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Whakatane Heads ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.5

Overall: 2.2

See all 18 ratings

Based on 5 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Whakatane Heads Swell Statistics, December: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram illustrates the combination of swells directed at Whakatane Heads through an average December. It is based on 2953 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 Whakatane Heads, and at Whakatane Heads the best grid node is 49 km away (30 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 27% of the time. Green and yellow represent 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 most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Whakatane Heads 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Whakatane Heads, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical December, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Whakatane Heads run for about 73% 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.