No matter what part of the world a beach and waves exist in, you will find surfers. Whether longboarding, short boarding, or body boarding, surfing has a long and proud history, beginning with the Polynesian culture. Across the world, surfers represent a diverse lifestyle and many participate for different reasons. Some are recreational while others base their life around it. They all share one thing in common, and that of course is the waves they ride. But how do the waves they ride actually form, and how are the waves forecasted.
The beginning of a wave
A surf waves is made up of many different parts ranging many thousands of miles across the ocean. The process of a wave begins simply with wind. Wind has three parts which affect the ocean over several miles including the velocity of the wind, the duration of the wind, and the winds fetch, or distance the water blows over. When these three variables are strong, the ocean creates larger swells for surfers to ride. In most instances, when the barometric pressure of the air is low, the swells that come into shore are going to be bigger.
How waves break to make that perfect tube to surf
A wave breaks when something obstructs the path of the wave. It is usually a permanent obstruction such as a coral reef, rock, shoal, or headland that causes it to create the barrel that every surfer is looking for. The bathymetry of the ocean floor or how deep or shallow the floor is and the angle it rises to shore determines the shape of the wave and how it breaks. There are several different types of breaks of waves including, “point breaks”, “beach breaks”, “reef breaks”, and “shore breaks”. Because each location of shore across the world has so many variables, surfing has become a great reason for many people to travel all over to find the perfect break to surf.
Great surfing can be found all over the world. One of the top destinations to surf however is Hawaii because it offers so much. Hawaii is the birth ground of longboarding and short boarding and mostly has to do with its world famous tube breaks. Surfing can be witnessed on every island of Hawaii. Hawaii is home to some of the most famous surf spots in the world including, most of the North shore of Oahu, Honolua Maui, Hanalei Kauai, and the birth place of modern surfing, Waikiki Honolulu.