Skegs makes it easy to see what expected conditions will be like, because all our forecasts are colour coded to help make planning your water sports sessions easier. Our intelligent rating system looks at a range of weather and tide factors and provides a summary to guide you.
You can customise the Skegs Ratings to match your equipment, abilities and location by using our settings panel. Once saved, the settings will be applied every time you visit us.
The ratings we use:
|Good||Wind speeds and tide depth mean that this is a great opportunity to be on the water. Check that the wind gusts, rain and temperature are suited to your ability.|
|Windy||High wind speeds will make conditions difficult and potentially dangerous - consider
avoiding these times unless you are an expert.
Windy ratings ignore the tide, so be sure to check water depth.
|Low||Wind speeds are fine but the tide will be too shallow for most.|
|Calm||Tide depth is fine but winds are light. Time to get the kayak or SUP board out!|
|Poor||Very light or strong winds combine with low tide depth, making this a good time to leave your kit at home.|
The default Skegs Ratings are based on windspeeds of 8-20 mph (13-32 kph / 7-17 knots / F3-F5 Beaufort); the tide depth component is synthesized to take the location's tidal range into account.
Tide depth only forms part of the rating for locations where a tidal forecast is available.
Skegs also allows you to fine-tune the ratings using our flexible customisation options. These options can be set globally for all locations and then further customised to suit the characteristics of specific locations. The "Good" rating will only be used for times that meet all of your criteria; for times that don't, you will be advised as follows:
|Wind Dir||The predicted wind doesn't match your preferred direction. Useful for when you need an onshore breeze.|
|Wet||Rainfall predictions exceed the level that you're comfortable with.|
|Cold||The predicted temperature falls below your limit. A good option for our fair-weather fans or those who want to know when to wear their winter gear.|
|Cloudy||The cloud cover exceeds a percentage of your choosing. Especially for our sunshine lovers.|
|Flat||The swell size falls below a minimum level you've set. Useful for surfers who only
get out of bed for the big waves, or for those who prefer flatter conditions.
Available in swell forecast locations only.
|Waves||The swells are above a maximum level you've set. Useful for highlighting potentially
dangerous conditions -- or legendary ones depending on your sport, abilities and hero level.
Available in swell forecast locations only.
Skegs aims to provide a personalised service by assessing conditions for you, so all you need to worry about is making time to be on the water. The intelligent rating system on our forecast pages uses a range of factors to highlight the best times. Adjust them for your needs here.
Changing these values will tune the Skegs Ratings to match your abilities and equipment.
|Allow degrees either side|
|Max. cloud cover||%|
Select the items to show on forecasts:Tide depth (where available)
Skegs launched in late 2014 with the aim of bringing useful water sports information together in one place. Our founder, Steve Midgley, had become frustrated with the need to regularly consult various sources to build up a picture of the local sailing conditions. Being a keen sailor and windsurfer in the South of England, he found that it was imperative to understand not only what the wind and weather was expected to be like but also what the tide would be doing.
At Skegs we understand that sailors, surfers and other water sports enthusiasts need to know about water conditions as much as the weather. The tide depth, direction of flow and surf conditions can be just as important as the wind, temperature and rain. So we draw on the best information sources available to present a comprehensive and easy-to-use forecast for users across the globe.
We've found a growing interest in our products from inland sailors and have expanded our coverage beyond the coasts. We can provide weather-only forecasts for any location on the globe, so if you can't find your favourite inland spot please tell us which location you'd like to see and we'll add it for you as soon as we're able.
We provide a 7-day forecast for each of the locations that we cover. The times shown are local to that location.
Tide is an indication of the height of the tide at a point measured by the hydrographic services. It should be read in conjunction with your experience of the local area to determine how it reflects the minimium tide depth needed for your equipment.
The direction of the tide is indicated by a graphic as follows:
|Tide depth is increasing (flood / tide coming in).|
|Tide depth is decreasing (ebb / tide going out).|
|The tide will reach a low ebb and start to come in (change from ebb to flood).|
|The tide will peak and start to go out (change from flood to ebb).|
Tide depth can be shown either in meters or in feet and inches.
Occasionally, a change in tide direction can be followed by a depth that appears to go the wrong way. For example, you may see a symbol at 8am that says the tide will begin to come in, yet the depth at 9am is still lower. This occurs when the actual tide change happens late in the window, such as at 8:50. The symbol aligns with 8am for ease of reading, but the depth is lower at 9am as it is closer to the low water mark.
No tidal information is shown for inland locations.
The moon phase shows each day's stage of the 28-day lunar cycle. Full moon and new moon produce spring tides, which are stronger than the neap tides found during the first and last quarters. Spring tides bring higher highs, lower lows and a more pronounced flow. You can find a good explanation of the relationship between the moon and tides in Deborah Byrd's blog post on EarthSky from June 2015. We indicate the moon phases as follows:
|New moon||First quarter||Full moon||Last quarter|
Wind and Gust indicate the speed and steadiness of the wind. Wind speeds can be shown in miles per hour (mph), kilometers per hour (kph), knots (kts) or the Beaufort scale (Bf).
Wind Direction indicates the bearing that the wind is blowing on. The arrow points in the direction that the wind is heading, while the text indicates the compass point that it is blowing from. Wikipedia has a good page that explains wind direction conventions in more detail.
Temperature reflects the air temperature and can be shown using either the Celcius or Farenheit scales.
Cloud cover indicates the percentage of the sky obscured by cloud. The lower the number, the sunnier it should be.
Rain indicates the volume of precipitation expected in a one-hour period. Although we have opted to use the generic term of "rain", precipitation could also take the form of hail, sleet or snow. Please consider other factors such as temperature or whether your area is prone to thunder showers when planning your session. Rainfall can be shown using millimeters or inches.
Current shows the strength and prevailing direction of marine surface currents. The speed is shown using the same unit as the wind - kph, knots or mph (default). A good description of the relationship between currents and tides is available on Wikipedia.
Swell forecasts are available for many of our coastal locations and show the height of marine waves along with the mean direction of travel and the time in seconds between swells. The background colour's intensity indicates the swell height relative to the location's normal range. Deeper colours mean bigger waves, while lighter colours predict flatter water.
Barometric Pressure (shown as BP on the forecast) gives the level of atmospheric pressure, or the gravitational force of the air. Air pressure is a crude indicator of whether conditions are stable or likely to change. The value itself is fairly insignificant, what matters is the rate and direction of change. Generally, stormy conditions are associated with rapidly falling air pressure, while high steady values indicate clear skies with light winds.
The Overnight Summary is intended to give a sense of how the weather may affect conditions between the daily forecasts. For example, stormy winds overnight can whip up swell and chop, but would not otherwise be evident if the storm passes before daybreak. The wind factors shown are the minimum wind and maximum gusts. Temperature is the overnight low. Rainfall is the total forecast for the period.
Water temperature is a measure of the water surface temperature. We use the most recent 24-hours buoy and ship data combined with satellite geothermal imaging to provide the current average temperature value for each location.
Weather forecasters use a variety of instrumentation and data as a basis for constructing their forecasts. They then apply models to this data to provide a picture of what the weather is likely to do over a period of time. In most cases, short-term forecasts (up to two days) tend to be more accurate than longer-term ones. Of course, our forecasters don't control the weather, they simply try to read it. Sometimes they get it wrong due to other factors coming in to play that were not, or could not, be considered.
Tide predictions tend to be more reliable than weather forecasts as they are based primarily on the position of the moon, sun and Earth in relation to one another. These are stable factors that combine with the shape of the ocean basins and the swirl caused by Earth's rotation. This means that, for any coastal location on the planet, it is possible to predict with some degree of certainty when the tide will change direction and what the mean water depth will be at that point. However, there is still a degree of modelling needed to provide predictions between the high- and low-water marks, and geographical factors such as narrow channels may also influence the depth and strength of flow.
While we endeavour to provide you with the most accurate forecasts available, they are intended for recreational use only. Please take sensible precautions before going afloat and consider how you may respond should conditions not turn out as expected.
Our social media pages and feeds keep our community abreast of news relating to our products, as well as what's going on in the world of water sports and beyond. We share news and interesting stories with our growing online community, and we encourage our followers to share and get involved in the conversation.
Wikipedia defines a skeg, (skegg or skag) as a sternward extension of the keel of boats and ships which have a rudder mounted on the centre line. In more recent years, the name has been used for a fin on a surfboard that improves directional stability and to a moveable fin on a kayak which adjusts the boat's centre of lateral resistance (it moves the center of resistance relative to the center of effort). The term is also often used for the fin on water skis in the U.S. and for the tail bumpers of aircraft in the US Navy.
The word originates in the Scandinavian word for beard ("skegg" in Old Norse). In Icelandic the word remains skegg; in modern Norwegian Bokmål and Nynorsk it appears as skjegg; in Swedish it is skägg and in Danish, skæg. The Norwegian pronunciation of the letter combination "skj" is as in the English "sh".
The word is related to the English "shaggy". It also appears in the English place name Skegness - "beard point" - from the way in which a series of tombolos forms towards the nearby Gibraltar Point. Here the English pronunciation reflects a probable Danish origin, which pronounces the "sk" letter combination as an English speaker would expect.
Tide data is reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.ukho.gov.uk). © Crown Copyright and/or database rights.
© Commonwealth of Australia. This product is based on Bureau of Meteorology information that has subsequently been modified. The Bureau does not necessarily support or endorse, or have any connection with, the product. In respect of that part of the information which is sourced from the Bureau, and to the maximum extent permitted by law: (i) The Bureau makes no representation and gives no warranty of any kind whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise in respect to the availability, accuracy, currency, completeness, quality or reliability of the information or that the information will be fit for any particular purpose or will not infringe any third party Intellectual Property rights; and (ii) the Bureau's liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense resulting from use of, or reliance on, the information is entirely excluded.
Sourced from the LINZ Data Service and licensed by LINZ for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority's open data are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationel (CC BY 4.0) (www.kartverket.no). © Kartverket
Photo credits: C. Wilkinson
Printer icon courtesy of shlyapnikova.deviantart.com
Can't find your favourite location on Skegs? Tell us which location you'd like to see and we'll endeavour to add it for you as soon as we're able.
Having difficulty? You can report problems with our site by sending us an e-mail. While we have tried to make the Skegs service as robust as possible, things do occasionally go wrong. If you encountered an error, please describe what you were trying to do when the error occurred and what error message you received. If the forecasts for your location are grossly inaccurate we may have mapped it to the wrong source data - let us know the location and what the forecast is getting wrong.
Have a suggestion? We're interested to know about your experience with the service and how it can be made better. Please send us your ideas for future enhancements.