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Photo: Federico Vanno/Liquid Barrel

Hey, it’s never too early to start thinking about Indonesia, as evidenced clearly by the photo above, taken yesterday.

“It was the awakening of the Island of the Gods,” said local photographer Federico Vanno. “2020 was full of waves in Indonesia. But since the end of December, we’ve had a heavy rainy season without any swells at all. And after long months of hibernation, it was time to wake up. And after seeing many large swells in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, finally we too were able to see with our eyes — and not through a computer or mobile phone screen — but live, and we were able to enjoy the emotion of being able to be back in the water again, breathe a sigh of relief and think: here’s the first swell of 2021 in Bali, knowing it will only be the beginning of a long season of waves.”

Watch: Dreamy, Early Season Nias

Surfline forecaster Jonathan Warren elaborates: “This is a perfect reason why we provide human forecasting for Bali/Indonesia year-round and not just during the high-season, like some of the other more seasonally limited places on earth. Although not nearly as vigorous and consistent as the winter, Bali sits in a great location to still receive good swell during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, and with the occasional solid pulse. This is why we deemed it the low-season, not the off-season — there is still plenty of swell to be had.

“By the end of October through early March, the monsoonal westerlies prevail most of the time, along with tons of rain. Therefore, the west side of the Bukit Peninsula – which hosts infamous spots such as Padang Padang and Uluwatu, will see onshore wind and poor conditions most of the time. But remember, it’s an island, which means these westerlies are offshore somewhere, such as the east side – home to spots like Keramas and the fickle racetrack pictured above.

“Now, given that nearly all of Bali’s swells of significance come from west of due south (as blocking Australia sits to their south), the swell window narrows for these east side spots to receive sizable energy. To best maximize the potential for more swell energy to pour into the Badung Straight — the deep channel between Bali and Nusa Penida — are South Indian Ocean storms tracking further south in latitude and/or developing in the eastern half of the basin. The storm that sent this latest pulse did both. Therefore, a more southerly angled SSW swell will approach the region and less shadowing will ensue by the Bukit Peninsula – shooting the narrow gap between West Oz and the Bukit Peninsula.

Know before you go — around the world and down the street

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SWELL SIGNATURE: 

STORM LOCATION/MOVEMENT: Eastward track across the lower latitudes of the Southern Ocean Feb 16th-20th

STRONGEST STORM WIND/SEAS: 40-60kts+ within the fetch aimed at Bali over the 17th-18th and seas upwards to 40-45 feet

PEAK STORM INTENSITY: Deep 932mb low flanked by 1024mb high on the 17th

SWELL TRAVEL TIME: About 6 days from peak of storm to peak of swell on Tuesday the…

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Read More: Good-Epic: Bali, February 23rd — Surfline

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