Tips On How To Read a Wave

Along with proper techniques and water safety knowledge, reading waves is essential to excel in the sport of surfing. So how to read waves and become an expert surfer? To make the task easier, we have put together some valuable tips just for you.

Watch the waves

watching waves

At first, you have to understand whether the wave is coming or going. There are particular spots in the water where catching waves become easier due to the higher tides.

Assess the shape of the waves

While evaluating the waves, find out the following things:

  • Is the wave hollow or does it breaks perfectly?
  • What is the shape of the wave?
  • In which direction are you intending to ride based on the wave width?
  • Is the formation of the waves a swift or gentle process?


Observe other surfers

When it comes to reading waves perfectly, watching the more seasoned and experienced surfers can always prove to be handy. Notice carefully the waves they pick to ride.

Are the waves consistent or erratic?

If the waves are steady and consistent, it will ensure an enjoyable surfing experience. They are easy to catch and are predictable.

On the other hand, if the waves are erratic, catching them will be difficult and surfing will no more be a pleasurable experience.

Recognize the highest peak

If you want to read waves impeccably as a surfer, it is crucial to identify the peak which is the highest point on the wave and the first part of it that breaks.

While sitting on the surfboard, look at the horizon and find the peak. It will help you to read the waves and predict how it will break for hassle-free surfing.

Paddle to the highest peak

The sooner you identify the peak, the better. It’s all about being proactive and paddle in the best position to catch the waves.

However, if the size of the wave is big, it can cause difficulty for you to reach the peak before it breaks. Factors that influence its size include tide, wave direction wind, and currents.

In such cases, you have to paddle further on the shoulder of the wave. Paddle into “stage B” where the wave is steep and consistent for catching.

Start paddling after turning around

Once you get into the correct position to catch the waves, turn around with your surfboard facing the beach. With proper techniques, you can paddle with precision.

For more tips on reading waves, opt for a surf camp by Pata Sudaka. Become an expert surfer by mastering all the paddling tricks, surfboard usage, water safety, and others.