Resources for Ocean Conditions


Surfline is probably your best single source of information on water conditions. First, it gives you live coverage of Tower 9 (from Pasea, world-famous hotel in HB). While you’ll have to put up with 15-seconds of ads for about 30 seconds of coverage, it’s worth it. You’ll be able to glean the wave height and frequency; light condition; shore current, by seeing the speed of the foam near the shore; and how many surfers are out there presently.

Second, Surfline also gives cool current vectors. They show primary, secondary, and tertiary swells. This helps you understand the strength of the waves. The more the vectors are lined up and the taller the waves, the stronger the current. Keep this in mind. The stronger current upon entering means you’re more likely to drift before you swim beyond the breakers.

Third, Surfline gives you a good estimate of water temp. They’re usually either accurate or 1-3 degrees warmer than actual water temp. It’s definitely better than no guide at all.

Fourth, Surfline shows you the tide and wave height. The tide is accurate; the wave height is harder to nail. Generally, it gives you an idea. If Surfline says 0-2 feet, those will be smaller waves. 2-4 feet indicates medium height waves. 4-6+ feet and you better have some experience, courage, or strong duck dives to make it beyond the breakers.

MagicSeaweed (MSW)

magic seaweed

MagicSeaweed is similar to Surfline. The major drawback is that MSW is too optimistic about their water temps. Magical Thinking for MagicSeaweed.

Otherwise, they have good diagrams of currents and wind. Also, they give you a free estimate of wave heights up to 7 days+ in advance. That’s quite generous and generally accurate.

MagicSeaweed will also give you forecasts of air temp, wind direction & strength, along with tides. This is sweet information. For free!

Daily Water Temp in Huntington Beach

Here are a few sites with estimates for current water temperature in HB:

Water Temperature

Sea Temperature

Surf Forecast

Water Temp

While they might provide slightly different temperatures, they’ve been accurate to within 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s accurate enough.

Final Notes

This should be enough to provide you with information to help you with your choice of gear for your swim today. Always err on the side of caution.

Good luck and enjoy your swimming!