Ocean Science 101: How our surf is made
OK this will probably review for a lot of you, but I thought I would go back and cover some of the basics in surf forecasting. I have been posting forecasts, reports, maps, and other random nonsense for a while now and I started to realize that a lot of the stuff that I have been throwing at you assumes that you have an idea of how our surf is generated. It isn’t really that hard to find on the interweb, (I mean, come on, that is what Wikipedia was invented for people), but I decided to throw it up here too so that you didn’t have to hunt around for it.
Why it matters
I am sure that there are some of you out there that don’t really care about where the waves come from and are fine with just knowing if the surf is going to be good tomorrow. That is totally cool…I hope that I keep my forecasts simple enough that you can keep scoring…or at least save some gas money now and then.
Personally I think that you become a better surfer, and a better waterman, if you get in tune with the ocean, the weather, and the processes that create the conditions that we, as surfers, are looking for. You don’t need to be a forecaster or anything but I do think that knowing the general principles behind how waves are made will keep you a step ahead of other surfers, which is nice, particularly when that step could mean the difference between scoring empty surf and slogging it out with the rest of the crowd that is a day late and a dollar short.