Surf Science: These are the Breaks

August 04, 2017

Paddle, paddle harder! Head up! Pop-up! 

Surfing looks easy.  In reality, it's a complex sport, because there are many factors to take into account when you're riding a wave. First, you have to master the balance and the mechanics.  Then you have to adjust to what the ocean is doing.  Ocean conditions are always changing and every wave breaks differently.

How do the pros make it look so easy? Two words: wave knowledge. With all the hours racked up in the water, advanced surfers can read and adjust to the changing conditions.

So let's learn about waves.  We know, you thought a wave was just a wave... In our last Surf Science post we talked about how waves are made.Now we're going to cover WHERE they break - different types of surf breaks.  There are 3 main types:  Beach breaks, Point Breaks and Reef Breaks.

Beach: These breaks are waves that break on sand. Wave shape, size, and peak location at beach breaks can vary significantly from day to day as the sand shifts. This type of wave is the best to start surfing on because of the sandy bottom.   If you hit bottom, you won't get hurt by a reef or a rock!  Some of our favorite beach breaks are Playa Avellanas and Rockaway.


Point: Point breaks are simply areas where waves break on a section of land that juts out from shore. When swells come from the right direction, they will wrap around these points to create epic waves. Some of the most consistent spots in the world, with the best-shaped waves and the longest rides, are point breaks. Team rider Kristen's favorite point break is Ollie's Point.10341753_667932533255329_6581763324860072694_n

Malibu: textbook right-hand point break

Reef: Reef breaks are waves that break on shelves of rock or coral. Unlike beach breaks, reef breaks are much more consistent in terms of wave shape and peak location. Most importantly for surfers, reefs can create phenomenal waves. Reef breaks are recommended for advanced surfers since the wave is breaking over rock or coral. One of brand ambassador Jordyn's favorite reef breaks is Ehukai.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 6.59.12 AM
Pipeline: world famous reef break


Got it? Good! Now #getoutthere and go surf!


Thanks to this site and this site for some great info!

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