Catching waves is an integral part of surfing. To catch waves, you need to be able to find the peak. This task is sometimes easier said than done. Often, the peak is easy to locate from the shore but finding it once you are in the water can be frustrating. So it is essential that you know how to locate a peak.
- Observe the Break
- Know whether the tide is pushing in or pulling out, because the tide affects the shape and size of the wave.
- Memorize the shifts in the peak. Point breaks and reef breaks do not shift much, but beach breaks are constantly changing because the sandbar is continually fluctuating.
- Observation will give you a general idea of where you need to paddle to.
2. Triangulate the Peak
- Find a landmark on the beach that you will be able to see from the water. This landmark could be a telephone pole, a tree, a house, anything that is recognizable from the water that you can use to adjust your position. The landmark should be directly in front of the peak.
- Triangulation usually means you find three points to line up with, but a lot of the time you only have the one point on the shore. However, three points are always better. Ideally you will start with a point on the shore and once out in the lineup, you will find another point to your left and a third point to your right. Triangulating like this helps you stay on the peak.
3. Make Adjustments
- Be flexible, the ocean is always changing. Currents and winds are regularly changing so it is important to a good session that you are making adjustments.