Swell eases, but fun still to be had in the surf
After a week of steady, solid swell from the east, (as predicted last week), this weekend looks much smaller.
Persistent nw-n-ne winds have done their work on the dying swell, making conditions poor as the wave size dropped.
Although the surf is smaller, rips and dangerous holes remain on many beaches. Caution is advised.
Here's what the weekend is looking like.
Agnes Water to Coolangatta
A trough moving north along the coast will change the early n to nw winds to a 15 to 20 knot se in the morning.
Waves on the open beaches will be in the 1 metre range but quality will depend on wind exposure.
As that wind swings to the se it'll be time to grab your longboard and head for the points.
The high temperature will be 26 degrees and rain isn't likely.
Gold Coasters will have n to nw winds to 15 knots early making the top end of the Coast fun at a metre or so.
The southern end will improve later, with the points liking the southerly change by late morning.
You'll also find partly cloudy skies and a slim chance of a thunderstorm with that change, and a top temp of 26 degrees.
Light winds early will make for fun conditions on the open beaches, with an uneven 1 metre swell creating opportunities.
The points will be poor until mid morning when the winds will rise from the se at 10 to 15 knots cleaning things up.
These winds are supposed to drop back into the afternoon, so keep an eye on the beaches for a possible late go-out.
Some clouds will persist but rain isn't much of a chance and the high temperature will be 25 degrees.
Surfers on the Gold Coast will awaken to light winds, glassy conditions and a metre of bumpy swell.
A sea breeze will rise through the morning, hitting 15 knots and staying there for the day. Time to find a protected corner.
No rain is expected and the high will be 24 degrees under partly cloudy skies.
Looks like a mixed bag of dying swell and varied winds for the weekend, crew, but there are opportunities. Get looking.
The chances of getting bitten by a shark are often likened to the chances of getting hit by lightning, not much.
But as surfers we all should recognise that we are entering a different world. One where many dangers do exist.
Minimising these dangers is your responsibility and should become part of your daily surf routine.
First, check the area you want to surf in. Study it for a while, looking for all rips and other dangers.
If there are numerous sea birds diving in that region, bait balls and obvious turbulence, give it a miss.
If you're a dawn or sunset surfer, understand that these are prime feeding times for sharks.
They also like to hang in areas where their prey congregate, such as river or creek mouths and the ends of rip banks.
We all recognise that these areas are often good for surfing too, but a little close examination can reduce your risks.
Sharks shouldn't dominate your thinking when your out trying to have a bit of fun.
However, they are there and you should always look out for the signs.
You'll probably never encounter one in your entire surfing career but if you do, paddle calmly in. Don't splash, don't panic.
Disclaimer: This forecast is prepared the previous Thursday. As conditions may change, it is always recommended that you take a good look before ever entering a surf zone.