Best Surf Forecast Site / App ?????

What site or app do you find to be most accurate for surf forecasts?

I use three (surfline, magic seaweed and swell info). I find it frustrating though because they never agree and I don’t know which one to trust.

Given the driving distance I don’t like making a trip out to go surfing for the weekend and then getting there only to find conditions that were not anywhere near what the forecast said.

Granted I know that just like weather forecasts there is no guarantee of accuracy. I just never know which report to trust the most. This is frustrating because this is my go / no go criteria for making weekend trips.



Mixed bag - do it your self .
On the west coast the best surf forecasts come from a webpage called “swellwatch” , they are linked from surfing magazine page. The guy who does the forecasting is much more accurate than the National Weather Service for both swell, waves, wind and general weather conditions. He’s the guy pro surfers listen to when they want to catch huge waves at Killers, Cortez Banks or Mavericks. He located about 25 miles from me and is local forecast is usually spot on. Unfortunately he only does eastern pacific forecasts.

That being said, weather and waves can change dramatically in a short time as they near the coast so it’s best to look at the the swell and wind data from buoys that influence your local area and learn to read the data and look at the patterns of the winds and swell, and then do your own local forecast. The NOAA and NWS official forecasts for near shore and off shore are helpful but not usually very accurate locally. On the pacific we have the CDIP data page of current and recent past buoy data. That’s the best resource here.

Being connected (Facebook is good for that on the west coast) to other paddlers that live up and down the coast will also give you an idea as storms and swells come ashore at points distance from where you are but will move in your direction.

The last thing is go look at the coast a lot in the areas you will be paddling match what you know about the official forecasts, the buoy data and how that all works out on the coast line where you like to paddle.

Oh and Surflies and MagicSeaweed
Surfline here I believe looks at the swell watch forecast, they are never accurate at first and then modify to what Swellwatch is saying … locally called … Surflies

Here we have several off shore islands that block or focus the swell. Magicseaweed does not know they exist so they are practically worthless.


– Last Updated: Nov-09-14 2:37 PM EST –

you look at the various surf forecast sites, double check with the NOAA info, and show up at the break time and again to see how it all match up or don't.

That's putting in the time to be able to use all the info available to make the best call based on experience.

Only thing that beats that is to have a friend who is "local" to the break to actually text or call you in real time: "Yo, get your butt down here 'cause the swells are rolling in!" ;)


More Sources of Information = More Good
Magic Seaweed, Wind Finder, Wind Guru . . .

Magic Seawood for surf conditions near shore. Good 'ole NOAA website for open water conditions.

Surfside Cams
I often check out the local cams to get an idea of what conditions are like. Can suck if you’re stuck at work and it’s totally looking great.