Lotsa swell on the way, just gotta work around the winds

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday April 17th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Fun waves Thurs with favourable AM winds west of Melbourne, and easing swells from today
  • Poor conditions Friday under onshore winds across all coasts
  • Lumpy, average weekend as winds become light and the ocean slowly settles
  • Stacks of surf next week though the particulars are not yet clear


Large surf built across the coast on Tuesday, reaching 5-6ft along the Surf Coast and 6-8ft east of Melbourne. Early light NW winds gave way to moderate afternoon sea breezes. A similar size has played out today though winds were variable early morning and swung onshore earlier along the Surf Coast, though favourable conditions held out for longer east of Melbourne.

Solid but clean (and empty!) open beaches east of Melbourne this AM

(Please note: FC Notes will be variable in delivery this week as Craig is on paternity leave and Steve is covering Margs)

This week (Apr 18 - 19)

Easing swells are expected into Thursday, and early light W/NW breezes will precede freshening W’ly tending W/SW winds as a front sweeps across Bass Strait, clipping the coast.

Surf size will ease back to a slow, inconsistent 3ft across the Surf Coast, with bigger though lumpy/bumpy waves east of Melbourne (not enough size for Western Port, but patchy options elsewhere). Confidence isn’t high on the timing of the change so there’s a chance we may see OK conditions persist into the afternoon across Tirquay, but if you’re hedging your bets I’d aim for an early paddle.

Fresh SW winds look set to kick in overnight and they’ll probably remain at strength into Friday morning, which will reduce the chances of an early window of clean conditions anywhere. We will however see building swells from a poorly aligned fetch associated with the front’s parent low, so if you’re desperate for a paddle there should be small waves across the sheltered bays and coves west of Torquay. Again, surf size will probably remain too small for Western Port. 

This weekend (Apr 20 - 21)

Still nothing great is expected this weekend, but there will be waves on tap if you're keen. 

The good news is that Friday’s onshores will ease considerably overnight, but the breeze will however linger from the south into Saturday, creating lumpy, leftover conditions without the influence of a proper offshore wind to iron out the bumps.

The Surf Coast will see plenty of size initially, mainly easing leftovers from what comes up on Friday (which should peak around 4-5ft) but the trend will be down through the day by a couple of feet. There won’t be much happening east of Melbourne either, with tiny surf inside Western Port and no great options at exposed beaches.

Light variable winds are due Sunday, a slight improvement again from Saturday, but still a ways from any of the quality surf seen in recent weeks. Expect small peaky leftovers across the Surf Coast beachbreaks as your best choice.

Next week (April 22 onwards)

We’ve got plenty of waves on the way for next week as a strong Southern Ocean frontal sequence pushes through our swell window, generating a couple of days of solid waves for all coasts. 

However there is considerable divergence between the available model guidance right now, regarding the strength, timing and position of each low pressure system. This is creating a wide range of possible outcomes, from bog-standard average 3-4ft surf up to solid 10ft bombs, and right now it’s impossible to gauge an indication for which way the trend is heading - we really need a few more days for things to settle in.

Regardless, it’s a dynamic pattern and we’re looking at several days of quality surf - let’s hone in on the specifics on Friday.


rogerdodger's picture
rogerdodger's picture
rogerdodger Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024 at 4:53pm

Buzz not get the bog-standard average 3-4ft surf

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024 at 5:11pm

Empty in the screenshot because they were closeouts Ben!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 10:09am

I think you'll find that conditions are contestable. I'm sending out the Elimination Round in ten minutes.

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 9:49am

r the daily torquay surf report photos taken with a FUJIX DS-1P camera BM.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 10:10am

Erm, not sure. You in the market for a new camera?

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 11:21am

no. just your screen shots ripped off the video in forecast notes are better quality than a photo for daily surf report. not having a dig just saying.

Buckhunters's picture
Buckhunters's picture
Buckhunters Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 8:35pm

All eyes on your updates tomoz Benno ….. not often “10ft bombs” gets suggested by Craigos!!

SurfLad's picture
SurfLad's picture
SurfLad Thursday, 18 Apr 2024 at 10:27pm

Anyone know the rough time benny releases the notes?! Saves the constant checking thru the day.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 19 Apr 2024 at 6:03am

Add the Vic FC Notes to your notification section (in your profile) and you'll receive an email once it's updated.

SurfLad's picture
SurfLad's picture
SurfLad Friday, 19 Apr 2024 at 10:33am

Perfect cheers