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Quik Pro Swell Incoming

by on Monday 30th September, 2013   8271 Visits   Comments

JASON 2 wave heights (blue) plotted against the MSW model (red). This satellite is accurate to a few centimetres.

With small swell on offer the Quiksilver Pro France has been enjoying a period of downtime. Fortunately there is swell on the horizon and it is forecast to peak on Wednesday, Oct 2.

How confident are we that the swell will arrive? The Jason 2 satellite overpass puts the swell to within a gnat’s crochet of the model output. i.e. the swell is in the water and heading towards Hossegor. Accurate to within a few centimetres, Jason 2, uses high-precision ocean altimetry to measure the distance between the satellite and the surface topography by bouncing a microwave pulse off the surface and timing how long it takes to return. This real life observation of the exact contours of the ocean’s hills and valleys is an invaluable tool for accurate surf forecasting. 

Accurate to within a few centimetres, Jason 2, uses high-precision ocean altimetry to measure the distance between the satellite and the surface topography by bouncing a microwave pulse off the surface and timing how long it takes to return.

“For the Quik Pro we are expecting the swell to build on Tuesday, becoming more consistent as the period drops and the size increases. With numbers around 6 to 8ft at 13 seconds it’ll be solid on the sets with potential for waves up to double overhead depending on the bank.” Says MSW Forecaster Ben Freeston “These numbers are also very similar to those we saw at the peak of the swell last year. The caveat is the direction, last year’s NW swell was about perfect compared to this swell’s much more westerly direction. That little extra angle to the abrupt sandbar at La Graviere can help things, although as we saw last year even at its best there’s a fine line between a closeout and a perfect beachbreak barrel.

“The outlook for local winds is much more favourable on Wednesday than it had looked. However a tendency for southerly airflow in the morning could mean a bit of onshore wind as we move on towards midday.”

2012 was about as good as it gets out at La Graviere. Remember the quarterfinals on the cusp of darkness with Kelly and Parko dropping into once-in-a-lifetime bombs? It’d be hard to live up to that, but at least there will be swell. 

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