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Big Lefts ratings
Quality on a good day: 5.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 4.2

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Big Lefts Swell Statistics, Winter: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart illustrates the combination of swells directed at Big Lefts over a normal northern hemisphere winter. It is based on 8485 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Big Lefts. In the case of Big Lefts, the best grid node is 36 km away (22 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 94% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was S, whereas the the most common wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Big Lefts and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Big Lefts, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical northern hemisphere winter, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Big Lefts run for about 6% of the time.

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.

FEATURE UPDATE: we now show red swell icons for 'open sea' swells that are travelling in an unfavourable direction for the surf break. In places, these swells may still wrap around coastlines and produce smaller waves at some breaks. They are also significant for windsurfers and other water users that tend to venture further off-shore.