Gabby Surf Lessons Perth

Surf Conditions

Surfing Conditions –

Learning about Surf Conditions is very important for your surfing journey.

Surf Conditions swell waves
  • Our West Coast ground swell is generated by large storms out to sea, it then travels up the west coast until it hits Indonesia.
  • Shallow water causes swell to rise steeply and then break as waves.
  • No two waves are ever the same.
Surf Conditions parts of a wave
  • When you start your surfing journey stick to the white water.
  • Avoid plunging waves.
  • When you are more confident start catch waves on the shoulder of the wave.
  • As your skills progress start to take off at the peak of the wave.
Surf Conditions measuring a wave
  • Waves are usually measured in feet.
  • A wave is measured from its peak height (crest) to the ocean water level (through).
  • Some surfers measure waves from the back of the wave.

Surf Conditions –

Types of Waves:

Types of breaking waves
  • Spilling waves break softly and create a crumbling effect, caused by a gradual rise in the sea floor. Perfect for a beginner.
  • Dumping waves break powerfully and create a tube (tunnel) effect, caused by a sharp rise in the sea floor. Experienced surfers only.
Surf Conditions types of peeling waves
  • A right-hander breaks and peels to the right when looking from behind the wave.
  • A left-hander breaks and peels to the left when looking from behind the wave.
Surf Conditions other wave types
  • Set waves – a group or ‘pulse’ of 4 to 6 larger waves.
  • White water – the white foam of a broken wave.
  • Close-out – when a wave breaks without peeling left or right.
Surf Conditions types of surf breaks
  • Beach break – waves breaking over a sand floor. Sand consistently shifts, creating ‘sand banks’ which determine a wave’s quality. Ideal for beginners.
  • Reef break – waves breaking over a rock or coral floor. Reef is permanent and creates consistently shaped waves. Experienced surfers only.
  • Point break – waves breaking around a point of land.
Surfing conditions types of wind
  • Offshore – wind blowing from the shore to the ocean, which holds up the waves face, creating clean waves, therefor ideal for surfing.
  • Onshore – wind blowing from the ocean to the shore, which causes the wave’s face to crumble, creating rough waves. Not ideal surf conditions for surfing.
Surf Conditions ocean tides
  • Tides are the rise and fall of the ocean water level.
  • Low tide is when the water level falls to its lowest point.
  • High tide is when the water level rises to its highest point.
  • Tides affect the shape and quality of waves.

Rip Currents:

Surf Conditions Rip Current
  • A rip current is a body of water that pulls out towards the ocean, always avoid these surf conditions.
  • In a rip the water may appear murky and choppy.
  • Waves generally break either side of a rip.
Rip Current Safety
  • If caught in a rip, follow the points below:
  • Do not Panic and do not paddle against the rip.
  • Paddle parallel to the beach until free from the rip.
  • Stay with your surfboard at all times.
  • If you’re in trouble, attract attention by waving to shore.
Ideal surf conditions
  • An uncrowded beach break, free of any rocks.
  • Waves around 1-2ft with light offshore wind.
  • Spilling left or right-hand waves.
  • No rips or lateral currents.
  • Surf conditions in the mornings are often best, as winds are lighter (afternoon sea breezes make waves choppy)