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Video: How to Read the Waves

learn to surf: how to read the waves

In the first of this how to surf video series, we look at how to read the waves and the ocean. If we can understand the subtleties of the shapes and curves of waves and water flow, we can use it to our advantage. We aim to learn to move with the water, rather than fight against it. It takes time and a lot of observation but it is a necessary skill in any surfers repertoire and something to always strive to improve. We start by looking. Looking hard. Finding patterns. Learning how to read the waves could be the difference between a great surf session or one to forget.

In the video we learn about some simple ocean shortcuts and observations like:

  • How wind affects the local texture of the water
  • How swell is created and what numbers we want to see in the forecast
  • Why tides are important in shaping the waves
  • The sea floor, known as bathymetry, and why it is perhaps the most influential

Introduction transcript:

“This is the ocean. Salty and wet. Before we can become good surfers, we need to have at least a basic understanding of how waves work. We need to learn to read the water.

We start in the beginning, with simple observation. What clues can we get just from looking at the water? Things that will give you an idea of whats happening on a given day because in surfing every day is different, and every waves is different. This is an unfamiliar world, and today thats what we’re gonna be talking about”



In the next video we will be looking closely at how to paddle. We will get into the water and get out the back. Then its on to catching waves, so stay tuned!

You can see all the videos in this series here

And subscribe to the youtube channel here

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