline.
You'll have to forgive me for not getting too excited about a forecast 7+ days out. Winds look a bit sea-breezy to me. That tends to hyper-concentrate the crowds.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 1:41pm

Well.. as you were.

vicco11's picture
vicco11's picture
vicco11 commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 2:17pm

There's been fun waves in vic recently ;) the crew that have been surfing them deserve some good fortune too

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 2:40pm

Yep....Lorne Point & Tullamarine have been all time eh!

............but don't tell anyone OK???

vicco11's picture
vicco11's picture
vicco11 commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 3:18pm

You're wide of the mark ringmaster

Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710 commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 4:43pm

So THAT'S why they refuse to fix the Lorne surfcam!

KARIO's picture
KARIO's picture
KARIO commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 5:18pm

Yes, WHAT is going on with Lorne surfcam ?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 5:20pm

Sparky booked in for Monday. It'll be active that afternoon.

Walk around G's picture
Walk around G's picture
Walk around G commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 5:57pm

You don't need a sparky mate, next time I'll take care of it for you, for nothing! It'd give me a legitimate excuse to be down the coast for a change. I can send you all my appropriate licenses etc that are required under the ACMA laws that govern Australia to ensure that I'm not pulling your chain.

More than happy to help keep the Vicco cams and the like going if you need onsite technical support etc.

KARIO's picture
KARIO's picture
KARIO commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 10:31am

Cool ! thanks for the update

NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 11:30pm

i've been getting plenty of waves too myself in the 4-6foot range 2 hours south of victoria this summer so i'm not complaining, them last 2 35 degree day's were smoking. yea the last 3 weeks have been a horrible SE windswell and before that the swells were pretty inconsistent with lots of crowds but that's normal for summer on the surf coast. still plenty of points spread out across vicco that would be firing right now. not hard to go for a drive to get away from crowds and surf heavier wave's.
Jan Juc local

vicco11's picture
vicco11's picture
vicco11 commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 7:36am

Spot on NorthWestSouth. There are fun waves in Vic outside of the surf coast, PI and the MP. It's good to support those in East Gippsland that have had a hard time of it recently too.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 7:43am

"2 hours South of Victoria"

By plane or boat mate?...........cause you sure as fuck couldn't be driving there.

Asking for a friend..........

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 10:40am

“still plenty of points spread out across vicco that would be firing right now.“

That just ain’t true.
#fakenews

NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth commented Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 at 11:42pm
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710 commented Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 at 4:47pm

So the light was indeed a speeding locomotive.