Beginner wave surfers: when and where to go surfing
Your first surf sessions are often accompanied by another lesson: decoding the weather conditions at sea. It is important to know how to read the surf forecasts published on specialised websites like https://www.surf-forecast.com/ and to master some basic notions, such as:
- Swell: it defines the size of the waves. For beginners, settle for waves less than 1 m.
- Wind: Offshore wind (blowing from land to sea) is excellent for surfing, because it carves and smooths the waves. The onshore wind (blowing from the sea to the land) on the other hand, flattens the waves and forms an unpleasant chop. A light offshore wind gives favourable conditions. As a rule, too much wind is never good for surfing. Too much offshore wind and you’ll be stuck at the top of the wave, too much onshore wind and the water will be too choppy and messy.
- Tide: generally, a rising tide brings better conditions to surf. But there are no fixed rules: ask the local surfers to find out how the spot works.
- Seasonality: Winter is the best season for surfing in Hong Kong. There is more swell and a mainly off-shore winds. In summer, there is much less swell: you can spend a week waiting for waves.