Gone are the days when surfing enthusiasts had to inquire about surf forecasts on the telephone. Today, thanks to the advent of technology and the internet, learning about surfing conditions has become a breeze; courtesy of surf forecast websites available on the web.
There are a plethora of sweet surf spots found all over South Africa that can be added to your surfing bucket list. However, it is essential that you first do some research about the swell, currents and winds to make that particular spot work.
We have gathered our 5 favorite surf forecast websites for you that are highly reliable and accurate at posting results. Let’s dive deeper into the details:
5 Favorite Surf Forecast Websites
Surfline is the website that tops our list due to the accuracy and faster reportings. This Southern California based website is one of the oldest and reliable sites that has been running since 1985.
Offers Worldwide Surf Reports: For us, the most intriguing feature of this site is the highly competent staff that conducts a thorough research on surfing conditions. We really liked the extent of dedication the staff puts in when it comes to updating the information quickly. You can check the conditions at least 3 times a day (morning, afternoon and a short term forecast).
Live Surf Cams: The highlight of this surf forecast website are the 200+ live cams installed by their technicians to keep tabs on an array of surfing spots. Out of these 200, at least 100 of the cams offer HD resolution.
Free: This site allows a user to get a free 3 day trial to see the webcams and the forecast reports. However, you will need to buy the membership if you want to further use the site for additional days and insights.
Paid Membership: Opting for a paid membership will allow you to see live swell reports, current conditions, ad-free webcams, and additional data taken by their expert technicians. Moreover, you can also have access to the in-depth 17 day forecast. $7.99 is the fee to opt for their monthly plan.
The Surf App: To make it more convenient, this website has an app for both Android and iOs.
Bottomline: Surfline is our go to website when it comes to gandering at the cam reports, swell conditions, current etc.
We find Magic Seaweed amazing when it comes to categorizing surf conditions. It breaks down the data in the form of synoptic charts and graphs so that you can have a better understanding at what you’re dealing with.
Wide Coverage Area: Magicseaweed covers at least 180 countries and a total of 3000 beaches with its 100+ cams.
Wind Indication: The role of wind plays a vital role in deciding a surfing expedition. This website will indicate the wind direction using color coded data (green, red and orange) and help you figure out if the wind is in your favor or not.
Long Range Data: Thanks to the HD cams, you can see live wind data, direct beach reports, swell conditions, hurricane tracks and ocean buoy readings as well. In other words, it displays a long range of data that will definitely paint you a picture of the current surfing conditions.
The Bottomline: It’s true that Magicseaweed shows a wide range of data via graphs, charts and live feeds, however, there can be some fluctuations as well.
The above mentioned sites require premium membership to see advanced content which beginners might try to avoid. For them, we recommend the Windfinder. It’s a free site that offers free weather reports which aid kitesurfers, sailors, surfers and paragliders as well.
All Data Under One Roof: This might be a free website but it shows ample surfing conditions and information including live wind directions, live feed through cams, waves and weather reports etc.
Easy To Comprehend: All the data portrayed by the site can be seen on the first page. It’s ideal for beginners who have a hard time understanding the information. The sites shows both map style and forecast models that are easier to comprehend when compared to in-depth written content. Apart from that, you’ll be able to see the air temperature and precipitation in every 3 hours as well.
The Bottomline: If you want to see surf forecasts on a smaller level then this one fits the bill. It might not show you in-depth graphs and charts but it’s not a bad deal if you get to use it for free.
If you’re looking for a surf forecast app that shows insanely accurate results then Windguru is your best bet. It’s available for both iOs and Android.
Wind Data: Some users have reported that this app predicted future wind strength and direction accurately. It has helped a lot of surfers to choose the right day for surfing and to carry out other water sport activities.
Hour By Hour Updates: This app is definitely for the experts who want to keep a close eye on a lot of surfing factors including gust, wind speed, wind direction, swell conditions, wave direction, wave heights, and temperature too. What we liked the most was the hourly display of data that carries on for a full week.
Smart Spot Selection: If you’re not good at finding a good surfing spot then this site will lend you a great deal of help. It works on a special algorithm that asks for you to select a region and the app narrows down good surfing spots on its own. You won’t have to go through a hassle to narrow down a bunch of spots all by yourself.
Paid Version: If you want to see additional and more in-depth data then you can opt for the Windguru pro version. It can be obtained for $25 per year and is an absolute delight for surfers that prefer to hit the waters on a daily basis as it will help them inquire about live forecasting quite easily
The Bottomline: This app will help you pick the perfect day by showing you the highs and lows for weeks. You can check the app to see if the conditions favor you or if it’s wise to stay put for a few days. we love it for the wind conditions and swell conditions it offers because they’re almost accurate.
As the name suggests, this app displays thorough details on the wind. You can search for nearby spots, weather reports, wind speed and direction etc.
Live Swell Tracking: The highlight of this app is the data it shows on swell conditions. You can download the app on your iOs or Android phone and see live swell charts on an hourly basis.
Multitude Of Data: There aren’t many apps out there that display such a wide variety of features as this one. It shows precipitation, cloud coverage, shows temperature, wind (speed, direction, gust), and even the air pressure.
The Bottomline: The live swell tracking is something rare and is not found easily in most apps. This makes it one of the most preferred surf forecast apps on the web for us.
Surf Forecast vs. Local Experience
These are the 5 surf forecast websites our experienced local surf guides use when choosing which spots to show our guests during their guided surf holidays. The sweetest part of having an experienced surf guide with you on your South African surf trip? Surfing the lesser-known, hidden gems that these surf forecast websites haven’t quite caught on to.
Get in touch to plan your surf holiday with South Africa Surf Tours today.