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La FAE ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 5.0
Difficulty Level: 1.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.5

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

La FAE Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart shows the range of swells directed at La FAE through a typical February and is based upon 2440 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about La FAE, and at La FAE the best grid node is 27 km away (17 miles).

The rose diagram shows 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 were forecast only 15% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.

The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La FAE and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at La FAE, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at La FAE run for about 85% 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.