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Backdoor ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.5
Consistency of Surf: 5.0
Difficulty Level: 3.5
Wind and Kite Surfing: 5.0
Crowds: 2.5

Overall: 3.9

See all 18 ratings

Based on 2 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Backdoor Swell Statistics, May: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Backdoor that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical May. It is based on 2696 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was NW (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 14% of the time, equivalent to 4 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to happen in a normal May but 8% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 8%, equivalent to (2 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that Backdoor is exposed to open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Backdoor about 14% of the time and that surf is blown out by onshore wind 84% of the time. This is means that we expect 30 days with waves in a typical May, of which 4 days should be clean enough to surf.

IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.