Surf forecasting: many websites and apps can help you plan your surf session or surf trip

The world's leading surf forecasting websites provide accurate wave and wind predictions that help wave riders plan their sessions and surf trips.

Modern surfers rely on online swell tracking systems and weather charts to get early alerts of significant swells and check ocean conditions live and in real time.

Today, surf reports are often accompanied by surf cams equipped with full panoramic features and rewind/replay options.

These highly technological platforms built on in-house supercomputer systems, complex algorithms, and multiple model forecasts can accurately tell when and where to get the waves of our lives.

These websites offer intuitive color-coded wave and wind directions, easy-to-read high-definition weather, and surf maps and charts to keep things simple for the average user.

The surf forecasting science comprises multiple variables already fully covered by the most reliable websites and apps.

Surf apps: real-time ocean conditions and forecasts on your smartphone | Photo: Surfline

Surf Science Computing

Once the data is collected from ocean buoys and weather stations, these online platforms can produce highly precise storm tracking systems, surf heights, and jetstream charts for a location, region, or continent, tide tables, determine air and sea temperatures, wind direction, primary and secondary swell directions, etc.

And if you need to get back in time, there's always the option to access historic forecast archives for yearly comparisons that could stretch back up to 30 years.

iOS and Android apps are bonuses that only make our surfing life more manageable and our experiences in the water richer.

Premium subscriptions for ad-free and unlimited time access to webcams, long-range surf forecasts, and other advanced meteorological tools

Ultimately, it's all about delivering the possible scenarios for wind and swell so you can enjoy unforgettable surfing sessions.

Take a look at the world's best and most comprehensive surf forecasting websites:

Surfline was founded in 1985 by Craig Masuoka, David Wilk, and Jerry Arnold.

The three Southern California surfers later partnered with Sean Collins, founder of pay-per-call surf forecast service Wave-Trak, and merged both businesses.

Today, Surfline is the world's largest surf forecast and surf cam website.

The company based in Huntington Beach provides real-time ocean and weather predictions to consumers, government agencies, and businesses worldwide.

Surfline/WaveTrak also owns and manages three similar web services - Magicseaweed, FishTrack, and Buoyweather.

The online surf forecasting service delivers daily surf reports from thousands of surf spots across the world, as well as cam rewind features that allow users to relive their best rides.

The staff of expert forecasters observe the conditions at multiple locations and then publish a morning write-up followed by an afternoon update.

The vast network of exclusive high-definition webcams is one of Surfline's most popular features, alongside the 17-day surf forecast.

Free access provides visitors with basic data and short surf cam streams. The premium membership plan starts at €4.99 per month.

Magicseaweed was founded in 2002 by Ben Freeston in Kingsbridge, England. On May 15, 2023, the website joined Surfline.

It presented itself as "the most detailed, free, long-range surf forecast on the web," covering around 200 countries and over 5,000 beaches.

The website provided four ocean conditions updates from thousands of breaks on the planet and was used to plan surf contests.

The swell, wind, and tide forecast data were fine-tuned by in-house surf forecasters and oceanographers, who now work under the Surfline umbrella.

Magicseaweed offered visitors 16-day wave forecasts using multiple weather models, advanced high-resolution charts, historic forecasts, and a global network of surf cams.

There was also a photo section, videos, hurricane tracking information, and detailed surf spot maps.

The pro membership started at €2.69 per month and unlocked unlimited webcam streaming, wave replays, spot calibration options, live wave buoy data, enhanced iOS and Android apps, and ad advertising-free browsing.


Windguru was founded in 2006 by Vaclav Hornik in the Czech Republic.

The digital weather forecast tool was primarily created for windsurfers before becoming an accurate all-around wind and swell forecasting online service.

Initially, Hornik spent most of the time developing predictions for European locations, but with the launch of Maui's forecast, the website grew exponentially.

Windguru adopted the model used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States and then fine-tuned it with more precise and detailed data and variables.

The platform is continuously being improved with reliable and up-to-date data predictions, graphs, and helpful features.

Windguru provides wind speed and direction, wave height and direction, swell period, air temperature, cloud cover percentage, precipitation probability, and tide data.

The brand also runs its own high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model for selected areas.

Windguru offers what is probably the most sophisticated wind forecast algorithm in the world, making it the number one go-to tool for windsurfers and kiteboarders, surfers, and fishing enthusiasts.

For €2.90 a month, the pro subscription grants users access to hourly forecasts of any location on Earth, Windguru's model mix, unique maps, archives, historic statistics, storm and pristine conditions alerts, and custom spot predictions.

Windguru has a reliable progressive web app (PWA) that doesn't require updates and works on any smartphone.

Swellnet was founded in 2002 by Ben Matson in Adelaide, Australia.

Matson launched the website to test several surf forecast techniques while studying meteorology at Flinders University.

Swellnet focuses its swell prediction and surf cam network on Australian territory.

The website estimates the surf size, tracks live winds and swell trains, and provides accurate tide times for the most famous surf spots.

The pro plan starts at $6.66 per month and unlocks ad-free browsing, dawn surf reports, forecaster notes, and long-range forecasts.

Windfinder was founded in Kiel, Germany, in 1999 by Edgar Widmann, Joe Schanz, Morten Rohlfes, and Oliver König.

It all started as an SMS-based service, making it what could probably be the world's first mobile phone surf forecasting company.

In 2000, the platform later introduced a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) feature before evolving into a high-resolution forecast service.

Today, Windfinder provides wind and weather forecasts for over 45,000 water sports locations, including beaches, lakes, marinas, and kite launch sites.

The website is also connected to a network of over 21,000 weather stations that deliver real-time wind measurements, air pressure and temperature, and other valuable meteorological data.

Windfinder offers both an interactive, animated weather forecast visualization map and an easy-to-read, graph-and-table-based service that allows riders to assess the conditions quickly.

There's also a weather data archive that dates back to 1999.

Windfinder released apps for iOS and Android devices.

The Windfinder Plus subscription offers additional services on top of the app's functionality, including wind alerts for when forecasts align with your predefined conditions, high-resolution hourly forecasts, wind and weather widgets, animated wind, temperature, and precipitation maps, and nearby webcams.

Windy was founded in 2014 by Ivo Lukačovič in Prague, Czech Republic.

It is a real-time, colorful meteorological map that uses the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model.

It features over 35 different phenomena, including weather radar and satellite data, wind measurements, rain and thunder analysis, humidity levels, cloud cover, visibility levels, primary and secondary swells, air quality, etc.

Windy aims to provide the best weather forecasting service on the planet.

For €1.6 per month, Windy Premium subscribers get detailed one-hour precise forecast data updated four times a day, access to a high-end network for faster data delivery, permission to commercial use, and Mercator and tridimensional globe projections.

Surf-forecast was founded in 1997 by Robert Davies, Rob McDonald, and Nick Russill in South Wales.

It is one of the four live weather websites, including Snow-forecast, Mountain-forecast, and Tide-forecast, created by the British team.

The surf-related forecasting platform provides ocean predictions, maps, reports, and alerts for over 7,000 surf breaks around the globe.

The website features detailed surf spot guides for each location and calculations for the best time of the year to score perfect waves.

Wisuki was founded in 2013 by Nicolas Dominguez-Staedke and Daniel V. in Madrid, Spain.

It is a Google-style surf spot forecasting service that helps users plan their water sports sessions, including surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing.

The platform provides wind, wave, and weather data and an option to find the best surf breaks based on your preferred conditions.

Wisuki promotes community interactions, and a quick search on your favorite spot will open a regional map with a list of nearby rideable locations.

The surf forecasting variables are immense.

They include wind orientation, interactive tide height and coefficients charts, multiple-hour data analysis intervals, wind, wave and weather alerts, forecast charts with a 10-minute resolution, water temperature, standard, satellite and hybrid radar map modes, buoy locations, moonrise and sunset times, statistics, and nearby surf cams.

Wisuki Pro provides unlimited access to all iOS and Android app features, like enhanced forecasts, radar and tidal charts, live webcams, and ad-free browsing.

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