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El Capitan ratings
Quality on a good day: 4.0
Consistency of Surf: 1.8
Difficulty Level: 4.2
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.5

Overall: 2.4

See all 18 ratings

Based on 4 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

El Capitan Surf Stats

All swells

(any wind direction)
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Good Surf

(light / offshore wind)

The rose diagram describes the combination of swells directed at El Capitan over a normal September. It is based on 2880 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about El Capitan, and at El Capitan the best grid node is 44 km away (27 miles). The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 18% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and highest 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 most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was W, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Capitan and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at El Capitan, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical September, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Capitan run for about 69% of the time.

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Also see El Capitan wind stats

Compare El Capitan with another surf break