A few interesting fact about surf, here are a few of the basics.

What makes a wave?

Ocean waves are formed by wind.  Any little bump in the ocean and the wind grabs onto it, the wind will grab onto the bump and begin to form a wave, the more wind, the large the bump gets. In lakes you don’t have enough space for the wind to travel in order to get large waves, however in the ocean, you have thousands of miles for the waves to generate size and energy.

Wind waves are made and seen on extremely windy days, it’s the days when you see the white caps and the waves are in short periods between crests. As the waves get larger and begin to travel over many miles, they begin to sort themselves out into nice, clean, swell waves or aka, ground swell.

Ground swell is what is known as a swell that has traveled a great distance often traveling from one coast to another creating clean, powerful waves.

Why do some surf spots break better than others?

Certain areas are exposed to swells more than others, along with featuring a combination of geometry of the beach in accordance to swell direction in addition to the design of the ocean surface such as rock, reef or sand bars that make the wave break in a particularly nice fashion.

Reef breaks: permanent obstruction like coral and rock forming a barreling, distinctively great shape and causing excellent consistency in form.

Beach break: waves formed over sand and sand bards that shift seasonally and from storm-to-storm.

Point break: a 1991 action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Gary Busey.  Also, a wave that breaks and peals of a literal point formed often of rock that extends out into the sea.