Surfing the 7 seas The how-to guide

''The best surf website out there, 10/10 would recommend''- John John Florence, winner of the world surf championship, 2016
The Adriatic Sea

Ortona is a sleepy, coastal Italian town on the Central Adriatic coast on the eastern side of the peninsula. Same latitude as Rome. Maybe some of you remember Ortona from your grandfather’s WWII stories, as Ortona is known for the infamous Moro River Campaign – the worst battle between the Nazis and Allied Forces in the entire Italian Campaign. Think 3,000+ casualties during the winter of 1943-44. Brutal.

Moro River feeds into Renerelle Beach, and in front of the river mouth, in the smallest sea of the world, the Central Adriatic, with particular swell and wind conditions, it is possible to score quality surf. While an exhausting effort must be made, the local surf community charges it on regular basis every given swell. On an average year, there are roughly 60-70 days of surf-able swell, which is never enough for us.

The Mediterranean sea

Surfing in the Mediterranean Sea can seem idyllic, but it’s not. Weather reports and forecasts on the web are vital to find the best waves. During winter the Atlantic depressions bring unstable weather conditions and frequent cold fronts that cause the highest seas.

You have to drive endless miles of highways, main roads and country tracks before finding the right spot: sometimes you are lucky and you can get waves like the Atlantic ones, but more often than not you have to make do with whatever the sea can offer.

Mediterranean coastal waves run quickly along the shore and it is not easy to be in the right place at the right time. Wandering in search of adventure among the best waves is a happy kind of restlessness, bringing with it new enthusiasm for the undiscovered secrets of the Italian coastline.

The Black Sea

The Black Sea is a bit like the Great Lakes -- a limited fetch area -- so the kind of surf you will get there will be short period and peaky rather than the classic, lined-up groundswell you'd expect in the Atlantic or Pacific from a distant storm.

According to my colleagues in Italy who have some more specific information on surfing in the Black Sea, the fetch is longer than Sardegna in the Mediterranean, so there is surf. They don't know the names of any spots, but it works when a low is sitting on Russia. Apparently, a big ship wrecked three or four years ago because of waves up to 6 meters.

Still, you're right to be skeptical about the wave heights you find online. The typical public charts you see from the WAM model don't give any spectral information about the sea state, which means that if there are a lot of different wavelengths mixed up together (like you might get in a limited fetch area), then this tends to show up as overestimated wave heights on the charts. If it's really clean lined-up swell (from a distant storm in a large ocean), then the wave heights on the charts will be underestimated.

I've yet to get to the Black Sea on Surftrak, but clearly, there must be something to ride. My advice is, don't expect J-Bay, but pack a 6'2" anyway just in case the tennis conditions aren't favorable. I'm sure there'll be no crowds.

The Caspian Sea

Bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan and Iran to the south, the Caspian Sea isn't on your surfing bucket list. With thoughts to adding a forecast for the area to magicseaweed, it was rejected with the ideology that it would never be surfed, but British pro surfer Tom Butler, recently punched a longboard sized hole in that theory, albeit novelty shaped.

The Persian Gulf

Inconsistent swells and rampant coastal development make this area one of the more difficult in which to be a surfer and are among the reasons that the most famous spot here is a man-made wave pool. However setups do exist and a north – south fetch can offer fun warm water beach break surf.

Created By
mauro garay


Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Sea" • valtercirillo - "termoli molise italy" • djedj - "calanque marseille sea" • Unsplash - "sailing boat ocean open water" • Hamed Saber - "Welcome to the Other World @ Persian Gulf / Kish Island / Iran"

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