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Understanding Wind, Swell and Waves

Sun, sand and surf are some of the things that make Perth and WA such a fantastic place to live and gives us so many things to do.

When hiring your jet ski it's good to have an understanding of how to read the wind, waves and swell charts so you can get the most out of your jet ski experience. Some people want to search for the smoothest water for the most comfortable ride, while others want play about in the waves, all while avoiding dangerous conditions.

Live Swell and Wind Perth Perth WA

(Drag the arrow to your desired location to find the live Wind and Swell data)

Wind Perth

Swell Perth

 

It is good to understand the terminology:


A swell or groundswell is a series of waves generated by distant weather systems. Like a pebble being dropped in a pond causing a ripple, a distant storm on the open ocean creates swell which makes its way inshore.

 


A groundswell is a group of waves travelling from their original destination, their distance can be measured in seconds, known as the swell period. Whereas, a wind swell are waves caused by local wind.

 


Swell period is measured by the amount of time it takes for two consecutive waves to pass through a set point. The longer the swell periods the larger the beach waves.

 


The swell height is the average size of a group of waves. Measured from the trough to the peak, this is usually measured by ocean buoys.

 


A swell is a group of waves that have gathered energy over time and distance, having a period between crests of more than 10 seconds. Whilst a wave, is the movement of the water with a period between crests of less than 10 seconds.

 


Anytime the wind is below 20 km/h, the open water will be smooth almost anywhere in Perth. When the wind rises above this speed, seeking out protected corners based on wind direction is going to yield best results.

 


An offshore wind, is when the wind is blowing from the land to a body of water, so in Western Australia on the open ocean, an offshore wind is typically an easterly wind. However, in places like Rockingham, where the land faces north, the wind is offshore during the prevailing afternoon south westerly (Fremantle Doctor).

  

 

 

Flat-Ocean

Jet skiing on the Open Ocean

When you are looking for flat open oceans to ride our Sea-Doo jet skis, if launching from any north of the river boat ramps like Hillarys, or south of the river ramps like Mandurah or Port Kennedy, you would look for the swell to be below 0.7 metres at Rottnest Island, with an easterly wind. The open ocean is going to be smooth everywhere and you'll have an enormous playground to enjoy your jet ski adventure.

The same conditions apply when you are looking to tour around Carnac Island or Penguin Island, a favourite for customers on the Sea-Doo GTI.

When you are looking for some waves that are fun for playing in especially on the Sea-Doo Trixx, depending on your experience and confidence, you could look for around a 1 metre swell height with a longer swell period and offshore winds.

Jet skiing in Rockingham and Cockburn Sound

When jet skiing in Rockingham and Cockburn Sound, launching from any of the boat ramps from Point Peron to Woodman Point, you are sheltered by Garden Island from the swell so the winds coming from the west and southwest will create smoother water to ride on, as well as the easterlies.  

*If the winds are onshore and above 20 knots and swell height is above 1 metre it is advisable to seek calmer waters, either in the river, or in one of our local lakes. 

Jet skiing on the Swan River and Lakes

When launching the jet ski from any of the Swan River boat ramps or a lake, good conditions can be found most of the time when the wind speed is not too high, this is because you can find shelter from the land in different locations throughout the day. For example the south westerly winds make Point Walter perfect in the afternoons.

For a full list of boating ramps and lakes have a look at our Boating Guides and Ramps page.

Deckee App

We advise all our customers to download Deckee from the app store. Its free, supported by the Department of Transport and is one of the most comprehensive boating and weather apps available for Perth.


 

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