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South Bird Rock ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 1.0
Crowds: 2.0

Overall: 2.5

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Surf Report Feed

South Bird Rock Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram shows the range of swells directed at South Bird Rock through a typical October. It is based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about South Bird Rock. In this particular case the best grid node is 29 km away (18 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 2% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from South Bird Rock and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at South Bird Rock, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at South Bird Rock 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.