READING THE WAVES
Have you ever wondered how some surfers always seem to pick the best waves and ride them with ease? The answer lies in the ability to read the waves. In this article, we are going to unravel the secrets of how to read the waves like a pro and master the art of surfing.
Before jumping into the water, it’s essential to understand how waves interact with the environment. Just as you learned to interpret a weather forecast, now you will learn to interpret the waves. Imagine this as your personal “radar” on the water.
1. Observe How the Wave and Its Sections Break
When you hear other surfers talk about lefts or rights, they are referring to how the wave unfolds from their perspective. If they follow the wave to the right, that’s a “right” for them. This is key to understanding the instructions in the water. Remember, we always speak from the perspective of whoever is riding the wave!
2. Analyze the Series and Currents
Spend some time observing the beach from an elevated position before diving in. Identifying areas of current is essential. Look for contrasts between the white foam where the waves break and the dark, flat waters of the currents.
3. Visualize the Take Off Moment
From your elevated position, find the top of the wave and mark a landmark. See where other surfers position themselves and how they paddle. Imagine your “take off” moment and the exciting ride on the wall of the wave.
4. Look for the Best Position in the Peak
The optimal point to enter the wave is where it reaches its maximum height before breaking, being the most vertical point. Finding this ideal location depends on your skill level and your willingness to take risks. Remember that in surfing, trial and error is crucial to improve quickly.
5. The Water Strategy
Once in the water, when you see a wave approaching, look for the top and paddle in that direction. In general, if you are paddling to your right, the wave will open to the left, and vice versa. Be sure to adjust your direction if you see the wave break on one side. Remember, if you still don’t feel comfortable at the peak, choose an area where you can safely take off.
Reading waves is a skill that improves with practice and experience. By understanding how waves interact with the environment and how to anticipate their behavior, you’ll be able to choose the best opportunities and get the most out of every session in the water.
If you want to learn to surf safely, do not hesitate to join us in Huanchaco, Peru. The Urcia Surf School team awaits you to take you out to sea.