Summer is chugging along, and the southern hemisphere swell models are lit up like a Fourth of July fireworks show. Whether you are looking for user-friendly points, mega-barrels, or some off-the-beaten-path adventure, here are four zones you should consider this month.
June ended with a bang in Indo, where an active storm pattern has provided numerous solid-to-large swells already this season. While the first half of July won’t quite push into the XL range, we should see a non-stop run of Indian Ocean swell in the head-high to double-overhead range. In other words, it’s business as usual in surfing’s favourite playground.
Where to surf: Indo
Yes, we’ve mentioned Mexico every month since the spring equinox, and yes, we know that this might seem a bit repetitive—but you simply can’t argue with the consistency of North America’s largest south-facing coastline, particularly during a season that has seen endless swell pushing up from the South Pacific.
In July, we are looking at constant groundswell in the one- to two-times overhead range (depending on where you go), with a few pulses that could go even bigger at spots that magnify swell. To make things interesting, we are also entering the first active phase of the tropical swell season off the coast of Mexico, with two potential hurricanes forming up during the first week of July. Keep an eye on tropical swell and anomalous wind patterns, and you might just score something new in the same old place.
Spot guide: Baja, Mexico
When Tahiti gets south swell, Oahu usually does too—just a few days later and a few feet smaller. Chopes is looking at a nonstop barrage of large to XL swell as June ends and July begins, which means that Oahu will see an extended period of long-period south swell extending well into the second week of the month.
Supplementing what is turning into a pretty epic summer season in Hawaii are the aforementioned hurricanes forming up near Mexico, which could take a westerly track and bring tropical swell to the islands as early as next week. It isn’t often that serious swell chasers book tickets to Oahu during July, but if there were ever a time to do so, this is it.
Region guide: Hawaii
East-facing countries tend to get the short end of the stick in terms of swell, as storms on our planet generally follow a west-to-east track, sending swell toward west-facing coastlines. For this reason, Chile and Peru tend to host a lot more surf tourists than the countries to their east.
But ask local Gauchos Julian and Joaquin Azulay and they will tell you that Argentina actually has a number of good waves too, especially when anomalous lows form off the coast and blow swell backwards instead of east toward South Africa. It’s looking more and more likely that one of those systems is going to form up during the first week of July, a few days after Argentina hosts a full solar eclipse—a natural phenomenon that is reason enough in itself to pay the South American country a visit.
Spot guide: Argentina
Cover shot, Balangan up high from XL Swell