With all sorts of buoys, satellites, and measuring tools there is no shortage of data when it comes to weather, wind, and surf forecasting.
And, unless you live within eyeshot of your local break, a surf report can be a handy tool in your surfing toolkit.
Surf forecasts and reports have come a long way since their inception in 1984, when Sean Collins started Surfline as a pay-per-call service to get the surf conditions.
As technologies and data collection got better, Surfline evolved from phone to fax to the internet and really ushered in the era of the surf report as we know it today.
Today, you’ve got a lot of options from world-wide surf reporting services like Surfline to locally-focused surf report websites.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices and all the data, so it can be good to find a couple tools you can trust and become familiar with.
That said, just like any kind of projections and forecasts, surf reports are rarely 100% accurate. It’s important to reign in your expectations and to bring the right equipment – at the end of the day, the surf’s going to do what the surf’s going to do, it’s out of your hands, the only thing you can control is whether or not you’re going to enjoy it.
Surf Forecasting & Surf Report Websites
You’ve already learned how to interpret and understand a surf report, and know how to use information like:
- Buoy data
- Wind data
- Swell data
Now you’ve got to decide where you’ll look to get this information.
Because models, forecasting techniques, and projections vary from company to company, you’re likely going to differences when you compare the surf reports from different websites.
Depending on a number of factors, you may find that one service is going to be more accurate than another for a particular surf spot or region. Figuring out what works best for you is often a matter of trial and error.
To get started, here are some good websites for getting your surf report.
The surf forecasting websites above are going to range in terms of surf spot coverage (both locally and regionally around the world), surf cams, human-aided reports, forecast outlooks, and ease-of-use (in terms of a curated surf report vs. raw data).
Experiment with some of the surf reporting resources listed here to figure out what’s going to work best for you and which report is most accurate for your favorite surf spots.