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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, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture illustrates the variation of swells directed at La FAE through a typical southern hemisphere spring and is based upon 8724 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 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 without 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 10% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, 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 biggest spokes, was SW (which was the same as the most common wind direction). Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La FAE and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at La FAE, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average southern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at La FAE run for about 90% 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.