A great guide to surf forecasting and the science of waves.

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this book is written in understandable english and explains things very clearly.. it is both interesting and very informative and i would reccomend it to anybody wanting to understand some of the complexities of the wonderful surf we ride !”

nick clark, 8 Nov. Review is from Surf Science. Translate.
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This is the latest edition of Surf Science, revised and updated for 2014 with more information on forecasting in particular.

Written by Tony Butt

The best presented guide to the science behind waves that we've seen. Enough depth and detail for every surfer to gain a greater understanding of how waves work, without needing a degree in physics to follow the plot. Dr Tony Butt is not only a research oceanographer but a well respected big wave charger - probably the perfect person to explain the theory behind surf forecasting.

The book makes great use of colour photos and clear diagrams to get across complex topics like low-pressure formation, swell generation, refraction, tides, rips and much more.

We're really going to stick our necks out here and say this is the one book every surfer should read. You're simply not going to pick up a lot of this information with all the water time in the world - but with it you almost certainly are going to score more waves and have a better understanding of the ocean.

Here are some Questions and Answsers from the books author Tony Butt to give you more of an insight into the contents of the latest edition.

1. What's new in this book?

A lot of the changes are improvements to existing stuff in the last version, with clearer diagrams and better descriptions of the phenomena. The chapter on tides has changed quite a bit, going deeper into the subject, but of course keeping it nice and easy to understand. There is a totally new chapter on rips, which I thought was something lacking in the last version. The forecasting chapters have been totally revised and updated, because forecasting has evolved rapidly over the last few years. I have removed the chapters on wave climate and coastal morphology because these were covered in my 2009 book The Surfer's Guide to Waves, Coasts and Climates.

2. Why recreate it?

The previous version of the book is ten years old. Over that period you obviously get a lot of feedback and ideas, apart from the fact that topics such as wave forecasting go out of date. Surfing and surfers have changed a lot in the last ten years, so perhaps some of what was relevant then is not so relevant now.

3. What would you expect people to learn, do you have to be weather pro to read it?

People will learn how to get more out of their surfing experience. If you know a bit about where the waves come from and why they behave in a particular way, your experience in the water will be a richer one. It might help people to understand phenomena that they have wondered about for years, but have never found a clear, simple explanation not involving a whole load of nasty maths. This book has virtually no equations or hard-to-understand graphics, so of course you don't have to be a weather-pro or any other pro to read it. You just need to be a normal person with a touch of curiosity and a liking for the ocean.

4. How has model-based surf forecasting change your outlook in setting out to create the new chapters

Apart from a basic guide as to how to use the tools available, the new forecasting chapters explain the principles behind modern model-based forecasting, and how they relate to real characteristics of ocean waves. For example, understanding how a sea surface is comprised of a continuum of heights, periods and directions will help you understand subtle differences between one swell and another.  Surf forecasting is advancing very quickly so I avoid getting into the specific techniques of each forecasting website.

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  • gives short, concise, illustrated explainations of weather systems and wave generation, but it doesn't confuse the reader with technical jargon and complicated formulae.

    , 26 Jul 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • great

    , 27 Jul 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Helped my understanding of the waves!

    , 29 Jul 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very good book. Has the prefect blend of science, surfing and glossy pictures and diagrams.

    , 3 Aug 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • fairly easy to understand

    , 11 Aug 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very well written and easy to understand would defo recommend

    , 28 Aug 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • i haven't had time to read much yet but it looked good from skimming through it.

    , 30 Aug 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Excellent reading, and answers alot of the mind boggling questions!!!!

    , 2 Sep 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • on flicking through and reading parts of the chaptrs it's written in a really easy style to understand. would recommend if you wanna become a wave geek.

    , 5 Sep 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Excellent layout and broken down, easy to understand jargon.

    , 18 Sep 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Great book. Easy reading. Informative.

    , 25 Sep 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Nice to have a book which ties together science & leisure interest. Very informative.

    , 30 Sep 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • excellent resource manual for anyone who walks the walk and wants to talk the talk

    , 1 Oct 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Learning a lot from this book, key words are printed in bold with explanations in the glossery at the rear, so you choose how much technical knowledge you wish to take from this book.

    , 27 Oct 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • fantastic book I never realised their was so much to learn agbout the waves , absolutely fascinating

    , 30 Oct 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very good!...Give a great understanding in to how the ocean works.

    , 31 Oct 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • exactly what it says on the tin! perfect

    , 4 Nov 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • this book is written in understandable english and explains things very clearly.. it is both interesting and very informative and i would reccomend it to anybody wanting to understand some of the complexities of the wonderful surf we ride !

    , 8 Nov 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • was a present so havn't read it

    , 15 Nov 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Explains every thing very clearly.

    , 21 Nov 06. Review is for Surf Science.
  • very informative

    , 4 Jan 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • very dense book, a lot of knowledge in it, but very clear.

    , 29 Jan 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • I'm still reading it but so far so good

    , 26 Feb 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • excellent first time read but the true value for me is being able to refer back to the book as the different concepts become more relevant to my surfing

    , 27 Feb 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Has some techical stuff in it, but the combination of simple word desriptions and diagrams work really well

    , 21 Mar 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Really interesting and well set out!

    , 11 May 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Learnt more in the first few pages, than I could have imagined.

    , 22 May 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Great book!

    , 20 Jul 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • a book for every surfer to read.

    , 16 Aug 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Best book i have read in years

    , 16 Aug 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Looks great. Haven't read it yet.

    , 20 Aug 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • great book shame about the cost

    , 12 Sep 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • A very interesting book - bought it for my son who was very impressed. I've started to read it myself.

    , 18 Sep 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Excellent book! Easy to understand and it tells you everything you need to know.

    , 18 Sep 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Excellent service Delivered to me in perfect condition and immediately

    , 29 Sep 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • If you've ever wanted to know why the weather does what it does, and waves do what they do, then this is a great book.

    , 5 Nov 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • just started to read it, quite technical

    , 15 Nov 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very detailed, but interesting

    , 15 Nov 07. Review is for Surf Science.
  • The book was much much smaller than it seemed on the website...

    , 4 Jan 08. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Looks like just the ticket for building some extensive knowledge on waves.

    , 26 Mar 08. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very informative. Great if you have an inquisitive mind & want to know why the waves behave as they do.

    , 27 Mar 08. Review is for Surf Science.
  • really good, informative book

    , 7 Aug 08. Review is for Surf Science.
  • this really was the book i have been looking for a long time: Science about waves, writen in a way that not scientist can understand.

    , 1 Oct 08. Review is for Surf Science.
  • My boyfriend wanted this book for a long time and he says it's one of the best books he's read on the subject!

    , 8 Jan 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • A must read for any surfer, new or seasoned veteran. I can't believe i didn't read it sooner!

    , 8 Jan 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • not quite as comprehensive as expected

    , 9 Jan 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Not idiot proof. Assumes you know alot already like what an isobar is. Will have to revise my basic geography before trying to read it again.

    , 30 Jun 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very Usefull

    , 16 Oct 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • great link between the underlying theory and practical day-to-day surfing.

    , 8 Dec 09. Review is for Surf Science.
  • A must

    , 15 Apr 10. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Can't comment as it was a present.

    , 9 Aug 10. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Very interesting book and helps you to understand the mystical behaviour of ocean.

    , 8 Mar 11. Review is for Surf Science.
  • exactly what I needed. A clear explanation about the science behind the waves.

    , 11 Jul 11. Review is for Surf Science.
  • To help with sons college course - surf science + technology. He reports very useful

    , 9 Jan 12. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Really thourough and well explained. Didn't realise there was so much to waves

    , 14 Jan 13. Review is for Surf Science.
  • Great and easy to read whilst still going into detail

    , 29 May 14. Review is for Surf Science.

Average rating of 4 from 154 ratings.

All reviews are from customers who have bought this product from Magicseaweed. We show the average rating for all reviews but only display here reviews left with a comment. We show all reviews positive and negative, although do bear in mind customers less than completely happy with their order will have had the opportunity of a refund or replacement on all products up to 28 days after receiving an order and submitting a review.

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