How does MSW work?

MSW was set up over a decade ago with the sole aim of taking complicated meteorological and ocean data and interpretting it in a way that'd make it useful for predicting the surf. Hour by hour we collate and create data including:

  • Weather model data
  • Swell model data
  • Wave buoy data
  • Live wind data
  • User beach reports

The absolute centre piece of the website and service is the weather and swell model. Put as simply as possible this is a bit of computer software that takes a picture of the state of the atmosphere and oceans right now and uses some complex mathematics to predict how they will change over the next week or two. This same technology drives just about every modern weather forecast and it was the discovery of this data and it's usefulness to surfers that MSW used to help change the way we think about surf forecasting a decade ago. 

There's a more detailed look at how swell models work in our help section.

From gigabytes of complex raw data we create a simplified yet detailed forecast for your local break including every variable you could possibly need to work out exactly when to get in the water, what wetsuit to wear and what board to ride. From an hour by hour view of the swell size, period and direction, through wind speeds, weather and large area charts and maps to give an idea of what is coming and how storms are creating waves. 

Surf forecasting can be complicated, MSW can feel complicated at first, but all the information you need is here. Your job is to read a little, learn a little and practise a lot. The good news is practice is checking the forecast then heading to the beach - you'll soon get a feel (with the help we give) what to look for for the sort of waves you like to surf.