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Castaways Beach Swell Statistics, May: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Castaways Beach that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal May. It is based on 2838 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SSE. 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 6% of the time, equivalent to 2 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to occur in a normal May but 5% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 5%, equivalent to (2 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that Castaways Beach is slightly protected from open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Castaways Beach about 6% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 50% of the time. This is means that we expect 17 days with waves in a typical May, of which 2 days should be surfable.

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.