Santa Cruz, California
Wednesday Jul 30 2014
About Spot Forecasts
Spot forecasts summarize the surf conditions at each specific surfing location. The impact of weather (such as swell, wind, and tide) are factored into the calculation of these predictions. Spot forecasts are all you need to plan your surf.
Measuring surf is notoriously subjective, so we've gone to lengths to quantify our approach.
Size is measured on the face, meaning if Spitcast reports it as 4-6 feet, then it's CHEST TO HEAD HIGH. The upper bold black line on the chart indicates the upper wave height, and the lower bold black line indicates the lower wave height.
Shape is generally measured by the length of ride. 0-4 second rides are POOR, 5-10 second rides are FAIR, and 10+ second rides are GOOD. If the wave fattens out, we usually pause the clock, and if it's square and barreling we tend to bump the score up a level. A good rule of thumb is skip it if it's POOR, definitely try to find time to surf if it's FAIR, and drop what you're doing and head to the beach if it's GOOD.
Accurate predictions are our first priority and it's where we focus the majority of our time. These predictions should be reliably accurate, unless you see a gray background. That gray background indicates to you that we're not totally confident about this prediction, and we're still working on it.
Bottomline, these are predictions, so just like your local TV weatherman, they won't always be correct. But we've found them to be accurate more often then not. We rely on these spot forecasts to plan our surfs and believe you will find them useful as well.
Contact us if you ever find a spot forecast to be inaccurate. We want to hear about it.close