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Surfing science: Dependent on weather, defined by the ocean – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-07-24 16:25:00 –

Ichinomiya, Japan >> The debut of Olympic surfing reveals that these wave riders are, to be exact, minors in the sciences of climatology, meteorology and oceanography.

Serious wave trackers are atmospheric science addicts by default. This is because few, if any, sports are defined by the ocean, which is literally a non-uniform stadium, depending on uncontrollable variables (weather).

Surfers are known to relentlessly study both in detail.

“Whenever the wind blows:’Which direction is the wind?'” Said Owen Wright, 31, who is competing for the Australian team. “When we just look at the weather and we know,’Oh, it’s nice and sunny,’ (the wind) probably doesn’t just go offshore. There is no such thing as “Oh, it’s raining”. It always has to do with what surfing looks like. “

At the Olympic Games, the organizers are preparing for at least three days of competition in eight days starting July 25th. Surf competitions are determined based on weather forecasts, wave heights, wind directions, tide movements, and tide movements. Among other scientific data points, temperature.

“Everyone who enters the ocean, whether a surfer or not, is an amateur meteorologist and marine scientist,” said Kurt Corte, surfline chief forecaster and official surfing forecaster for the Olympics. I am.

But the numbers can provide that much information. Meteorological data is only part of the equation that evaluates what the mighty ocean brings. This can change from 30 minutes of heat to 30 minutes of heat in competition.

Waves are created by the way swells interact with the contours of the bottom of the ocean. This is called a break. Beach breaks occur because sandbars can move over time or due to storms, such as the Olympic venue at Tsurigasaki Beach.

In a nutshell, competitive surfing is about deciding what waves to take and what to do, making the most of what the ocean brings. Surfers need to be ready and watch the waves continuously to best guess which wave to ride.

“How often do the waves come in? How many waves are there in the set? Which waves in the set provide the highest quality waves?”, Currently at the Surf School in Santa Cruz, California. Richard Schmidt, a retired professional surfer who runs it, said. “The first wave of the set tends to be a bit choppy, but the second and third waves are a bit better as the first wave of the set grooms the top. So watch the waves for a while and the quality is good. Understand where the waves first pick up. “

Surfline, a US-based surf prediction service, was essential to the International Surfing Association’s decision to make its Olympic debut at Tsurugasaki Beach, 90 miles east of Tokyo. The surfline has been investigating the local situation since 2015 and currently predicts that a typhoon will cause significant waves early in the competition.

Corte said he would go to the beach every day at 4am before sunrise to check and feel the situation. He advises ISA, the Olympic governing body, and event manager officials. Calls to advance the competition will be made daily by about 7 am on-site.

Despite hoping for typhoons, hurricanes and tropical cyclones to stay hundreds of miles offshore, surfers may be the only ones excited to hear about a big storm. They calculate where the storm hits and how fast they move, reverse engineer it, predict how many miles away from a particular beach, and determine when those ripples will reach the shore.

The current weather movements are a big win for the Olympics, given that Tsurigasaki is generally not known for its powerful waves. Beaches are popular for surfing in Japan, but they are not world-class places like Hawaii and Tahiti. According to Corte, Turigasaki usually provides the surfing conditions found on the North Carolina coast.

While many surfers have verbally expressed fear that their epic global debut will be slowed down by mediocre waves, Corte has made the world’s best athletes such a beautiful and visually stunning sport. Reject the idea that you may be disappointed.

“They take the wave that the average surfer may not even be able to surf and make it look incredible,” Corte said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to see surfing in any situation.”



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