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El Capitan ratings
Quality on a good day: 4.0
Consistency of Surf: 1.8
Difficulty Level: 4.2
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.5

Overall: 2.4

See all 18 ratings

Based on 4 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

El Capitan Swell Statistics, All Year: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at El Capitan that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal year and is based upon 34628 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 the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. 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 62% of the time, equivalent to 226 days. Expect open water swells to exceed >3m (>10ft) 3% of the time (11 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that El Capitan is slightly protected from open water swells, we think that that clean surf can be found at El Capitan about 62% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 16% of the time. This is means that we expect 285 days with waves in a typical year, of which 226 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.