Mini guide to surfing with Windy.app

Mini guide to surfing with Windy.app

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Learn about the five most important things about weather forecasting for surfing with Windy.app for iOS.

1. Find a surf spot near your location and create a route to it

The Windy.app contains a huge database of thousands of both the most popular and less known spots that only local surfers know about. The database is constantly updated and corrected for possible inaccuracies. This means that you can be sure to find the best waves in the app. Let's take the popular Nazare surf spot on the west coast of Portugal near Lisbon as an example.

To find the closest surf spot to you, first of all, activate the geolocation function in the general Settings of the app. Then you can find a spot in two ways: via Search on the app's Home screen and on the Weather map where you can also use the search or you can find spots via the surfboard icons. To get this done faster, hide the rest of the spots in the Advanced Settings of this map.

Spot search on the Home screen of the Windy.app for iOS

Spot search on the Weather map in the Windy.app for iOS

Showing and hiding spots on the Weather map in the Windy.app for iOS

The app also allows you to navigate to a spot using one of two popular map services: Apple Maps or Google Maps. To create a route, go to the page of the spot and click on the three-dot icon to the right of its name.

Route to spot feature in the Windy.app for iOS

Route to spot feature in the Windy.app for iOS

2. Activate Surf Weather Profile and read the detailed and accurate swell forecast

The Surf Weather Profile is one of 10 profiles with a set of ready-to-use weather elements for different sports and outdoor activities. Activate it through the icon to the right of the list of weather models.

Surf Weather Profile preview in the Windy.app for iOS

The profile contains a detailed and accurate swell forecast that includes all the basic waves elements without which it is impossible to surf, namely swell size (or swell height), swell direction, swell period and swell energy. Learn how to read the swell forecast in a separate blog article.

Swell forecast in the Surf Weather Profile in the Windy.app for iOS

In addition to this in the profile, you also get data about sea currents, water temperature, tides, wind, and other things.

Swell forecast in the Surf Weather Profile in the Windy.app for iOS

3. Get information and tips about the spot from the local surfers

On the screen of each surf spot, you will also find a section called “Spot Info”. This is a kind of mini-database inside the spots database, which contains the main non-weather parameters of the spot itself.

Spot info section in the Windy.app for iOS

Spot info for Nazare surfing spot in the Windy.app for iOS

Open the section to find out which season this particular surf spot has the best waves as well as the information about the seabed, best tides, working swell and wind directions, type of break, wave height range, and traffic (how crowded it is). The section also includes photos of the spot. There is also similar data for other popular sports and outdoor activities on this spot. For example, surf spots are often also good spots for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

In addition to this information, you can ask and get specific advice from surfers on the spot about the best times to ride and more. To do this, go to the spot’s Chat by clicking on its avatar — the round icon to the left of the spot’s name. If the spot does not have its own chat, you will get into the chat of the nearest larger spot.

Photos of the Nazare surfing spot in the Windy.app Community

4. Rent surfboard and wetsuit and get other services at the spot, including surf lessons

The app also contains a database of small and large companies and individual entrepreneurs that provide various services to outdoor enthusiasts directly at or near the spots. By going to the Services section under the forecast table, you will find a list of them. As with the Weather map, to speed up your search, use the filters in Settings, selecting only the services you need.

For example, for surf spots like Nazare, you can find accommodation or book a transfer from the city or airport if you don’t have your own car, rent a surfboard and a wetsuit (in Portugal where the ocean is cold you almost always need one) and other equipment. There may also be restaurants and other services at the base.

With the same section, you can actually learn how to surf if you choose a surf school and contact them using the contacts listed.

Services on the Nazare surfing spot in the Windy.app for iOS

5. Look at the bigger waves picture on the Swell map and find other nearest surf spots

Sometimes the weather forecast and spot information are not enough — you need a big picture. And the Windy.app also has it.

To get an overview of the Swell for a larger area, go from the spot page or from the app's Home screen to the same Weather map and select the Swell layer. You now see a Live swell map for the entire world. Zoom in and out of the map to make it more or less detailed. Read a separate tutorial on how to read the Swell map in the Windy.app. The map is also active in Android version of the app.

On the Weather map you can also find other nearby surf spots and take a look at all the surf locations in the country. Use the same Advanced Settings of the map to do this.

Swell map in the Windy.app for iOS

Swell map in the Windy.app for iOS

Read mini guides to other sports with Windy.app.

 

Text: Ivan Kuznetsov, an outdoor journalist, editor and writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland, with 10 years of professional experience. His favorite sports are hiking, cycling and sauna. Read his other articles

Cover photo: Tim Marshall / Unsplash

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