Over the past week Japan received a pounding from Super Typhoon Neoguri and only a few brave souls attempted the peak of the swell in an Okinawa corner. Taiwan, however, sitting south east of the typhoon's path hoovered-up the solid lines of groundswell generated by this system.
Off the coast of Japan and close to the centre of the typhoon the raw offshore data forecasts were showing an amazing 17.4m at midnight on July 10. That's 57ft of average sea height with an accompanying 100 kts of wind – making Neoguri the first Super Typhoon of the year. This isn't some abstract label attached to a really big storm, rather a typhoon which the JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) records as possessing average wind speed exceeding 100 kts (115 mph) over a 10 minute average.
Out of the direct line of destruction for the typhoon Taiwan saw light winds, fair weather and doubly stoked surfers as the swell from this system ran parallel to the island, providing waves on both coasts. The only dilemma was: where the hell do you surf amidst the plethora of uncrowded Taiwanese points?
Many users may be more familiar with hurricanes in the Atlantic than typhoons in the Pacific, which are often comparatively conservative in their frequency and scale. If there is Cat 3 blowing in the Atlantic you will know as the newswire will be trembling. Out in the Pacific they are a fact of life, and when the season gets going they roll through almost every week. Unsurprisingly there's another storm system set for next week this time directed towards Taiwan.
"The latest data shows that this next one will be a direct hit on Taiwan." Explains MSW forecasters Francisco Silva. "This new storm is set to arrive in about a week's time and it's still a bit too far in the future to get any real conclusions of its final track, so our advice is to keep checking the chart."
All images: Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com