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El Canal Surf Stats

All swells

(any wind direction)
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Good Surf

(light / offshore wind)

This image describes the range of swells directed at El Canal through an average May, based on 2838 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about El Canal, and at El Canal the best grid node is 26 km away (16 miles). The rose diagram illustrates 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 occurred only 64% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). 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 NNE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Canal 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at El Canal, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Canal run for about 36% of the time.

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Also see El Canal wind stats

Compare El Canal with another surf break

Nearby location  blueNearest
Nearby location  blueNearest