What Are The Different Types Of Surfing Waves You Can Find?
If you live by the beach or are looking to take a vacation to the beach, you may very well be interested in the different types of surfing waves that may be near you. Surfing can really be exciting for you if you love the beach, the water, and waves. The splashes of water, the adrenaline rush, the sweep of the wind in your hair will certainly give you a high. Surfing is both adventurous and fun. You may be dying to get your board shorts on, grab a surfboard and have the time of your life.
There are different types of surfing waves you might be looking for. All of them in which you can surf on depending on the wind and swell direction. There is the beach breaks (all sand bottom), reef breaks (reef bottom), river mouths, and point break being (reef, rocks or sand) the best type of wave.
Waves can be dangerous and you must have the relevant expertise and skills to deal with the surf break you are looking to paddle out to. However, there are some key things you should take note of before you begin surfing on any day. These are as follows:
- Swells: You should know of this if you are really into surfing. The wind over the ocean gains speed and momentum. With the distance crossed, the energy of the wind increases. The swell becomes more organized. As a result, you get a more prominent surfing wave. You may be interested to know that there are two kinds of swells mainly-
- Groundswell: With this type of swell you can enjoy stellar waves when intense storms with strong winds strong affect the seas and produce swell lines that make their way to the shores.
- Wind swell: They happen when winds blow over the surface of the water near the shores creating wind swell waves. They are usually short waves for riding and the quality is inferior to the groundswell. For instance, the state of Florida gets mainly wind swells from hurricanes and depressions out of the Atlantic ocean.
- Refraction: When swells finally break out on the shallow water surface, the energy is eventually released. The energy becomes less concentrated on the shallow levels than at the deeper levels. This causes the swell to bend horizontally. The curve created is called refraction. You would be amazed to know that the refraction depends on the features of the landscape and how deep the sea floor is. You may have seen two kinds of refraction at surfing points.
- Convex: When the wave at the middle bends more towards the shoreline, rather than deeper wave the convex refraction is formed. The reason you can have some sometimes longer surf rides but less powerful waves is that of the convex refraction. The wind energy is spread over a larger area.
- Concave: Sometimes you would see waves with very prominent peaks. The wave from the side may look like a bowl to you. The deeper ends of the wave bend away from the shore. The swell actually bends more towards shore. This phenomenon is what you call concave refraction. The concave refraction produces excellent waves with peaks that you can ride to the left or right.
Best Waves To Learn To Surf On
Waves and currents are tricky to handle. If you are not properly trained, you may suffer an accident anytime during surfing. If you are a beginner, you should start to surf on waist high waves, or even just the whitewater. You should always go for beach breaks. You should be patient in learning to surf and make sure you understand the different types of surfing waves that you may encounter on your next trip.
Instead of learning to surf on your own and going through many tribulations of trial and error, you can instead take lessons from a professionally trained surfer. So, pay attention to your instructor when he is teaching you the basics of surfing. An instructor will tell you where you should stand on the board, and which wave at their local surf break to start surfing on. Also, go for an experienced guide rather than a novice guide. Reading books and articles on Surfing will also help you out in understanding the process of surfing. You will be able to learn it a lot better after watching YouTube tutorials but be careful and make sure you are getting the right information.
The surf breaks are not the same everywhere. You need to observe the specific surf spot you are looking to surf at, and even watch other people surfing there to get an idea of how the waves differ from somewhere else you have surfed in the past. Primarily there are four kinds of waves that you can surf on. Here are the following types of waves you can find around the world.
The size, shape, and peak of the waves you will notice vary from time to time due to the shifting of the sand. The beach breaks mean that the waves are crashing over a sandbar. The beach breaks are the best waves to surf on if you are new to surfing or just learning to do it. This is due to the sand being more forgiving than the reef once you fall on it.
Beach breaks, being the easiest to surf on for the beginners, can still be equally powerful in comparison to the reef breaks. You will find it interesting that the beach breaks have unpredictable breaks for the underlying sand moves as the swells and storms change them. The waves on these breaks can be hollow, gentle but at the same time powerful. Some notable beach breaks that may appeal to you are Huntington Beach, Hossegore beach of France, Trestles beach, etc.
The reef breaks are formed by a reef or a coral under water. The water will break due to the excessive depth at its surrounding and the formation of nearby coral reefs. You can surf on some superb waves on the reef breaks, however, be careful to not get injured. The reef which is below the water surface is very dangerous. Reef breaks are known to cause accidents or injuries. Be careful to not get infections from skin lacerations. You should wear a helmet depending on the wave size and power. Only if you are an experienced surfer, should you surf in reef breaks, otherwise do not. Some of the famous reef breaks that you will love are Ululate in Bali and Hawaii’s Pipeline.
River Mouth Waves
You will find the waves along the rivers. You will notice that these waves are predictable and will accumulate along the rivers in the form of sandbars. You will find many similarities between the point breaks and river mouth waves. You can surf on the River mouth waves as a beginner. The river waves are calm. You are less likely to get injured or hurt.
Point breaks can have different bottoms like coral, sand, or rocks. This type of break when the conditions are on point can cause a very long lasting wave as it wraps around a point and races down the coastline. This break gives everyone the best time to practice multiple maneuvers as you will have much more time on the wave.
When surfing point breaks you may notice more than one surfer on a single wave as the face opens up down the coastline. It is important to understand that this type of break can be difficult to catch a wave as you should be careful with rocks around the break. Known point breaks in Jeffreys Bay South Africa, Noosa in Australia, Sunzal in El Salvador, Puerto Escondido in Mexico.
As you can see, surfing is not an easy sport but anyone that considers taking some training from a professional will progress smoothly and learn much faster. Using proper surfing equipment with helmets and shoes is something that you should not take lightly if you are surfing in cold water with rocks around you.
You should also have done proper research on the place where you are surfing. The landscape of the area, the tides, the size of the swells, the bottom, and the temperature conditions of the place. You must have knowledge of when the sun rises, sets and the sun is at its peak in the area. The solar energy influences the wind energy. The wind energy, in turn, is an important factor that affects the waves.