What's the difference between Spot Reports, Spot Forecasts and Regional Forecasts?

We understand that different surfers may like to approach a forecast differently, with varying intentions. We want to help you make your own call. To that end, we provide multiple forecast views on Surfline, which all serve slightly different purposes and provide unique data sets in order to portray the complete forecast picture.

Spot page

The Spot page is where you'll find a 16-day forecast along with current conditions for a specific spot. It's where you can view a camera stream if the spot has one, or read the twice-daily written report, if provided by our team of forecasters. The spot page is also where you can view today's surf data for the exact spot that you're viewing. We provide surf, swell, wind, tide, and weather information across 24-hour or 16-day display windows.


Switch between the 16-day and 24-hour views




If we operate a cam from a spot, you will find it at the top of the Spot page.





Regional page

We also provide model data for surf, swell, wind, tide and weather on the Regional page, but with one very important difference: the data on this page is generated for a single point within a region, and not any specific spot in that region. This is why you may notice a discrepancy in the predicted conditions on a Spot and Regional page.

Since surf spots are greatly affected by the direction that a break faces, local bathymetry, swell angle, wind direction and more, there can be big differences in breaking-wave heights and the quality of the waves within a region, even amongst spots that are only a couple hundred yards from one another. 

Written Regional Forecast

"Best Bets" and "Forecast Highlights" are the first thing you see, in which our expert forecasters will help you quicky identify a surfable window in the near future and draw your attention to trends or events they are seeing across the extent of the forecast.


Best Bets and Forecast Highlights on the Perth Regional page

Below the Best Bet box, our expert forecasters rate AM/PM conditions for the week. The color of the boxes represents how good, bad, or ugly they think the surf will be, based on local winds, tides, other factors and backed by years of experience. Read more about our ratings of surf heights and quality. Inside those boxes they’ll give a description of current conditions and how things may develop.

After day 7, the boxes won't be colored because humans no longer provide ratings. Regional forecasted surf heights past 7-days are driven by our proprietary forecasting model, LOTUS.



Spot pages provide spot-specific informaiton. Regional pages cover larger areas with a similar wave climate, giving you a general idea of what the conditions will be like for the better, more exposed breaks in a region.

A "Report" will come from one of our expert human forecasters where available, and the extent of the "Forecast" is provided by our proprietary wave model, LOTUS. 

If you have any questions or comments on Surfline's forecasts, please contact support@surfline.com.

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