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Santa Monica Pier ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.8
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 2.2
Wind and Kite Surfing: 2.3
Crowds: 2.5

Overall: 3.2

See all 18 ratings

Based on 5 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Santa Monica Pier Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart describes the range of swells directed at Santa Monica Pier through a typical October, based on 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Santa Monica Pier. In this particular case the best grid node is 46 km away (29 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These were forecast only 9% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Santa Monica Pier and out to sea. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Santa Monica Pier, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Santa Monica Pier run for about 91% 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.