Strong swell for the weekend but onshore

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 29th March)

Best Days: Saturday and Sunday for keen surfers, Monday and Tuesday mornings on the beaches to the east

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Weak SW windswell tomorrow with gusty SW winds (likely W/NW for a period in pockets to the west early)
  • Low point in swell Fri AM with W/NW winds
  • Moderate sized + SW groundswell arriving later Fri with freshening SW-S/SW winds, peaking Sat with fresh S/SW-S winds
  • Slowly easing mid-period SW swell Sun with moderate S/SE-SE winds, freshening later
  • Easing surf Mon with E/SE-E tending fresh S/SE winds
  • Smaller Tue with E tending SE winds



Following good surf into Monday afternoon/evening, most locations were clean and fun yesterday morning with light, local offshore winds except for the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula where winds blew west. There was plenty of S/SW swell still in the mix, easing back from 3ft+ on the Surf Coast and 4ft to the east, but a sneaky SE swell arrived through the afternoon, generated by a fetch of strong E'ly winds in south-eastern Bass Strait yesterday morning (left). This swell kicked to 3ft+ on the Surf Coast into the afternoon as winds remained light, providing novelty options all over.

Today the surf is poor across all locations with a drop in swell and moderate to fresh onshore S/SW-SW winds.

Glassy, solid conditions Monday evening

This week and weekend (Mar 30 – Apr 3)

The end of the week doesn't look too crash hot with a small pulse of weak windswell due from today's change tomorrow morning, but only to 2ft max on the sets across the Surf Coast magnets, 2-3ft to the east. This swell will ease through the day and gusty SW winds might shift W/NW for a period early across the Surf Coast but expect lots of lump and noise.

Friday morning looks cleaner with a true W/NW offshore but weak mix of swells to 1-1.5ft on the Surf Coast and 2ft max to the east.

Into Friday afternoon, just when a fresh SW tending S/SW change is due, a moderate sized + pulse of SW groundswell is expected to start building.

The source of this swell which will peak through Saturday is an impressive polar frontal progression that's formed to the south of the country. A broad and elongated fetch of gale to severe-gale W/SW winds are being generated, with a slight weakening due through today ahead of a trailing fetch of SW gales this evening, weakening while projecting up and into us Friday.

This will generate a good, prolonged swell that will have some legs, only easing slowly through Sunday. Following weak fronts will continue to slow the easing trend through Monday and Tuesday before bottoming out Wednesday.

Looking at the expected size and following a late kick in size Friday (with the onshore wind) most breaks on the Surf Coast should see 4-5ft sets on Saturday morning with the rare bigger bomb on the magnets, with the Mornington Peninsula seeing 6ft+ surf.

Winds will unfortunately be gusty out of the S/SW-S, creating average conditions. Though with the quality of the swell there'll still be a wave to surf. Sunday should ease back from 3-5ft on the Surf Coast and 6ft to the east but with moderate S/SE-S winds.

Now, the outlook into next week is tricky but for the most part the models are coming into alignment regarding a deepening low in our region early week. This looks to occur east of the state, resulting in winds from the eastern quadrant as the swell from the weekend slowly eases.

The beaches to the east should improve with easing sets from the 4ft+ range Monday morning, 3ft+ on Tuesday. On the Surf Coast easing 3ft sets are likely Monday and 2ft+ on Tuesday.

Longer term, the outlook is very divergent so check back here Friday and next week for an update for what's in store for the Easter Long Weekend and beyond.


Ed Sloane's picture
Ed Sloane's picture
Ed Sloane Wednesday, 29 Mar 2023 at 6:09pm

latest gfs run is looking bloody dire for RCP/easter

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 29 Mar 2023 at 6:10pm


Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Thursday, 30 Mar 2023 at 8:15am

And suddenly I find myself perusing urbnsurf availability and the prospect of a trip back up to the city and dropping a few hundred $$ to get my fix for the next couple of weeks…

At least half of April looking a right off. Make it stop!

Deanocarve's picture
Deanocarve's picture
Deanocarve Thursday, 30 Mar 2023 at 8:23am

March on average always produces the goods over April , and May is often the best month in my experience!!!