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Mangawhai Heads ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.4
Consistency of Surf: 3.2
Difficulty Level: 2.9
Wind and Kite Surfing: 3.5
Crowds: 2.6

Overall: 3.4

See all 18 ratings

Based on 9 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Mangawhai Heads Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the combination of swells directed at Mangawhai Heads through a typical May and is based upon 2696 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Mangawhai Heads. In this particular case the best grid node is 37 km away (23 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 happened 38% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Mangawhai Heads and out to sea. 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 diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Mangawhai Heads, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Mangawhai Heads run for about 62% 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.