Wavalien, help me!
Yesterday, I entered surfing spot A to practice, but I was scared because the waves were strong.
What is the right place for beginners to practice surfing?
Yesterday, at Surf Spot B, the waves were a little smaller, which was good for beginners to practice.
really? I should have gone to surfing spot B.
Waves are the reason why surfing is difficult. Waves change depending on the location, day and time of day. Beginners should practice in a place that suits their level.
How do I find a suitable surfing spot for beginners?
This time, I will tell you how to find a suitable wave for beginner practice.
Beach break (if there is a beach break)
Beach breaks have a sandy bottom. The waves break when the swells coming from offshore hit shallow areas. Beach breaks change the terrain as the sand on the seabed moves. Therefore, the shallow place (sand bar) where the wave breaks moves. Before entering the ocean, check where the waves are breaking. Compared to reefs with a hard seabed, the sandbars are softer, so the breaks in the waves are also softer. (Of course, depending on the conditions of the day, it is not always a soft break.) Since the seabed is sand, the probability of injury is low. Therefore, it is good for beginners’ practice.
Reef breaks have corals and rocks on the seabed. Since the terrain does not change, the waves break at about the same place. Since the seabed is hard, it firmly receives the force of the swell and breaks. Compared to beach breaks, the waves are stronger. (Of course, depending on the conditions of the day, the waves may not always be strong.) When you wipe out, you may get injured by coral or rocks. Not suitable for beginners. However, depending on the country or region, there may only be reef break surfing spots.
It is a surfing spot at the mouth of the river. Sediment flowing from upstream can accumulate and form a delta. The topography of the seabed is constantly changing. It is not always a delta, but its terrain is often kept to some extent. Diligent checks are required.
The swell hits the delta, creating a powerful and beautiful wave. The river mouse is dangerous because it has a strong current. Beginners should stay away.
Surfing is very dangerous. Practice with small waves at first. The power of the waves is stronger than the beginners can imagine. Even small waves can drown when you panic. Practice with small waves at first, then step up little by little as you improve. Small waves often have a weak current and are often safer than large waves. (Depending on the condition of the day, the current is not always weak because it is a small wave. Please be careful.)
Takeoff practice is very difficult on big waves. Smaller waves are better for takeoff practice.
I always practice with small waves. One day I entered a wave that was a little bigger than usual. However, the power of the waves was strong and I was very scared. Why does the power of the waves change so much even if the height of the waves is slightly different?
Even if the wave height is just a little high, the force will change drastically.
The reason is explained in the figure below.
To make the difference easier to understand, compare the 1feet and 2feet waves. The shape of the wave is simply represented by a triangle.
Is there anything you notice?
The higher the waves, the bigger the lower part of the waves.
To make it a little easier to understand, it is displayed as a square block.
I was surprised.
When the height of the wave is doubled, the area of the wave is quadrupled.
This figure is a simplified diagram. It is not an exact wave drawing. Even so, you understand that if the wave height doubles, the amount of water will not double, but will increase.
The figure is a plan view. However, the actual waves are three-dimensional. Not only vertical and horizontal, but also depth. Therefore, even if the wave height is slightly different, there is a big difference in the power of the wave.
Thank you. I could see the difference in wave height.
Waves with short wavelengths (weak waves)
The wavelength is the length of the top of the swell and the top of the next swell. The longer the wavelength, the stronger the wave.
For example, a wave with the same height of 1 feet will be stronger with a wave with a longer wavelength. Waves with short wavelengths are good for beginner practice. Waves with short wavelengths have weak power, so you can practice takeoff relatively safely.
It’s a little difficult to understand.
I will explain with a drawing.
The waves are moving from left to right. Wavelength is the length of A and B below.
Do you measure the length between waves? We can’t measure with majors, right?
Yes, that’s why it’s measured in time. Time required for the top of wave A to reach B. This is called the wave period. The unit is seconds.
Once you understand the wavelength, you will be able to select the wave that suits you. Below is the same 1feet wave, but with a different wavelength. The upper figure has a short wavelength of 5 seconds, and the lower figure has a long wavelength of 10 seconds.
I was very surprised. The height of the waves is the same 1 feet, but the size of the waves is different.
To make it a little easier to understand, it is displayed as a square block.
1feet 5sec Square×25
1feet 10sec Square×72
I found that the difference in wavelength affects the force of the waves. I’m a beginner, so I’ll avoid long wavelength days.
You will be able to make such a judgment. As you improve, you’ll love the longer wavelengths.
In my case, I check the wavelength of the day on the net in advance and select the surfboard to bring.
|Short Wavelengths||Long Wavelengths|
|Big waves are dangerous, but their power is weak compared to the height of the waves. Good for surfers who want to challenge big waves.||The waves are big and the power is strong. Very dangerous. For experts.|
|Medium waves||The force is relatively weak in the middle waves. |
A wave suitable for surfers who can take off with a small wave to step up.
|There is power for the height of the middle wave.|
Scary waves for beginners.
Intermediates may also feel the thrill.
|Small waves||It’s a small wave, and its power is weak. |
Great for beginners to practice for the first time.
|Powerful for small waves. Ideal for beginner practice.|
There is no current or it is weak
Current is very dangerous for beginners. There is no end to the cases of being swept away by the current and dying. Please be careful enough. In some cases, the current of the surfing spot has a certain direction. Find out in advance where the dangerous current is. Also, the current may change depending on the direction of the wind and the ebb and flow of the tide. Once in the sea, find a landmark on land. The landmarks are trees, mountain shapes, houses, etc. If you remember your position, you will be able to notice that it is flowing in the current.
No wind or weak
The wind affects the shape of the waves. Choosing a day or time when the wind is weak makes it easier to practice your takeoff because the shape of the waves is clean. Also, if you can take off, you may be able to ride long.
Surf forecast is a great site for getting surf wave information
It turns out that the wavelength is very important, not just the height of the waves.
How can I know the wavelength?
I will introduce it because there is a very good site. It is Surf-forecast. You can see the state of waves around the world. Wavelengths are also posted. If you look at this site, you can find waves for beginners.
Click the URL below.
You can get the following information:
Rating (10 max)
Wave Height (m) Wave direction
Wave Period(s) →Wavelengths
Wind (km / h)
High Tide / height (m)
Low Tide / height (m)
The link is
I have set the wave information for the surfing venue of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach (nickname Shida-Sita).
Choose a surfing spot in your country.
It’s a very convenient site. I’m sure it will be useful to you.
What ’s the best time of day to surf? Way surfers get up early.Why are the waves good in the morning? The following articles will answer your questions.