WATCH: Morocco's First Swell of the Year

Tom Vaughan

by on

Updated 26d ago

The North Atlantic has been alive with swell recently, it's just the wind that hasn't exactly been playing ball for most of Europe. Well, that was until last week when the south of France went kind of nuts.

But now, it’s North Africa’s turn. Yeah, Morocco was pumping this week, the land of never ending rights rolled out the red carpet for 2023. A touch further north than surf hub of Taghazout and this hell point was spitting barrels all day long on Monday.

© 2023 - Vid: Amine Nader. Edit: Tom Vaughan.

You may have seen already, Charly Quivront in our recent France edit. He skipped the joint and headed straight for Morocco.

“This was my first time in Safi,” says Charly. “I made the call to come here at the last minute and straight after that France swell.

Yeah, these are the kind of January blues you want.

Yeah, these are the kind of January blues you want.

© 2023 - Francisco Antunes

"I was happy to fly down south to get some waves and escape the storm at home."

Yoni Klein was also there and bagged some standout waves from the swell.

"This swell was a bit smaller than the last significant one we've had here," said Yoni. "The wind was a bit cross-shore at the start but got a lot cleaner as the day went on.

Yoni on the charge.

Yoni on the charge.

© 2023 - Amine Nader

"There ended up being some really beautiful waves. There was a bit of a wait between sets but it was definitely worth being patient for.

"There was quite a big crowd but everyone was getting waves and everyone was stoked!"

Safi's port is one of five that makes up the national port strategy for 2030, which aims to turn Morocco into a major transport hub in the Mediterranean basin.

Safi's port is one of five that makes up the national port strategy for 2030, which aims to turn Morocco into a major transport hub in the Mediterranean basin.

© 2023 - Francisco Antunes

Photographer Francisco Antunes had a change of plans when checking the forecast for Morocco this week.

"I had my flight back home on Sunday but I decided to go to Safi for the swell," says Francisco. "That night, I decided to drive alone from Taghazout to Safi.

"The next morning I arrived at the beach before sunrise and a lot of people were already getting in. The tide wasn't the best but the waves were already breaking perfectly, I prepared my cameras and went looking for different angles.

As expected, the swell came up on Monday. May not have been the biggest, but when you’re looking at a heavy, giant avocado-shaped barrel, it doesn’t really matter.

As expected, the swell came up on Monday. May not have been the biggest, but when you’re looking at a heavy, giant avocado-shaped barrel, it doesn’t really matter.

© 2023 - Amine Nader

"The waves got better throughout the day and kept going until sunset. The vibe of Safi is amazing, the guys are super cool so I feel amazing when I am shooting there!

"Being in a city like this with the people and the culture feels like having the real Moroccan experience."


SWELL BREAKDOWN

MSW forecaster Jamie Bateman broke down this swell.

"The merging of a frontal wave, moving off the USA’s east coast and a cold front, moving southwards in the Labrador Sea produced a powerful, sub-950mb low pressure system mid-NATL Fri, Jan 6th through Sun, Jan 8.

The peak of this Morocco swell from Monday.

The peak of this Morocco swell from Monday.

"While the system took a less favourable NE track, a fetch of 40-45kts NW wind to the west of the centre were in place long enough to produce a solid, mid/long-period, WNW/NW swell, the forerunners of which began to filter into the Moroccan point breaks late in the day Sunday.

"The swell peaked Monday morning at 7ft@17secs then gradually faded through Tue/Wed moving more NW as the swell matured. The typical NE trade wind pattern was pushed to the south by a southerly placed jet stream which meant a diurnal wind pattern greeted this swell - morning offshores and light, onshore afternoon sea-breezes and an epic few days of surf."

Someone out there is having the greatest view of sunset they’ve likely ever seen. Take us with you!

Someone out there is having the greatest view of sunset they’ve likely ever seen. Take us with you!

© 2023 - Francisco Antunes

Want to see how Morocco is? We’ve got cams for that, take a tour around: Safi | Anchor Point | Killers |