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Third Reef ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.0

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Third Reef Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram illustrates the variation of swells directed at Third Reef through a typical October and is based upon 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 Third Reef. In this particular case the best grid node is 36 km away (22 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 8% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Third Reef and offshore. We combine these 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 Third Reef, 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 Third Reef run for about 92% 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.