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Surf Guru Forum > Surfing > surf conditions View modes: 
User avatar - 9/19/2017 7:08:34 PM
surf conditions
Can any one explain to me what a ground swell is ? my understanding is , some kind of seismic activity far away is the only way a ground swell is created , Ive not heard of any earthquake ,but I keep hearing about ground swells in various surf forcasts ! or is this some kind of hillbilly slang ?

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BR - 1/31/2018 3:13:28 PM
RE:surf conditions

Welcome to the world of surf lingo. J In geology/oceanography you are correct a ground swell is cause by the ground moving.  But in the surfing world a ground swell means a swell with a longer period (~10 seconds or more) which generally means better formed/cleaner waves.  These swells tend to be created far away by storms and winds affecting a large "fetch" aka a large area of the Ocean and have time to organize well before landfall.  The other type of swell is a wind swell which has a shorter period, and is generated by winds closer to shore and creates a choppier wave.  It can be confusing lingo because both are created by wind.

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