Battle for the Ages! Duelling Swells About to Blow up Below the Equator

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 81d ago

  • Teahupoo's biggest day of the season so far is on the cards.
  • Meanwhile, southern Atlantic is alight, JBay and more to shine.
  • Both swells to spread waves across the southern hemisphere and beyond.
  • Could stretch to West Aus, Indo, Nicaragua, South Shore and more.
  • It's the duel we've all been waiting for, and it was only a matter of time before below the equator delivered it. The South Atlantic and South Pacific are about to rage together; two rival swells at the same time, two swells that'll send waves well beyond their place of birth. Below the equator is about to get rumbled.

    First up, a pulse of swell is set to soak South Africa from this evening onwards, head high plus waves on the forecast, perhaps beyond. This swell won't stop there though; it's due to enter the Indian Ocean and disperse, sending waves to West Australia and up to Indonesia too. Bali's actually getting a little separate licking right now. But more on that later.

    Tomorrow though, Teahupoo may get the biggest session of the season so far. But that wind. And that size. This could be more than just big Teahupoo, this could be harrowing pits of doom. Tow only, gigantic, wobbly craziness. It is a huge chunk of south Pacific boom, running up from Australia and New Zealand and about to blast Tahiti. The surfers on the ground are...nervous. As are the photographers, boat drivers.

    This won't be blue skies and smooth sailing though, the forecast is set for fresh wind and rain – so we could see Tahiti look somewhat gloomy and even more foreboding than usual. This swell will then march onwards, going to central America, California, Hawaii and everywhere in between.

    Don't worry though, we're going to bring you all the action throughout – yeah, we'll be going live from Teahupoo tomorrow and double yeah, we've got at least two sessions planned out of South Africa over the next couple of days. For now, let's give MSW's wave wizard Tony Butt some space to break this all down.

    JBay and Beyond – Will this Swell Reach Indo?

    This thing is only going to grow in POWER! And size, mostly size.

    This thing is only going to grow in POWER! And size, mostly size.

    Looking at the South Atlantic, this contained a storm southwest of South Africa on Sunday July 10 and there was another one developing further west, near South Georgia.

    Over the following 36 hours the second storm moved northeast and merged into the first, before the combined system got stronger and continued moving east. It is currently directly south of South Africa, with a huge area of gale-force west and southwest winds on its northern side.

    It will start showing on Saturday, by the way. Here's Padang Padang.

    It will start showing on Saturday, by the way. Here's Padang Padang.

    This is generating a large swell which is due to hit South Africa on Wednesday, adding an extra boost to a previous swell and pushing wave heights up to 15 feet or more at exposed spots. Jeffreys Bay will peak on Thursday and continue into Friday morning.

    This system then continues moving eastwards into the southern Indian Ocean, still pumping swell towards the northeast and east, before it finally weakens and disappears by the end of the week. The swell will spread out over the Indian Ocean, diminishing in size but containing very long-period components. It is expected to hit southwest Madagascar by late Thursday; Réunion and Mauritius by Friday, and then continue on towards Western Australia and Indonesia, arriving sometime early next week.

    Teahupoo Set For Biggest Day of the Season So Far – Swell to Spread Northwards After

    Hello, South Pacific kaboom. We've seen a lot of you recently, but never under the gaze of a South Atlantic pulse.

    Hello, South Pacific kaboom. We've seen a lot of you recently, but never under the gaze of a South Atlantic pulse.

    How this is starting? Well, two storms merged southeast of New Zealand. Then, this combined system got stronger and grew as it moved slowly eastwards. By late Sunday [July 10] it was half way across the South Pacific, and had developed a huge area of storm-force winds on its northwest side.

    The wind then moved NNE as the main system grew out into the open South Pacific and pushed up against a some high pressure to the west. This generated a massive pulse of swell, the bulk of which came alive towards the NNE, but also spread out towards the northeast and east.


    Us: "Hey Teahupoo, how big we talking here for tomorrow?"

    Teahupoo: "Yes."

    The swell hits Tahiti tomorrow, Wednesday July 13, filling in during the day and exceeding 15 feet with periods around 17 secs, before ramping down through Thursday and Friday. That's a lot of water.

    The swell then continues on into the South Pacific, hitting Chile and Peru around the end of the week, and eventually arriving in Central America and Mexico by early next week. It will diminish in size as it radiates out, but the super long periods contained within the swell (which arrive first) will enhance places like Puerto Escondido, aka Mexpipe.

    Can't get there? Don't worry, we'll take you... digitally that is: JBay | Teahupoo | Indo | Margaret River | Chile | Puerto Escondido |