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How to choose the right wave?

Updated: May 9

It is a struggle every surfer will face, especially in the beginning. You warm up, paddle in, and try to catch your first wave, but because you didn't catch it, the waves crash on you, and you wonder if you should have waited a little longer and observed the waves?

I thought the same thing, which is why I wanted to share some basic information about Waves that will enable you to choose better waves and greatly improve your surfing skills.

The purpose of this article is to summarize

the most essential information you need to know About waves and to help you catch more of them.

Let's dive in!

How to catch waves tamarindo, costa rica

What is a wave?

A wave is a power-generating source formed by the force of the wind in an area of the ocean. Waves are technically called fetch, but the creation of waves is much more complicated than that.

It is thanks to a wide range of factors that its creation can take place and it will also depend on that classification whether or not the waves are ideal for: surfing or are for practicing other water sports.

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The Wave Origin

The most traditional waves originate from the friction of the wind on the sea surface, since the wind pushes it, creating waves that offer resistance to the wind, which causes them to transform into increasingly larger undulations until their final break.

In this way, the most common waves will originate depending on 3 elements:

  • Strength of the wind

  • The time during which it is blowing

  • The oceanic area affected by that wind

The gravity of the earth also plays a fundamental role in this equation, since after the wind raises the surface of the sea, gravity pushes it back down, so as it rises and falls.

Classification of waves depending on their origin factor

  1. Origin of its structure:

  • Wind waves: are produced in a short distance from the coast and in a short time.

How to choose the right wave tamarindo,costa rica

  • Swell: start thousands of miles away from their breaking point.

how to choose the right wave tamarindo,costa rica

2. Breaking direction:

  • Right Waves: progressively break to the right

how to choose the right wave tamarindo,costa rica

  • Left Waves: progressively break to the left

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  • Mixed waves: break in both directions

how to choose the right wave tamarindo,costa rica
  • Closeout waves: the wave breaks completely at once. It has no wall and we cannot go anywhere in particular.