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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, June: All Swell – Any Wind

This image shows the combination of swells directed at El Capitan over a normal June, based on 2306 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about El Capitan, and at El Capitan the best grid node is 44 km away (27 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 18% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Capitan and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at El Capitan, 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 June, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Capitan run for about 77% 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.