What’s the best surf report website? Surfline vs MagicSeaweed

What are the top surf report websites?

Most surfers check the status of their favorite surf break on the main surf report websites. The purpose of this article is to see which is to explain each surf report website. Seeing which is best for you to use before your next surf.

In this article you'll learn:

  • The benefits of each of the top surf report websites.
  • Which is best for your location in the world.

Surf report websites have come a long way. Back in the day, you had to listen to surf reports on the radio. If you missed the surf report for the day on the radio, there were phone numbers you could call to hear a recording of the daily surf report.

Things have definitely come a long way since surf reports became a need for surfers.

First up is the original surf report website, Surfline.


Since Surfline's 1985 debut, surfer behavior has been entirely transformed as a result of this product and craft. Part science, part art, and part pure data. As a Surfline user, you can now check swell predictions two weeks in advance, from any device. Yes, anywhere in the world.

Surfline is the first surf report website to develop the use of live cameras. Otherwise known as “surf cams”, In the beginnings, they were using a closed-circuit video security camera. Where every five minutes a computer program would take a single frame from the camera. Then upload it. Singe the “surf cam” inception in 1996, the Surfline network of cameras has grown to over 200. Increasing quality steadily to 4K.

With Surfline, you are able to check surf cams. Check daily surf reports. Look at the three-day surf forecast. All for free. However, with the premium membership, you're able to watch the surf cams without any ads interrupting you. Plus, see a 2-week surf report forecast. Also, you will gain additional insights about swells from Surfline's team of expert forecasters.

Surfline's benefits are in there easy to understand forecast summaries.

PRICING: Free for basic. $69.99 if paid annually, or $12.99 per month for Surfline Premium. They also offer 50% off for students and military.

Learn more about Surfline


MSW is the oldest, most popular and most detailed free long range surf forecast on the web. Whether you're a traveling pro, big wave rider, or just surf on the weekend. With a little effort, you can use MagicSeaweed to ride more of the right waves across the globe.

Every month 1.5 million surfers all over the world check MSW before they hit the beach.

MSW isn't about telling you where to go or when. Instead, it's providing you with the tools to become your own surf forecasting expert. With a little of your time and the help we provide, you can accurately make the call wherever you choose to surf.

MSW covers almost 3,000 beaches in 180 countries. After learning to forecast for your local break you can take MSW on your travels and get to the right spot at the right time wherever you may head. Whether you choose to surf Hawaii or surf Costa Rica, MagicSeaweed has a fine-tuned the forecast.

You can check webcams, the daily surf report, and view the ten-day surf forecast all for free. But with the pro membership, you can watch the surf cams advert-free, see a 16-day forecast, and gain additional insights and swell analysis by their team of expert forecasters.

MSW is a one t0 five-star rating system and it's color-coded live winds make it easy to assess the present and future conditions at a glance. But if you really want to better understand more about where waves come from and how they work, MagicSeaweed has loads of great information to bring you up to speed. They also have tons of historical data so you can look into swells of the past to better understand the swells of the future.

There is a free version and a premium version of MagicSeaweed.

Learn more about MagicSeaweed

Which is better? Surfline or MagicSeaweed?

While the surf cams are nice for surfing locally, it didn't matter too much while traveling.

Ultimately, we personally recommend MagicSeaweed. While traveling abroad, MagicSeaweed never felt like it was out of its element. They confidently cover the surf report for 3,000 beaches in 180 countries.

Also, if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you might want to check out our other list of the awesome apps for waves and beach apps.

Book Your Surf Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book your flight
Find a cheap flight by using Google Flights. They are our favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you're getting the best flight.

Book your surf hotel or surf accommodation
You can book a really unique and local place with AirBnB anywhere in the world. We used it recently in Sri Lanka to book a place withing a 3 minute walk to a surf break. If you want to stay somewhere other than an AirBnB, use Booking.com, as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, surf gear theft, and cancellations. Basically, you get protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a surf trip without it. We’ve been using World Nomads for close to ten years now.

Protect your personal data
When you travel, you're constantly logging into public Wi-Fi. VPNs are designed to protect all of your Internet traffic. This includes email, streaming music and video, voice calls, and anything else you can think of. We use ExpressVPN when we're on a surf trip.

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all those I use — and they’ll save you time and money too!