What is LOTUS?

  • Updated

LOTUS is our proprietary global wave model. The successor of LOLA.

  • Surfline’s special blend of high-res bathymetry mapping and near-shore wave models.
  • Real time validation of model output using satellites & buoys.
  • 35 years of reports, 20 years of camera streams, all informed by machine learning to deliver spot-on forecasts worldwide.
  • Check out this video for a detailed explanation on LOTUS.

This forecast model combines cutting-edge prediction technology with NOAA’s Wavewatch III source code to give you more accurate wave forecasts.

We have been working over the past several years to dial-in this forecast model, and LOTUS aims to set the new standard for accuracy, reliability, and timing across a broader range of swell types and locations, discussed below.

Our Data Science team apply unique machine learning abilities to our global cam network, which in turn tune our forecasts with hour-by-hour accuracy. Our expert forecasters make multiple daily observations, adjusting the surf height & ratings based on what they're actually seeing, which teaches the model.



Accuracy isn’t a ‘feeling’ – it’s the result of measuring the gap between what you thought would happen and what did. At Surfline we’ve long solved this problem with a team of professional forecasters with decades of careful observation. If we say a new model is more accurate than an old one, we’ve actually measured that to be the case and measured it in a way that we believe makes it meaningful for surfers.


LOTUS is a significant upgrade to Surfline’s existing wave model, LOLA. We’ve reduced errors by over 25%. Surfers everywhere will see improvements but particular effort has been made for low and mid-period swells, which means it is more reliable on the US East Coast, as well as New South Wales and Queensland in Australia – areas that see regular wind or trade swell.


We’ve made significant improvements to predicting the arrival times of long-traveled swells. This is particularly relevant to surfers in Hawaii, California, and Indonesia. Where our previous model, LOLA, historically tended to under-call these events or miss the timing on the front edge, LOTUS pinpoints arrival times and wave heights with greater precision.

Give us your feedback

With more eyes on the water, the system only gets better. Write to our dedicated support team with your feedback, so we can use it to improve forecast quality for your favorite spots.

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