I went to one website that appeared to have useful info for an area that's about a 2-hr drive from me.
The site indicated 13-ft waves right now (no, that's definitely NOT what I would ever want to paddle in). I called a private party that manages the beach, and they laughed--it's so quiet that guys (board surfers) are toodling around in the maybe-foot-high waves right at the edge but not actually surfing. I guess the swell direction was just a *little bit off* from being workable for that section of the state's coastline. Sounds like the day I went out last month for a recon visit and mainly paddled a lovely, gorgeous tour along the cliffs to the east. Biggest waves were maybe a foot high, when they occurred. Which was not often and only for a very brief time.
The info I've heard and read agree on what to look for there in terms of swell direction, wind direction and speed, tide height and timing. What other things should I figure into the equation so I do NOT have to take Internet site websites as accurate reflections of what's going on out there?
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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look for actual data.|
Posted by: nickjc on Sep-23-13 4:44 PM (EST)
Ask locals what to look for in a forecast or data. Local surf shops are usually helpful with that sort of beta, like what direction or what buoy data to check. Swell models like Magic seaweed are never as good as real buoy data combined with local knowledge.
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-23-13 7:35 PM (EST)
NOAA radio and forcasts|
Posted by: capefear on Sep-23-13 4:50 PM (EST)
I love the NOAA forcasts. They give me the in-town forcast, the coastal waters out 20 nm, the outer waters forcast, current individual local buoy readings of wave and swell height and windspeed, surf forcast, air temperature, beach water temperature. The coastal forcast is more about windspeed and direction, waves, and swells, where the in-town forcast is about sun and rain and temperature.
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-23-13 7:44 PM (EST)
I check NOAA often and try to relate what's going on to what they say, in a general paddling sense.
surfingmag site (formerly SwellWatch)|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-23-13 5:39 PM (EST)
Here is the one I use:
Yeah, that's what I mean|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-23-13 7:52 PM (EST)
The big waves were/are on the exposed west coast of the state (the person I called confirmed that had happened, I guess from talking to other people). Where I want to go is on the northern border, and it is in a small bay.
In the Strait ? |
Posted by: seadart on Sep-23-13 9:02 PM (EST)
I tried to find a buoy close by but could not find one. The best advice is to find some locals and talk to them about who gives the best reports. In the old days people used to call bars and gas stations for surf reports. I would plan on spending some time there when the off shore west forecast is for small seas and get to know the area, visit often and then you will be able to predict conditions from the outside forecasts. I'm thinking the cost guard must have a local forecast too, possibley on the NOAA site forecasts too.
if Juan de Fucca|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-23-13 9:21 PM (EST)