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Umhlanga ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.8
Consistency of Surf: 3.6
Difficulty Level: 3.2
Wind and Kite Surfing: 4.5
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.7

See all 18 ratings

Based on 7 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Umhlanga Swell Statistics, July: All Swell – Any Wind

This image illustrates the range of swells directed at Umhlanga over a normal July 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 shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Umhlanga. In this particular case the best grid node is 32 km away (20 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 were forecast only 21% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Umhlanga and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Umhlanga, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical July, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Umhlanga run for about 79% 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.