The worlds top 10 surf forecasting websites
In the pre-internet era, it used to be that surf forecasting was a skill learned by listening to shipping forecasts or studying surface pressure charts. Following that in the 80’s and 90’s in the UK there were surfers setting up premium rate telephone numbers with daily eyeball surf reports from around the country being recorded each morning and which could be accessed on the phone for about 50p a minute.
Then as the the internet began to take hold there were innovative individuals across the world realising the endless possibilities that the internet presented could be applied to surf forecasting and reporting, so they went about setting up dedicated surf forecasting websites. The technology has continued to evolve to the point that super accurate wave forecasts are now available days in advance and can be accessed in seconds for almost every surf spot on the planet. So we’ve pulled together a list of the main online surf report resources from across the world so you can have a one stop place to check them all out. They aren’t listed in any particular order or rank as each has it’s own strengths:
With live winds, ocean buoy readings, HD webcams, detailed long range forecasting, direct beach reports, hurricane tracks, photos, videos and a wealth of editorial content for spots all around the globe.
Surfline/Wavetrak, Inc.(“the company”) specializes in providing live and predicted ocean weather information, editorial content, and consulting services to consumers, businesses, and government agencies worldwide.
Headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, the Company is focused on enabling its customers to pursue peak surfing, marine, and fishing experiences through the Surfline.com, Buoyweather.com, and Fishtrack.com brands on web and mobile platforms.
A free to use weather service for kitesurfers, windsurfers, surfers, sailors, paragliders and other wind related activities – find wind, waves, weather, webcams and tides on one website
Swellnet began in 1998, with Ben’s initial forecasts sent out to a small network by fax and email. This evolved into an online service in March 2002, and Swellnet forecasts are now contracted by many of the WCT competitions including the Quiksilver Pro (Gold Coast, Fiji, Japan and France), the Rip Curl Pro (Bells Beach) and the Billabong Pro (Teahupoo)
Surf-Forecast.com provides surf forecast and surf reports for over 7,000 of the world’s best surf spots. Providing surfers, windsurfers & kitesurfers with wave maps, wind maps and a custom e-mail surf and wind alert system.
6. UK met office pressure charts.
Reading the surface pressure charts in much more old school but with a little meteorological knowledge these lines, numbers and symbols transform into your very own surf report. Anyone serious about their surfing we’d recommend learning the art as it’ll greatly enhance your forecasting skills, impress your mates and bring a closer connection and understanding to the waves and weather that greet you down at the beach.
7. XC weather
OK so not strictly surf forecasting but when used and compared with the surface pressure charts XC adds some depth and graphic representation to the pressure systems, isobars etc
Hotswell is a community based surf website. With surf forecasting, entertainment, information, news, photos and videos, Surf Social network, surf equipment classifieds.
10. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Not a very sexy title but if you want to discover where many of the above websites gather some of their data then the NOAA is the source. There’s masses of forecasting data here so delve in and become a forecasting guru.
This list has been brought to you by the team at Northcore
Silly question does MSW and Surfline use NOAA for their forecasting?
thanks – this piece on MSW may assist as it explains their data source and modeling