Harry hiding on a back beach.
Harry hiding on a back beach.

Surfing: Expect a shift in swell direction

TWO weeks of southerly winds with consistent swell over the holidays, couldn't really ask for more than that.

Yes I know, it's been wildly crowded at times, and parking spaces could be auctioned off at premium prices.

But in all honesty, did any of us really think it would be otherwise?

I say, at least be grateful that we've had some waves, and let's take a look to see if there's more on the way. 

However before that, a quick heads up.

There has been an increase in board thefts in the Byron area lately.

Sadly that's the way it goes, the large crowds provide excellent cover for those of bad intent.


Evening shadows.
Evening shadows.

Be aware, keep an eye on your stick, and watch out for each other, it never hurts to question someone who picks up a board that you noticed was put down by someone else. 

If we just keep a bit of an eye out for each other, it makes it much more difficult for thieves to operate.

Now let's take a look at what's coming up for the weekend.

Oddly enough what we're about to experience is more a winter swell scenario.

Which after two weeks of E/SE trade wind swell, is definitely a tad strange.

Yet the way the weather has been playing out under the influence of this massive unseasonal El Niño, nothing really surprises me.

What we should see arrive today, if not already last night, is a significant shift in swell direction from the E- E/SE to a S - S/SE.

This is the result of a string of huge Southern Ocean lows.

One of which stalled long enough bellow our swell window between Tasmania and NZ earlier this week.

Assisted by reasonably unstable conditions in The Tasman.


Meanwhile, on the outside bank.
Meanwhile, on the outside bank.

This southerly swell has been able to easily sweep up the east coast of Australia.

Normally we wouldn't see much of it due to the straight south direction keeping it out wide in deep water.

However thanks to the trade winds and some small but consistent E swell.

Some of this pulse should bend to the SE and provide us with yet more waves.

However, if you're hoping to catch the points firing, this probably isn't the swell you've been waiting for. 

They may get some of it, but it will have to bend a long way, making the points fairly soft.

The beach breaks and southern swell magnet reefs, on the other hand, will get pretty punchy.

There won't be a great deal of the in-between kind of waves.

If you know a swell magnet that can handle a south swell and is a little away from the crowds, this weekend is the time to hit it.

Keep in mind this swell will back off fairly quickly and then again be replaced by a smaller E trade wind swell next week.

How big and how consistent the E swell will be, is still up in air.

As a lot will depend on a tropical low forming in the Southwest Pacific over the next few days.

Stay safe, wait your turn, and surf today like you want surf again tomorrow.

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