Yes, there is swell on the way for Europe this weekend. This late season black blob will rifle into shore from Friday afternoon.
As with all things throughout the pandemic, check your local government's guidelines when it comes to any activities that you're unsure of.
With surfing allowed in many European countries, many are ready to get out at sea again. But with pulses like this, it's important to know your limits. Especially in the UK where there is currently no lifeguard cover on beaches.
If you're a beginner, it's best to avoid this swell. If you can get to the beach, safely, then it's more a spectacle than anything else. For everyone else, you'll know the sheltered spots across Europe that can hold waves of this magnitude, so make sure that if someone is in trouble, you're helping each other out. Surfers rescue more surfers than country's coastguard.
In southwest England, the swell arrives around the middle of Friday, with peak periods up to 19 secs at first, and wave heights increasing to eight or ten feet at exposed spots in west Cornwall. The swell tapers off over the weekend, with strong southwest winds at first, gradually decreasing and veering west by late Sunday.
In Biscay, the swell arrives from the west on Saturday, struggling to reach north-facing spots, but with wave heights up to about eight feet or so at westerly exposures, perhaps bigger in the far west. Winds are moderate or fresh north or northeast. The swell decreases quite quickly on Sunday, with light north or northeast winds.
With the bulk of the swell heading northeast, Portugal will receive a short-lived pulse of tangential swell, with wave heights up to eight feet or so from late Friday onwards, bigger at swell-magnets like Nazaré.
Spot guide: UK + Ireland
Here is how to surf responsibly.
Stay Local, Walk to the Beach
If you can walk to the beach, then do so. Across the globe, exercising once is encourage as long as your safe and sensible. But travelling to the beach via a vehicle is discouraged.
Something most of us want to do anyway, if you're going to go, find your own corner and make sure it's empty or a few people in. Sitting shoulder to shoulder at a busy beach is a no go and defeats the spirit of what our humble community is trying to achieve. Go early, if you need, but go alone.
Get In, Surf, Get Out
Don't high five your buds, don't hang around talking. Perhaps think about changing before you head out so you're not hanging around. Walking however far in a wetty isn't the most enticing of options, but it's sure better than loitering around a car park. Get out, go straight home.
All you need to make the call: SoCal
Be Prepared to Surf Sub Par Waves
Look, the northern hemi at this time of year are probably missing 2-3ft summer days – but be prepared to walk to the beach and surf something sub par. After all, it may be the only way to keep the fire alive.
Don't Bunch Up
This should be the rule no matter what but is wort repeating. Don't snake each other, just stay in position, surf where you are. There's no point hassling or having some clueless surfer think they can surf around you. It's not worth it. If it happens to you, just paddle away. Stay in your own head.
Know Your Limits
Now is not the time to push personal boundaries. If in doubt, don’t go out. If you can’t surf, now’s not the time to learn.
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