A Guide To Wave Types For Surfing Beginners

Of all the natural wonders in the world, there’s nothing quite so alluring as the sea. So, it’s no wonder that people just waiting to dive right in!

If you’re new to surfing or any other watersports, then you’re likely buzzing with excitement to get started, but there are some things you should know before you do.

Firstly, you may want to look into getting yourself a board and wetsuit. Here at Wetsuit Centre, we have a great range of beginner surfboards at great prices!

Secondly, you need to know what to expect once you hit the water so we’ve made this guide on the different types of waves that are the best for surfing beginners.

The best foam surfboards for beginners

Types of Surf Breaks

Before we talk waves, we first need to cover surf breaks.

A surf break refers to the point where a wave breaks into a barrelling wave. Each kind of break will produce a different style of wave that can influence the way it breaks along the shoreline.

Surf breaks typically fall into three categories:

  • Beach breaks - Where the waves break over a sandy bottom.
  • Reef breaks - Where the wave breaks over a coral or rocky bottom.
  • Point breaks - Where the shoreline extends out to sea and the waves peel along the extending shoreline.

It’s vital for new surfers to understand the different types of breaks before they start, as some aren’t suitable for beginners.

Crumbly Waves

Also known as mushy waves, crumbly waves occur when the contour of the bottom is more gradual than usual. This produces waves that aren’t too steep, fast or strong. That makes them perfect for beginners.

Crumbly waves are known to appear in the majority of popular surfing locations all around the world. These gentle waves provide newbie surfers with just enough motion for them to grip the basics before moving on to more daring ventures.

Reform Waves

So named for their tendency to reform depending on the depth of the bottom of the ocean, reform waves are ideal for beginners. By nature, the waves break down safely when they reach deep water.

So, if you’re not familiar with taking on beach breaks or reef breaks just yet, you’re better off sticking to reform waves until you’re more confident. Once you are, you can even begin to take advantage of these waves before they hit deep water!

Point Break Waves

As we’ve mentioned above, point break waves are where the shoreline has a piece extending out of it like a headland or jetty that the wave will hit first. This then sends the wave out along the extended shoreline, creating a long, well-formed wave that’s unlikely of breaking in front of itself.

Point breaks are great for beginners as they tend to offer gently rolling and mellow waves. They also tend to be some of the more consistent waves, which can help new surfers get to grips with estimating when a wave will break.

Rivermouth Waves

That chance of you encountering a nice rivermouth wave is rare, but if you do happen across one, then you’re in for quite a treat!
These waves are caused when a river deposits sand onto well-defined sandbars. Much like point break waves, a rivermouth wave will then peel off from that point to create neat and predictable waves.

The most famous rivermouth wave can be found in Mundaka in Northern Spain, where surfers flock yearly for their chance to experience it.

Once you’ve got to grips with these waves, you can begin to branch out to more advanced territories, and then you’ll be tackling reef breaks and double-up waves in no time!

But for now, make sure you stick to your experience level until you’re comfortable on the board. We hope this guide has given you the information you need to get on out there and begin finding the waves for you!

If you want to get into surfing but you’re unsure where to start, contact a member of our team today or visit our blog for advice on surfboards, wetsuits and all things surfing.

Check out our range of foam surfboards