Water takes about 71 percent of the earth’s surface, and the waters are the best spots for surfers. If it were not for the waves, then there would not be a sport called surfing. But then again, how are the waves in the ocean formed? Some factors come into play during the formation of surfing waves, although the wind plays the greatest role. Sportsovernight.com has established the following factors as the primary engineers behind the formation of surfing waves.
- Tidal waves
There is a gravitational force on the moon pulling ocean water towards the moon. The stronger the force, the more the water withdraws from the coast hence a high tide. When the force is less, the water moves higher up the coastline. It is called the low tide. The moon’s force causes ocean waters to form waves that move to the. The size of the waves will depend on the strength of moon’s gravitational pull. The power of the pull usually varies as the Earth revolves around the sun with the strongest pull experienced when the earth, the moon, and the sun are aligned.
- Underwater explosions
Volcanic eruptions and gas explosions often occur under the surface of the ocean water. The explosions usually happen with a high force, and the force usually translates to waves that move to the ocean shores. Such underwater action often causes tsunamis. Tsunamis give some hint on the kind of effect the explosions under the sea surface produce. The waves often move to the surface of the ocean hence resulting in some of the giant waves in the ocean.
- Tectonic movements and landslides
According to scientists, the earth’s tectonic plates are in constant motion. The boundaries of the earth’s tectonic plates are in the oceans, and when they move, they produce enough force to generate ocean waves. The same applies when underwater landslides occur. The force generated is usually transmitted to the surface of the ocean resulting in the formation of waves.
- Beach Breaks
Beach breaks are the waves that break on the sandbars/the sandy seabed. A shallow sandy bottom, a groyne or a jetty creates them. They have differencesregarding their size, shape, and peaks because of sand shifts every day with every wave that hits the shore. The amount of sand at a particular beach, also, affects its properties. They usually have sandy bottoms and are less fierce which makes them ideal for the amateur surfers who are still in their early surfing days.
- Reef Breaks
When waves break on the shelves of a rock seabed or a coral reef lying along the beach, they result in waves called reef waves. Unlike the beach breaks, the reef breaks are usually more consistent when it comes to their peak location and their shape. Reef breaks can be quite phenomenal and pretty rewarding for a surfer. They are very long as compared to beach breaks. However, they can, also, be very unforgiving if you happen to wipe out badly. The coral reefs are usually not so deep in the water. So if you happen to fall off your surfboard, the injury is usually quite nasty.
- Point Break
Point breaks occur when waves break in a land section that juts out from the coast. When swells hit the shore from the right direction, they wrap around these points hence creating these epic waves. They usually have sand, rock and coral bottoms. They are considered by most surfers as the perfect waves as they provide a surfer with the longest ride on their surfboard. Under the right conditions, point breaks are very reliable.
- Standing river breaks
These are surfing waves created in creeks or fast flowing rivers. They allow the surfer to ride on their surfboard for several minutes while lying or standing in a stationary position. The formation of these waves takes place when the force of the moving water encounters the uneven surface of the riverbed. They, also, can be formed when a lake or a lagoon breaches into the sea. These kinds of waves are infrequent.
- Wind waves
When the wind blows over ocean’s water surface, friction between the water surface and the cohesive force between water particles cause the formation of waves. The stronger the wind is and the longer it blows over the surface of the ocean, the larger the wave will be. Most of the surfing waves are wind waves, especially those originating from deep in the sea.
- Ships waves
When oil tankers or large ships pass by, their large mass usually results in the formation of waves along the shoreline that can be surfed on. They are not common to find. They are not reliable either.
- Backwash and Sidewash waves
They result from the backwash of a wave. When the initial wave hits the shore or an obstacle along the shoreline, they sometimes result in a strong backwash that can form a wave that can be surfed on. Backwash and Sidewash occur pretty much in the same manner. They, at times, form in conjunction with the rips on beaches.