Introduction to Ocean Dynamics

  • Waves
  • Wind
  • Tides
  • Current
  • Understanding the Line Up
    • Understanding the Line Up Rules
    • Types of Line Ups
    • Get Your Bearings



Ocean dynamics, in the case of surfing, refers to how waves are created and the elements that affect the way they break. It is important to have a fundamental understanding of how waves are created and the conditions that impact how they break, in order to be able to catch them.

This section covers an array of topics including how wind is created and how waves are created; as well as how elements such as tide, current, wind, and the bathymetry of the ocean floor affect the way waves break.

Reading and understanding waves is the most difficult part in surfing. It is much easier to understand waves if you are aware of all the underlying factors that have an effect on them.