Where To Surf Print

You may notice that even though waves crash up and down the entire coast line, there are certain beaches that surfers can be seen day in and day out and other beaches where they’ll never be seen.  There’s usually good reason for this.  Not every wave is surfable and sometimes they’re outright dangerous.  You’ll want a wave that “peels off” in one direction or the other.  It takes specific conditions to make waves peel, mentioned below:

Beach Breaks

Beach breaks are ideal for beginners because of the gentle forms that waves take in the right conditions.  You’ll want a beach that is free of rocks so you don’t turn into Greg Brady in the famous “Brady’s Go to Hawaii” episode and hit your head on one.  Assuming a nice sandy bottom, the pounding waves will constantly alter that bottom such that the waves will react fairly differently over time.  Waves may consistently break to the left for a while and then to the right for another while, or break in both directions from the same spot.  Pay attention to be in the right place at the right time.

Point Breaks

Point breaks offer the most consistent and predictable waves.  They begin by breaking over a specific “point” be it a large rock out in the water, a jetty, or a curvy shore line jutting out into the middle of the swell’s direction.  The waves will break over and over again in the same place and “peel off” for a while.  These points will generate either a “right” or a “left”, meaning the wave will peel off in only that direction every single time.  Note that a right would break from left to right from the surfer’s perspective facing the shore, the opposite of the spectator’s perspective from the beach.  Point breaks may not be suitable for beginners depending on what makes that point break…rocks for example.

River Mouth

River mouths are fairly easy to spot, right?  Where the river meets the sea.  The sediments carried by that river tend to deposit on the sides of the river’s current, causing predictable sand bars that force another type of point break.  In Costa Rica and in other zones around the world, watch out that there aren’t crocodiles living in that river!  Seriously.

Reef Break

Reef breaks can come in rock or coral reef variations.  Basically the presence of the rock or reef makes the depth of the ocean floor rise up dramatically enough where waves are forced to curl over and break.  In more dramatic conditions, this is how barrels form.  Reef breaks are usually not suitable for beginners
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