Editor’s Note: This piece was done in partnership with Surf Forecasting.
You’ve been tracking this swell since it came on the radar two weeks ago, and it looks like your home break is going to be perfect. After falling asleep with tomorrow’s forecast open on your phone, you wake up to find that the 12-foot-at-16-seconds swell is messy and inconsistent. Maybe the information was too general, and what was true for the region isn’t true for your specific area or surf break. Maybe the tide was too high or too low. Forecasters take in an immense amount of information including the current conditions, historical information, and theoretical models to give us, the lay public, an idea of what the future might look like. And sometimes, they’re just wrong.
Well, here’s a dirty little secret. Your home break, the spot that you surf more than anywhere else in the world – you know that spot better than anyone at Magicseaweed or Surfline HQ. But chances are you don’t have the background to turn that knowledge of your surf spot into a full-fledged prediction of what the waves are going to look like tomorrow.
Enter Surf Forecasting, an online course designed to give you the knowledge that you need to make such predictions yourself. The class is intuitively designed, starting with the basics such as the science behind essential information on how swells form out at sea and interact with coastlines, and applying that knowledge to surfing and making surf predictions based on that knowledge and weather data.
I checked it out myself, and was blown away with the level of depth and knowledge provided in the course. One of my favorite nuggets of information that I learned was Valentijn’s explanation of wave refraction as it hits the coastline, and its implications for right or left handed waves, something I’ll definitely keep in mind next time I pull up a buoy report. The course is packed with general information useful for surf spots anywhere, as well as specific information for various surf regions across the globe such as the Pacific, Atlantic, and even smaller seas like the Mediterranean.
Easily knocked out over a weekend or more slowly digested at your own pace, the course is divided into six modules with three to five lessons per module for a total of about 10 hours of content. This includes video lessons, written summaries, infographics, and more. For an additional cost, gain access to live Q&As and one-on-one coaching to take your forecasting skills to the next level.
The course instructors, Valentijn and Laura, have years of experience forecasting waves, weather, and storms that they want to share with you. Valentijn has worked and studied marine forecasting in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and was recently the lead marine forecaster for one of the largest weather companies in the world. Laura refined her skills in Europe and Hawaii, where she studied tropical weather and storms. Since then, she’s worked as a meteorologist and weather presenter for multiple TV and radio channels across the globe.
Sign up here to learn everything you need to know about surf forecasting to make your own predictions and score perfect waves.