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Butterbox ratings
Quality on a good day: 4.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.5

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Butterbox Swell Statistics, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure describes the combination of swells directed at Butterbox over a normal southern hemisphere summer. 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 shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Butterbox, and at Butterbox the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 44% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Butterbox and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Butterbox, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical southern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Butterbox run for about 56% 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.