How to read the surf report of Panama and the best time to surf in Morrillo.
Updated: Apr 24
This whole sport of surfing - a board, a leash, and a swimsuit. Seems so simple especially when I compare it to whitewater kayaking - my most favorite sport of all time. But underneath it all is a very complicated and exceedingly frustrating sport. There aren't many sports where everything is moving and you're not physically connected to the equipment. The water, the board, your feet, everything moves and every time you try to get up and surf a wave, it's totally different.
The height of the wave, the thickness, the steepness of it, the angle it's coming in, the time and size of the tides, the wind, the temperature, the speed, the shifting of the sand, and the weather not just where you are but across the ocean thousands of miles away affects the wave you are trying to ride. So, how do you possibly know when it's going to be a "good day?"
Yep, it's complicated and these surf reports take some time to get used to. Really, they only tell a small part of what a certain surf spot half way around the world needs and they all translate to something different for every spot so, how do you know when it's a good time to surf here, there, or anywhere?
It's a great question and one that we get asked all the time. It's not like looking at a weather report in the mountains to see that it's going to dump powder for a week and the skiing will be great. It's much more complicated than that and I'm not sure you've heard but surfers are a wee bit secretive.
Essentially, all you really need to know about Morrillo is that you can surf here every day of the year if you have the skills. Known as the most consistent area of Panama for year-round surf, we experience more days of big swells than we ever do small swells and just so you know, I love the small swells!
Morrillo Main (Carlos pictured above) a 20 minute walk from our bar can at times get too big and heavy to surf (below) but that's when it's good right out front of our resort - at beginner beach, a 2 minute paddle. Or, there are several other options within a 30 minute drive.
When looking at the surf report you see at the top, this is more of what our average days are here and it's really fun at 3-5ft. We get the most consistent off shore winds from December through April, our biggest swells tend to be from July through November, and most people say the best time of year to surf here is April through June.
So, it looks like again, we've covered the whole calendar. When't the best time to be here? Also, I really love it when there's more girls...calling all girls to please come surf with me and the few other gals in the area. The people are friendly, the vibes are good, and the beer is always cold.
Your Friends in Morrillo,
Cari and Ryan Mackey
Owners and Hosts
Morrillo Beach Eco Resort