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#246342 - 06/09/2002 11:38 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
thermalben Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2001
Posts: 769
Loc: Tweed Coast
Hi all

It depends what we're measuring here... if it's oceanic conditions (ie a typical scenario of a recording wave buoy), I'm sure it's trough to crest.

However I presume RL is talking about surf at the beach (as this is the theme of the thread), and in this case it's quite a debatable matter. Surfers (well, some anyway) have enormous egos to maintain, and as a result wave height is usually understated significantly - waves that I'd call 6' would be 2' in Hawaii (the islands are a well documented location on this 'phenomena' wink ).

Have a look at this survey conducted by Realsurf this year - show's a pretty wide variety of opinions for surf size for a wave that I'd personally call 8' (seems to be the majority's opinion too).

It's incredibly hard to estimate surf size unless you are a regular water user - a wave that is technically 1' (ie 30cm) would rarely break on most surf beaches - probably just lap up along the shore. So surfers have loosely developed relative scales that are known throughout surfing circles. It's just one of those weird things (surfing magazines are a classic example - you'll be hard pressed to find a photo in a mag with a descriptive surf size attached - no-one wants to make the call!).

The large US surf forecasting company Surfline has this table:

1' = ankle high
2' = knee high
3' = waist high
3'+ = chest high
4' = shoulder high
5' = head high (remember the slight crouch, no one rides waves standing straight up and down)
6' = overhead
10' = double overhead
15' = triple overhead

I'm not in favour of this system - at the top of this scale; can you ride a knee high wave? Not really (it's pretty hard to get much enjoyment out of such a small wave), so 2' seems a little overstated.... that's just my personal opinion.

How big would you put this wave?



I know how big it is - because it's me! I'd personally call this wave around 5', although I've had comments that it's 6-8'. However due to the angle of the picture and my body angle it's a little distorted in size (another important thing to consider when looking at the surf - looking at waves from above, say on a high cliff, tends to make them appear bigger). If you straightened up my body in this picture, the wave would be a foot or two overhead. That's around 5' or so (surfing height) in my books.

Anyway the most important factor to note with surf forecasting/reporting is the overall trend. Sure, you might disagree with my estimations - I've got no problem with that. However if I'm calling 4-5' today and 8-10' tomorrow, look out! There's probably a large swell event approaching smile

Anyway hope I haven't confused this matter further!

Ben

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#246343 - 06/09/2002 11:58 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
temp trace Offline
Member

Registered: 03/02/2001
Posts: 457
Loc: Newcastle, NSW
Ahaaaaaaa!! no not this again eek We had a topic on size (wave size that is) on the Surfcam BB got a bit heated at times laugh (in the end it had to be deleted to cool things down a bit)

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#246344 - 06/09/2002 12:03 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
Thunderstruck Offline
Lightning man

Registered: 10/05/2001
Posts: 15024
Loc: Seaford Meadows, SA
Hell.....I mean the wave would feel like a 10ft wave but as u say due to the way they measure it its a 5ft. Where was that pic taken?? U seem to be pretty darn good at it judging that picture...is that on the Mid Coast by any chance or is it further west?

The waves I caught on wednesday wernt that large but were still breaking just the same...i would have put them at 3to 4ft. CANT WAIT till sat down at Bullies.....its gunna be big...the biggest wave I have caught (and Im more of a bodyboarder) is about 8ft...and I just escaped a painful death at Knights on the rocks...so im hoping to get out of these 8ft waves on sat no probs. Love those barrels! laugh

TS cool

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#246345 - 06/09/2002 12:12 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
thermalben Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2001
Posts: 769
Loc: Tweed Coast
I know what you mean TT. I think everyone has to agree to disagree smile It will never be able to be resolved properly IMO.

The other method I like to employ is 'head high', 'overhead', 'double overhead' (or as in the case for the East Coast lately 'well below expectations' laugh he he

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#246346 - 06/09/2002 12:26 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
Thunderstruck Offline
Lightning man

Registered: 10/05/2001
Posts: 15024
Loc: Seaford Meadows, SA
Heya Ben, just read ur surf forecast and ur saying that sunday will be the best day.....and sat wont be as clean? ur a legend man! Luckily I can change it to go on sunday and then ill have to do all my uni work on sat. Sunday light offshore winds and 6ft at Middleton and up to 8ft at Bullies eek thats the pick of the year id say!

TS cool

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#246347 - 06/09/2002 12:34 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
thermalben Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2001
Posts: 769
Loc: Tweed Coast
Quote:
Thunderstruck:
Sunday...6ft at Middleton and up to 8ft at Bullies ... thats the pick of the year id say!
Hey Lennie - thanks for the nice words.
In actual fact yesterday morning produced 6' surf at Bullies with possible 8' sets...but it's still a little shy of the Queen's B'day holiday which was even bigger...

Basically for this weekend the swell is on the increase throughout Saturday, but the passage of a cold front tonight will create bumpy conditions. There's not many places that are protected from a SW wind along the South Coast, but as the wind is going to tend NW again on Sunday preceding another front for early Monday, we will hopefully see the peak of the swell coinciding with great surfing weather.

There should be waves just about everywhere! I'm going for an extended, erm, 'drive' on Sunday...hopefully scoring a pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow...

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#246348 - 06/09/2002 12:49 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
temp trace Offline
Member

Registered: 03/02/2001
Posts: 457
Loc: Newcastle, NSW
Quote:
Originally posted by thermalben:
(or as in the case for the East Coast lately 'well below expectations' laugh he he
No need to rub it in is there!! :p

Been tragic over here for the last week or so and having a look at the charts nothing to get to excited about for the weekend (its nough to make you cry all these offshores going to waste) even had the 10'2" mal out yesterday in a vain attempt to surf the wake of a passing tanker laugh

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#246349 - 08/09/2002 20:39 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
Thunderstruck Offline
Lightning man

Registered: 10/05/2001
Posts: 15024
Loc: Seaford Meadows, SA
WHAT A DAY!!!! Firstly, Ben ur a legend for forecasting this event..it was as good as u said it would be :cheers: laugh laugh secondly, it was miserable in Adelaide with a fresh NW wind but was very nice down on he south coast. There was a fair bit of cloud around but they wasnt a great deal of wind and Bullies was bliss!!!! HUGE barrels pretty frequnt as well and I caught a fair few 5-7ft waves.....couldnt say if it was 8foot but well over my head thats for sure. Didnt have any injuries this tiem thank god so all was good laugh gotta do that again..Ben any more good surf around?

TS cool

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#246350 - 09/09/2002 10:30 Re: Big Monday - WA, then Indo later
thermalben Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2001
Posts: 769
Loc: Tweed Coast
Nice to hear Lennie smile I wasn't in the Victor region yesterday, so I couldn't confirm personally (although I've spoken to many people since though who have said similar things).

In actualy fact I went hunting for a few of the state's 'lesser known' spots yesterday, around 6 hours drive away - leaving around 1am straight after a gig in town Saturday night, then surfing all day until the wind picked up. Then we packed up and drove home late in the afternon getting home at 11am. I am exhausted!

I am just doing a Swellnet forecast this morning, however there's nothing 'epic' in the pipeline at this stage (size wise, anyway). But from Wed onwards we should see some more favourable weather conditions along the South Coast - these cruddy moderate SW winds don't do much for most locations!

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