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Whatipu ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.0

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Whatipu Swell Statistics, January: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Whatipu that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical January. It is based on 2868 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.

The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 20% of the time, equivalent to 6 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal January but 16% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 16%, equivalent to (5 days). Taking into account the ratio of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that Whatipu is slightly protected from open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at Whatipu about 20% of the time and that surf is messed up by onshore wind 52% of the time. This is means that we expect 22 days with waves in a typical January, of which 6 days should be surfable.

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.