Great weekend surf ahoy!

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday April 24th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Great waves all coasts all weekend with light winds and slowly easing size
  • Another solid swell Tues but onshore winds will create bumpy conditions almost everywhere
  • Easing size Wed/Thurs with similarly average conditions


Strong swells persisted across the Surf Coast on Thursday with 4-5ft sets on offer, and early W/NW winds tried to clean things up for a few hours before W/SW tending SW winds resumed. We’ve seen stronger surf today building from 4-5ft to 5-6ft under lighter W/NW winds that remained relatively modest in strength as they shifted W/SW into the afternoon. Surf size has been much bigger at the open beaches east of Melbourne.

This weekend (Apr 27 - 28)

No change to the weekend outlook, with clean conditions both days - light variable winds Saturday tending light N’ly on Sunday, and only weak sea breezes into the afternoons.

Surf size will however be easing steadily. Rare 4-5ft sets at the Surf Coast reefs early Saturday morning will ease to 3ft by lunchtime, and should maintain 2-3ft into Sunday. It’ll be a great weekend for any open beachbreak as well as the reefs. 

East of Melbourne, the open beaches may still be a little overpowered early Saturday with 5-6ft sets however they’ll ease to 3-5ft through the day and level out at 3-4ft on Sunday. Most exposed coasts will be well worth a look.

Next week (Apr 29 onwards)

Another strong swell is expected early next week, sourced from a polar low currently midway between Heard Island and West Oz longitudes, which will strengthen south of the continent over the weekend and push up through our primary swell window (see below).

The latest model runs have eased back its strength a touch, so I’m going to temper wave height estimates a little, however we should see surf size building towards 4-5ft along most of the Surf Coast on Tuesday, with occasional 6ft sets at the swell magnet reefs. 

Prior to this, Monday will see initially small clean leftovers at dawn build to a bumpy 4ft afternoon of surf, as strong SW winds cross the region in the morning and create poor surface conditions.

Unfortunately conditions will remain average on Tuesday as this swell reaches a peak, thanks to a straight southerly flow associated with a large high developing to the west. As such you’ll have to seek shelter from the wind, and there won’t be many spots offering workable options.  

East of Melbourne will bigger as per usual but with limited places to surf out of the wind here as well.

Surf size is modelled to remain steady through Wednesday and Thursday but I have a feeling we’ll see size slowly taper away; the aforementioned high (responsible for the southerly flow) will also set up a blocking pattern forcing Southern Ocean fronts down to the ice shelf, aimed away from our swell window. Southerly winds will persist for a few days too.

The long term outlook has some incredible looking storm systems way out in our distant swell window (south of Madagascar) that will deliver incredible waves for the Indo region, but will probably be too far away from our coast to really light things up. The associated long period energy (22 seconds!) from those early developments are due to arrive next weekend but we’ll be relying on future storm activity closer to our region - not yet locked in on the models right now - to offer any appreciable size. 

Therefore, long term Victorian surf prospects are somewhat muted right now, but with plenty of potential.

Craig is back on deck Monday, he’ll have more details on that then.

Have a great weekend!


Weatherman's picture
Weatherman's picture
Weatherman Friday, 26 Apr 2024 at 6:03pm

You've delivered plenty of good forecasts Ben, thanks. We are a bit spoiled by Craig getting them out early, usually before 10am. You no doubt have a different schedule and priorities. It will be interesting to see how Craig deals with his responsibilities with a new baby in the family. Good luck to him and his family.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 26 Apr 2024 at 6:05pm

Thanks mate.