Here is a bunch of info and resources for new surfers trying to demystify the art of knowing when and where the waves are going to be good. We've also included some travel resources if you're planning that surf trip you've always dreamed of. As far as resources go, there is a lot out there, but these are what we use and recommend.

One piece of advice...don't always count on the forecast. If you have time, go check it, see for yourself and get wet!

Surf Conditions and Forecasting Resources:

Pretty much the "go-to" site is Surfline.com. They have comprehensive forecasting models for most major spots around the world. They also have a good surf cam network. But remember, even if Surfline says it's flat, it may not be flat.
Go to Surfline.com

LA County Lifeguards have good cams for checking the surf at Zuma and Venice Beach. This is the best cam for Zuma.
Check the Zuma Beach Surf Cam

For LA surfers, the best cam on Sunset is from SunsetSurf.com. I also really like their Malibu Surfrider cam. Not a great site for the forecast.
Go to Sunsetsurf.com

The most accurate wind and weather forecast we've found to be Weather.com. Use the hour-by-hour to see when the wind will be switching.
Go to Weather.com

For checking swell direction and biggest spots, use the CDIP diagram. This is also a great visual to help understand where different swells will focus their energy.
Check the CDIP Southern California Swell Model


Magic Seaweed is good also but they are focused on Europe
Go to MagicSeaweed.com


Surf Spots and Travel:


To get info on surf spots around the world. WannaSurf has decent but not complete info one spots around the world. A fun place to dream of all the great surf spots to go to or if you are looking to find out about spots in a certain area.
Go to WannaSurf.com

Surf Travel Company that has a lot of options all around the world.
Go to Waterwaystravel.com

For vacations rental houses at surf spots around the world.
Go to Solikai.com

For all sorts of surf travel options.
Go to SurferLiving.com

For daily shots on the surf in Nicaragua. Fun place to dream of warm, tropical barrels.
Daily Surf Shots in Nicaragua