Surf reports: know before you go | Photo: Ingrid Taylar/Creative Commons

Surf reports are everywhere. Today, you can look at a report for a certain spot to anticipate the wind and wave conditions for the next few days. Forecasts are accurate, though not 100% perfect. With the help of open data provided by ocean buoys, the number of online surf reports has grown.

Some are more technical, while others are visual and graphic. There are two main types of surf reports: those that are mainly geared toward surfers and bodyboarders (wave and swell reports and forecasts), and those that target windsurfers and kitesurfers (wind speed and direction reports and forecasts). Both rely on a shared system of information in order to be reliable.

The most famous surf reports are those provided by our friends at Surfline and Windguru. Surfline's history has more than 20 years. Surf forecaster Sean Collins has developed a detailed, accurate and understandable model to use in order to predict the quality of the waves in just about every world surf spot.

Windguru is the creation of Vaclav Hornik, a windsurfer from the Czech Republic. The site features wind and wave forecasts for almost every spot in the world. Some say its predictions are better than those of the official national meteorological service. It provides excellent surf reports for all riders, and even fishermen.

Windfinder is also doing well. This German wind forecast model is growing and in constant upgrade.

SwellInfo, SwellWatch and Wavewatch present interesting visual forecast maps of the swell periods and significant wave height predictions for the next days. They're good to use if you want to catch a quick overall view of the best surf spots in your country.

Finally, Stormsurf is a great resource for big wave riders who wish to book flight tickets for the next hurricane hitting USA or Australia. Their marine weather data model is constantly being revamped and is regularly consulted during big wave surfing contests.

If you're a surfer or wind rider, take a look at SurferToday's global Wave Height and Wind Speed and Direction forecasts. Also, check the Surf Report directory.

Chapter #1 - The Surf Report Is An Accurate Maritime Forecast Tool

Chapter #2 - Ocean Buoys And Forecast Data For The Surf Reports

Chapter #3 - The Best Surf And Wind Reports In The World