Top surf forecasting sites
Surf forecasting sites can be hit and miss, or even worse, just downright confusing. We've reviewed all the best forecasting sites and how they can help you score more waves.
There is nothing worse than getting all of your gear together, getting into your car, picking up all of your mates, and driving all the way to the beach, only to find out that the weather has turned and it isn’t suitable for surfing anymore.
In order to help avoid similar situations, a lot of surfers consult a few weather forecasting sites before they even start making any plans to go and hit the waves. Checking the weather will let you know whether to strap your board to the car the night before, or go buy some coffee and get ready to sit out the downpour that’s coming tomorrow.
There are plenty of sites that you can choose from when it comes to getting accurate weather forecasts. While you might have your own weather forecasting sources that you prefer, these are some of the best forecasting sites that have saved many surfers from disappointment.
This is likely the most detailed weather forecast site that you’ll ever find. As soon as you open the site, you’ll be inundated with rows upon rows of information on wind patterns, gust speeds, wind direction, temperature readouts, and more. This seemingly endless influx of information displays everything you need to know about the weather conditions of any area.
The site hosts information on weather patterns from all around the world and allows all of its visitors to view it in a number of formats. For example, the “Forecast” tab displays the numbers when it comes to knot speed and predicted wave height, while the “Tides” tab actually gives you the option to display a model of the wave formations.
While the site might look a bit confusing to anyone who’s visiting it for the first time, as soon as you get used to the layout, you’ll find how useful of a tool it is to any surfer who wants hourly weather updates and extremely detailed wave info.
The simple yet easy to use interface of the Windfinder site allows you to observe the wind conditions in over 40,000 locations. As soon as you open the site, you’ll see an animated map of wind movements, which you can easily zoom in and out of by using nothing more than your mouse. This will allow you to focus on one particular region and learn the expected weather for the near future.
The interactive map also allows you to place markers if you want to know the wind conditions of only one single area, as well as display the wind speed, precipitation, air temperature, and even cloud density.
Two of the more annoying things about the site are the constant ads that are running at the bottom of the screen just under the map, and the fact that there are no actual simplified surf forecasts. However, the simple layout more than makes up for both of those flaws, since you can find the information you need even without the forecast, and you can simply ignore the ads (even though they are an eyesore).
Magicseaweed reportedly covers over 3,000 beaches in 180 countries. They use their multitudes of offshore weather buoys to provide visitors with detailed weather and swell maps, sea temperature readings, information on wind direction, and so on.
The site also provides live HD webcam feed for a large number of beaches and locations. This is an incredibly useful feature for surfers who want to have a look at the conditions they’re going to be dealing with if they choose to go to a beach with cameras.
Magicseaweed is an incredibly handy site, but you might want to watch out for their predictions on wave height, as they have occasionally been shown to be inconsistent. Additionally, you’ll have to put up with a few ads here and there, but that shouldn’t be too much of a bother.
Surfline also offers its visitors access to webcam footage from hundreds of locations worldwide. Add to that the real-time wave buoys and wave models that can generate 5-day forecasts, and you can easily see why the site allegedly receives close to 100,000 visitors a day.
The site is essentially divided into the 3 tabs, located at the top of the page, all of which provide different information including cams and reports, forecasts, and news. Additionally, there is also a search bar that will allow you to seek out and locate any specific articles or reports on the site that you might be interested in more easily.
Like many other sites, Surfline also has a few too many ads that are plastered everywhere, which can prove to be somewhat distracting. Other than that, it has a lot of material in terms of articles, which makes it easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of the reason you went to the site in the first place.
The tabs that greet you as soon as you open the site, located near the top of the page, will allow you to find the sort of surf spots that you’re looking for with very little difficulty. They also provide visitors with wave and wind maps, surf and wind alerts, and even a gallery full of photos of beaches that you might be interested in visiting on your next surfing trip.
Quite uniquely, the site also has a tab for their online shop, where you can find all sorts of different surf-forecast merchandise, from t-shirts and hoodies to art prints.
This site is also full of advertisements that you’ll see in the form of side-banners in every tab that you open, and even though it does have a photo gallery, it lacks any live surf cams of the beaches that appear in the forecasts.
Any of the sites we mentioned above can help you predict what the weather conditions are going to be like on the day that you decide to go surfing. Depending on whether it’s easier if you see the wind speed figures, the weather maps, or the live feed from the beaches themselves, you are likely to prefer one of these sites more than the others and use it as your primary weather forecast source.
Keep in mind that even the best sites can get the forecast wrong from time to time, so getting your information from two or three different sources might be the best option.