UNUSUAL ARTIFICIAL WAVES YOU MUST SEE
How to Know What Waves You Should Be Surfing
Finding the right waves is tough when you're new to surfing. But although the ocean can seem like an intimidating place, there is rhyme and reason to the way waves break. With a bit if practice, you'll be able to understand the wave conditions that create the best waves and choose the right ones to ride.
Understanding Good Wave Conditions
Find surfing spots with flat wave heights, low tides, and slow winds.Websites like Surfline () provide local surf locations, as well as the wave conditions of each day. Surfline suggests the height of the tide, the direction of the wind, weather, and other information that you can use to choose the right waves. For example, if you're a beginner, focus on flat wave heights, lower tides, and slower winds.
- As a rule, surf waves that are about as tall as your waist and no higher than your head.
- Although there are other sites like it, sticking with Surfline is a safe bet—it was written by professionals and contains accurate, trustworthy information.
Ride in locations with winds 20 knots or lower.Although winds create waves, ideally they do this far from your surfing spot. High winds can make water conditions more volatile and in turn more difficult to surf. Try to find regions with little or no wind—if you can find spots like this, you don't have to worry about wind direction.
- Sites like Surfline and local weather forecasts are the easiest ways to find wind speed in your area. Remember that 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) per hour is equal to 0.539 knots, so a good rule is to divide the wind speed in kilometers per hour by half to get the approximate wind speed in knots.
- Surfing in the morning and evening is best because the offshore winds—from the coast out to sea—are blowing. Anything up to 20 knots is ideal.
- If you're surfing in the afternoon during onshore winds—from sea to land—avoid regions above 10 knots.
Determine swell sizes to gauge the size of the surrounding waves.Swells are unbroken waves moving through the ocean, which break over shallow regions of the sea floor. Surf locations that are directly facing a swell will have waves roughly the size of the swell. For example, a 3 metre (9.8 ft) swell will create waves about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high.
- Surf reporting sites like Surfline are the best way to find swell sizes in popular surf spots.
- If your surf spot is facing another direction, such as northeast, and the swell is located 3 metres (9.8 ft) in the southeast direction, waves will be a bit less since they to move around a corner. In this case, the swell will probably create 1.5 metre (4.9 ft) waves.
Surf during low tide for gentle waves you can ride longer.In general, the lower the tide, the shallower the water near the location of the wave break. Conversely, high tides are usually indicative of deeper water and fuller waves.
- Exercise caution in shallow water and examine the ocean floor prior to surfing to look for corals and anything that could cause injury.
- Stick to surfing at low tide. Waves are usually more gentle at low tide and give you a longer ride. At high tide, they are shorter rides but more powerful.
Spotting Potential Waves
Watch for a bump on the horizon.The first sign of a wave is a bump on the horizon. This will eventually turn into a wave as it approaches the shore. At this point, it will turn into a left, right, closeout, or A-frame.
- "A-frames" have equal angles on both sides, while closeout waves have no slopes or angles and a wave line that runs parallel to the sky.
- Waves that peel to the left (right if you are facing the ocean from the beach) are called "left" waves. If they break from the right from the surfer's perspective, they are called "right" waves
Determine the wave direction by finding the steepest downward angle.The best way to find the steepest angle is to scan the horizon for waves. When a wave approaches, identify its highest point. The side with the steepest angle down is typically the direction you want to ride, as this is the direction the wave will peel. For instance, if the left side of the wave has the steepest angle, plan to surf the wave to the left.
- If you can't see a particularly steep angle, the wave will likely break too fast for you to ride.
- A split peak wave has an even angle on both sides, meaning it will break in both directions.
- Steeper slopes have slower wave peels. The less angle on the slope, the faster the wave will peel. If you're a beginner, focus on the steeper angled waves.
Look for waves with equal angles on both sides and surf them in any direction.When an incoming wave has equal angles on each of its sides, it's called a split peak, also known as an "A-frame." Each of the angles should look like an upside down "V." These waves break at both their right and left sides, meaning you can choose to travel either way when you are positioned in the peak of the wave.
- Prior to surfing an "A-frame," paddle into peak of the wave, stand up, and angle yourself toward the direction of the wave that you want to surf.
Focus on unbroken waves and avoid broken waves.A broken wave (or white wave) is one that has already broken or crumbled and is rolling in towards the beach. Focus on surfing unbroken or "green waves," which aren't yet too steep for you surf. If you can't yet see the white top part (or lip) of the wave crashing down to the water, the wave is still unbroken.
- Broken waves become too steep to catch—avoid attempting to surf them.
Choosing Suitable Waves
Approach beach breaks if you're still learning to surf.A beach break is a wave that breaks over the sand in the seabed. Because sand is so prone to shifting, the quality and shape of beach breaks can vary. You will find these waves are harder to predict and thus harder to paddle out to (as it's harder to find a channel where waves aren't breaking). However, they are typically short and the sand bottom provides a cushion that makes them relatively safe.
- Beach breaks are easily spotted because they are always breaking onto the beach, and are typically the most surfable waves for beginners.
- Take note of the areas that produce consistent waves, whether that means gentle and long or powerful and hollow. These are the regions that probably have stable, consistent sand banks.
- Keep an eye out for powerful beach breaks—although generally safer than rock-bottomed waves, they can still be dangerous.
- Beach waves tend to be consistent on a yearly basis. After this period, sand banks are prone to shift along with the nature of their beach waves.
Surf reef breaks once you're comfortable with your stance.Unlike beach breaks, reef waves break over a solid rock bottom. Since this bed of rock is typically permanent, the waves are much more consistent. However, they are also more dangerous due to the rock beneath them, which can lead to some serious injuries.
- Reef breaks are typically longer than beach breaks are can be spotted farther out in the ocean. Since they break due to underwater corals, they can often seem to appear out of nowhere.
- Always wear a helmet when you start out surfing reef breaks.
- Treat cuts from live corals immediately. Failing to treat them can lead to infection.
Surf point breaks if you're an intermediate or advanced surfer.Point breaks stem from water hitting a portion of land at a perpendicular or oblique angle, causing the wave to break around or along the land as opposed to straight towards it. These waves tend to peel much longer than other wave types, giving you more time to work with them. They're also great for experienced riders looking to learn to "read" waves and improve their style.
- Point breaks are typically very long and wrap around a headland or point before running along the coastline of a cove or bay.
- Point breaks occur over both rock and sand, meaning they can vary greatly in their form.
Surf slow waves to get more practice as a beginner.The speed of a wave hinges on how fast it transforms from a rolling swell into a broken wave, as well as how fast it breaks into a direction (right to left, or left to right). Since surfing involves riding the unbroken face of a wave, focus on slow waves to give you more time.
- Look for that are gentle and slow-rolling beach breaks, as opposed to fast, steep reef breaks.
Avoid surfing closeout waves.These waves can be identified by their wave line, which runs parallel to the sky. Since they have no slopes or angles, they will break at the same point across their face. It's almost impossible to surf these waves, so avoid them whenever possible.
- Even if you manage to ride a closeout, the wave will typically break after you ride it, forcing you to head towards the beach.
- Give the right of way to the first person on the wave.
- Surf as many waves as you can—properly judging waves requires experience!
- Before entering the ocean, study the area and identify any hazards or obstacles. Take note of the weather, submerged rocks, stingers washed onto the beach, crowds, and rips or currents.
- If you are going to surf at a beach with big rocks, try to surf away from them and not near them.
- If there is a dark spot in the water and there are seagulls around it, it's probably a school of fish. Do not surf the area until they're gone—sharks could be near.
- If there have been sting-ray or shark sightings, don't surf.
- If it's a stormy rainy day, don't surf.
Video: 360 Waves For Beginners 2015 HD
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