Surf report and forecast; where to check?

March 9, 2017

One of the best parts of surfing is to be close to nature, enjoying the beach, the oceans in a very healthy and relaxed lifestyle. However, we depend on this so-called nature to surf. Swells, winds, tides, sand, they all effect the conditions. So, we all need to know when and where the waves are going to be good, to make sure we can surf the best conditions possible.

Until late nineties, waves forecast was kind of a mistery.

Only very few sites had swell and wind forecast. At that time, crowds were mellower and the ones who knew how to read the nature signs were the same catching the best waves next morning.

Nowadays, it is completely different. Live feeds on cell phone apps show us the current conditions at most of the breaks in the world. Forecasts are complete, many websites and apps show us swell size, period, exact wave direction, winds, wind gusts, hour by hour, so it became much easier to know at what time of the day your favorite wave is going to be cranking. The negative side of it is that crowds are now larger, as everyone can have access to the same surf reports and forecasts. Still, being able to choose when to surf between classes and work shifts is so good, just don’t let high expectations turn into frustrations when you get to the beach and there are no waves, nature can always fool you, and this is something interesting about surfing, everyday will be different.

Here we are going to show you some websites and apps that you can trust. Some of them have excellent surf reports from hundreds of breaks around US and other continents, and also detailed forecasts for the next 10 days. Some of them are easier to understand, as editors “read” the charts and put the information in words, so you won’t need to decipher all those arrows, numbers and different colors of the forecast charts. However, one thing is certain, the more experienced you get, the more you will understand how to read and understand the waves and wind forecast.

Below are the main websites for you to check the live surfing conditions as well as the forecast for next days:

  • – maybe the most complete website. Is has live reports from hundreds of surf breaks around the world as well as the forecast, including tides, winds, swells and weather. It also shows some pictures from users, people can feed the spots page with photos of the day, that means use can really trust on Surfline. This is good for beginners and experienced surfers, as it has text forecast and image charts. Besides that, the website has several surfing articles, from surf trips to a full coverage of the WSL (World Surf League), articles about surfboards, wetsuits and health.

  • – some people say it has the best and more reliable surf forecast. They may be right. Millions of surfers around the world use this great swell/wind forecast source, and its information is rarely wrong. They also have news about the surfing world and really nice articles.

  • – this is more about the wind, as its name suggests. However, it has swell information as well. The forecast comes in arrows with the swell and wind direction. Different colors show the size of the waves and the strength of the winds and its gusts. Not recommended for beginners, it requires some experience to understand all the information shown, but in a couple months you will find it easier and check it oftenly.

  • – maybe the most complete live satellite information about waves, winds and precipitation in the world. Not a surfing related website, it is used by pilots, fishermen, surfers, sailors, etc. At the right side of the screen is the menu, where you can choose what kind of nature element you want to see. It has pretty much the globe map where you can move the cursor and see the colors and arrows in movement. Medium to high experience required.

  • – it has surf reports from the San Diego County spots. Easy to access and complete information about the surfing conditions every day. Always worth a look before leaving home, it can save you time and gas if you know where to go instead of driving around to check every spot from IB to Oceanside.

  • – not a real surf report and forecast page, but it is worth a look. It has almost every known surf spot in the world. Very useful when travelling abroad or to areas you have never been before.

Below the main apps for your cell phone. Both have free download, but limited access. If you want you can pay around three dollars a month to have complete access, it is really worth.

  • Wisuki – the best and more accurate surfing forecast app. It has thousands of spots around the world. There is a radar option that is really user friendly and available only for the more complete (payable) version. It also offers options for users to interact with other surfers, like a social media, where you can create a profile and register your sessions.
  • Windguru (Android) – it is the same as the website, but app for cell phones. It is very good for the more experienced who are able to read and understand the graphic charts. The strange part of it is that if you look at the same spot for the same day on their website there is a difference in swell size, on the app it is always bigger. Still, a very good tool.

Now that you know the best and most reliable sources, check them out and choose the ones you like the most. We are pretty sure you will never plan your next session without having a close look to the forecasts and reports.