Many of us think of taking surf vacations only during the summer and winter months, either to beat the heat or get out of the cold. What we don’t realize is, some of the best surf is during the fall months (September – November). We all know that California can have great fall surf with late south swells, off shore winds and cooler conditions, but these months can also be pretty fickle and you might spend weeks on end waiting for the next swell to arrive.
Many surf travel experts plan trips to Fiji during September, October or November, hoping to get those glassy conditions with early or late south swells. With the oceans going a bit berserk in this era of global warming, the South Pacific is now getting southern hemisphere swells year around.
New Zealand’s west coast gets most of the wind and rain this time of year, while the east coast is warm, dry and very often the winds are offshore. The ideal situation for the east coast this time of year is for tropical cyclones to spin down from the tropics and then sit a couple hundred miles offshore and push swell to the points and coves of the east coast.
South West swells tracking across Antarctica moving from below South Africa towards South West Australia are ideal for the Indonesian islands during our summer and fall. Although there can be swell year-round the season is typically thought of as March to November. Indonesia is not positioned to pick up any north swells. The islands of Rote, Nemberala, and surrounding pick-up all of these South swells during the summer and fall months.
So if you are looking to plan a fall time surf trip, just remember that there is plenty of good surf out there waiting to be ridden. For more information on seasons and conditions at some of the top surf destinations in the world you can check out the Waterways global surf conditions page.