Our Philosophy

Why Swellspotted

When you live far from the ocean, making the right call on where and when to head to the surf can really make a difference For most of us driving for 4 hours just to enjoy a handful of waves, is by itself the most genuine expression of adoration for this addictive sport.

SwellSpotted.com helps you find the most favourable spots nearby, reducing the time you spend scouring forecasts, websites and coastal maps in search of the perfect wave.

When was the last time you got yourself lost in a foreign country, rushing to find a place to surf before catching the flight back home? Well, just tell SWSP how far you want to travel and let it do the job for you!
SWSP improved algorithm has been developed to predict the quality of the surf depending on the magnitude and direction of the swell, wind profile and speed, brake characteristics and swell period; then recommends the perfect spot for you! Easy right?

Not enough?

We are all passionate surfers, which is why we can’t lie to ourselves...yes in most cases, having a sterile algorithm doing the hard work for us is useful and handy...but we still all love reading the ocean and no one like a crowded lineup.

SWSP offers an easy-accessible, 7 day forecast for the most renowned surf spots around the world, including weather forecast, wind direction and speed, swell direction, period and predicted quality of surf.
SWSP is completely free to use - and will always be!

Understanding the elements

There are thousands of variables affecting the quality of surf, but some are more important than others - and in most cases you’ll only be worrying about a handful of “un-tameable” ones.

" It isn't just about waves! "

When strong winds rage over the surface of the ocean, water molecules are locally pushed and pulled, generating small ripples and wavelets. On a larger scale, these small whitecaps will eventually break very close to the point of formation, transferring the energy to a much bigger wave that will continue to grow. This wave then spreads away from the point it was generated; this wave system is called wind sea , and is not really surfable but rather choppy and unregular. This wave that generates due to strong winds, travels outwardly with a fixed speed for miles and miles, until the energy is dissipated: smoothly in the open ocean, or heavily crushing over a surfer's head in a clumsy wipeout! When these waves approache the coast, they are reflected, refracted, broken down and re-assembled into sets of waves; in real time it can actually take hours or even days for these waves to finally reach land and make millions of surfers around the world extremely happy!

When a wave reaches an area miles away from the storm that generated it, what remains of that generated sea wind is now called a swell. Swell is obviously our main prerequisite to even bother waxing our board. But whilst it's a necessary condition, sadly it’s not always a sufficient one. Generally speaking, we need at least 3-4ft of swell to hope that the wave turns into something surfable. But there are also factors beyond the lineup that can easily overturn a 10ft swell into something barely approachable:

Undoubtedly one of the most important things to consider; a longer oscillation period is characteristic of a clean, neat, strong consistent swell; as it means the storm that generated it was likely powerful, and far from our surf spot. Ideally we are looking at periods longer than 10s. A 20s swell period is able to turn a 10ft swell into a consistent 10-14ft wave generator depending on the profile of the break. On the other hand, short oscillation swells often means locally generated winds, where the sea is choppy and rough; not really world class waves, even if the swell height is important. Swell period shouldn’t be confused with the interval between waves or sets of waves. When a swell is pushed towards the coast and encounters any form of obstacle, the profile of the oscillation is heavily disturbed, generating different waves at different wavelengths and heights (what it is usually referred as sets of waves).

Undoubtedly can be a strong ally, but more often than not your worst enemy - unless you are willing to dust off your kite for those windy days. Gentle winds blowing offshore can shape the pocket of a wave making it steeper and more surfable (hardly noticeable if you are surfing beach breaks). While onshore winds might cause the wave to break quickly, close out or back off, in many circumstances, a wind blowing offshore at less than 10 knots is the type of condition we are looking for. Wind speed above this, can easily become the major contributing factor to a quiet weekend spent on the sofa.

Well, a warm rain tickling the surface of the ocean at sunset while we sit in the lineup waiting for the next set is undoubtedly a powerful and mesmerising vision, but generally we want to surf in good weather.

Interpreting SWSP forecast

This icon always indicates the direction of the wind; cardinal points ("NE") indicate the direction from which it originates

This icon always indicates the direction of the swell

If this icon appears, the water temperature might be too cold for your hands; you may want to consider wearing gloves

If this icon appears, the water temperature can be too cold for your feet; wearing socks or shoes is recommended

A warm wetsuit (3mm or 4mm) is recommended

A full winter wetsuit (4mm or 5mm) is recommended

If this icon appears, it means that the condition of the sea might be too dangerous for a novice; ask the local lifeguard if you are in doubt

Rip currents might represent a severe danger for beginner surfers; make sure you have the required level of fitness and experience before venturing in the water

It is advisable to adopt precaution to protect your skin from UV rays, by using a sun screen/cream or wearing a hat

The conditions of the sea are not ideal for surfing

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