If anyone has the authority to curate a list of the most impactful swell events in any given year, it’s Surfline.
Armed with every data point possible, they can use all of that information to make a “best of” edit like this one, which they’re calling “The Six Most Memorable Swells of 2023” — spanning both coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, Australia, Tahiti, and Africa.
“We always remember the good days,” says Surfline in the clip above. “But what makes a whole year of surf memorable? For this special Surfline video presentation, the whole team dug into 2023’s amazing array of swells across all the world’s coasts, and found six that somehow seemed to define a sometimes wild and sometimes very cool year. Check out January’s exploding low pressure system off California! Find out how and why the incredible Eddie Swell exceeded so many expectations at Waimea. Watch the effects of a tropical cyclone that caused one nation to pump, and another to drown. Shift with the seasons to the biggest Teahupo’o of the year, then to Hurricane Franklin, the well-traveled storm that sent surf from Florida to France. Then to the Southern Ocean bomb that closed out Jeffreys Bay and made what may have been the biggest single swell of 2023: 31 feet at 19 seconds!”
With El Nino in control of worldwide weather (at least for now), it’ll be interesting to see if 2024 can top this.
If this recent bomb east coast low is in any indication of swells to come, we’re in for a wild ride (literally) next year.
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