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surf conditions

Understanding basic wave conditions will help you develop your skill and, along with common sense, can keep you out of trouble. following are brief descriptions of different wave and ocean fundamentals


Every surf break is affected by tides. some breaks work best on high tide while others prefer a low. Low tide occurs when the water level of the ocean drops. Waves on an outgoing tide tend to get hollower, which often causes them to dump more heavily onto shallower banks. High tide generally causes waves to get fatter as the run-in tide brings more water over the take-off zone. Every surf spot knowing which tide is best for your break will ensure you get the best out of every surf.


There are basically two types of winds that determine wave condition. Offshore winds make the waves smooth, help make them hollow and are the best for surf conditions. Onshore winds make the waves very choppy, messed-up and often wil and less fun to ride.

Wave Shapes

No two waves are ever identical but there are two basic wave shapes. Rolling waves are a result of a gradually sloping ocean floor. They're fatter and less tubing. Tubing waves are more suited to bodyboaring. They occur when a wave hits abruptly on a shallow bank, causing the crest to throw. A tubing wave has more power and generates more speed to propel the bodyboarder along.


Rips occur when a strong out-flowing current forms as the water from broken waves begins to funnel back out to sea. Usually, a deep channel appears next to a sandbank, and after a wave has finished washing along shore it's sucked back to sea. rips are dangerous as they can suck you out with the waves. The rule of practice when caught in a rip is to paddle accross the current until you escape its drag. Never paddle directly against a rip current as you will only tire yourself and be sucked further out to sea.