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Piha-The Bar ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.8
Consistency of Surf: 3.4
Difficulty Level: 3.6
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.8

Overall: 3.3

See all 18 ratings

Based on 5 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Piha-The Bar Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph illustrates the range of swells directed at Piha-The Bar through an average January and is based upon 2868 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Piha-The Bar, and at Piha-The Bar the best grid node is 6 km away (4 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 2% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Piha-The Bar and away from the coast. 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 Piha-The Bar, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Piha-The Bar run for about 98% 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.

FEATURE UPDATE: we now show red swell icons for 'open sea' swells that are travelling in an unfavourable direction for the surf break. In places, these swells may still wrap around coastlines and produce smaller waves at some breaks. They are also significant for windsurfers and other water users that tend to venture further off-shore.