TAMARINDO SURF REPORT & FORECAST

Tamarindo Surf Tides offers all the vital information and forecasts for surfing in Tamarindo, Guanacaste.

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5 Day Surf Report & Forecast

This extended 5 day surf report forecast is courtesy of our friends at magicseaweed. It offers you the best report and forecast available for Tamarindo including a swell and wind forecast and a detailed daily breakdown of swell height, period and swell direction. If you are unsure what the numbers and colors in the forecast actually mean, you can find an explanation at the bottom of this page. But remember, it still is a forecast, and as it is based on mathematical modeling, real conditions could be significantly different.

Forecast Widgets courtesy of magicseaweed.com

HOW TO READ THE SURF REPORT & FORECAST

Surf:

The term “surf” is short for the average wave height when it breaks at Tamarindo beach. The waves we see at the beach start off as just small ripples moving along the ocean surface.

The physics behind how such a small ripple on the ocean is transformed into a surfable wave is not easy and depends on many different factors including the slope of the seabed, and obstructions, currents, winds and much more. This makes the surf or wave height forecast especially difficult. Not to mention that not all waves are going to be the same. Therefore, the wave height surf forecast should only be taken as a good indication for the average wave heights you can expect. 

Swell:

The term “swell” refers to a group of waves that travels along the ocean towards the beach. A swell consists of multiple waves, each of a different size and power and sometimes even heading into a slightly different direction. These waves will break when they hit Tamarindo beach, allowing you to surf.

The swell is sometimes divided up into different groups of swells, usually into the primary and secondary swell (and sometimes even the tertiary). The “primary swell” is the group of waves which will be the most powerful and largest and the forecast rating (the star rating) is based on this primary swell. For swells, we look at the wave height, the swell period and the swell direction to asses the surf conditions.

Wave height:

The wave height is the size of a wave, measured from the top of the wave, the peak, all the way to the lowest point, the through. Wave heights are expressed in feet or meters (depending on your preference). The average for a group of waves, a swell, is referred to as the swell height.

Other terms used to describe the wave heights are:

Ankle high                          1 foot / 0.30 m

Knee high                           2 feet /  0.60 m

Shoulder high                    4 feet  / 1.20 m

Head high                           5 feet / 1.50 m

Overhead                            6 – 8 feet / 1.80 – 2.40 m

Double Overhead              10 feet  / 3.00 m

 

Swell period:

The swell period is the time lapse between two successive waves to pass the same point. In other words, it tells you how quickly one waves follows the other. In general, the longer the swell period, the more powerful and larger the waves.

A swell period of less than 4 seconds will rarely produce a wave that you can ride. For good surfing conditions, look for a swell period of 7 – 12 seconds. Now once again, swell period is just one of the different elements that determine the quality of the waves out there! 

Swell direction:

It might sound obvious, but in order for you to have waves in Tamarindo, you need to have these ripples in the ocean moving towards the beach. The more the swell arrow is pointing straight to the beach, and the fewer obstacles, the better the local surf conditions. Since Tamarindo is located in a bay and has different breaks along its beach, don’t overlook this part of the surf forecast when selecting your surf spot!

Wind:

The wind forecast gives both the regular wind speed you can expect and the speed of wind gusts. For surfing, the gusts are especially important as strong gusts can deteriorate surfing conditions.

The wind is classified as on-shore and off-shore. As the names suggest, on-shore winds blow onto the beach and off-shore blows the opposite direction (so from the beach to the sea). In general, on-shore winds create choppy waves and lower quality surf conditions, so be sure to check for off-shore winds.

For Tamarindo, the off-shore wind direction is south-east (so the arrow pointing down and left). If the area behind the arrow is green, it means the winds are good, an orange area behind the arrow means strong to very strong wind, which means less favorable conditions. Finally, red means very strong to extremely strong winds, which results in very difficult surf conditions.

 
 
 
 

Tamarindo Surf Report and Swell Forecast

This forecast is courtesy of our friends of magicseaweed.com 

This forecast is courtesy of our friends of magicseaweed.com