Three Different Types of Surf Breaks
Beach Break, Reef Break, Point Break
Learning any new sport can be daunting, and surfing is no different. The combination of the crowds of people, the power of Mother Nature and the fact that surfers have their own language would intimidate most, but we’re here to help! In addition to understanding the lingo, having a basic knowledge of the surf spot will also help you to know the waves and make better choices. In this article, we look at the different types of surf breaks and what you can expect from each type of wave.
Beach breaks are where the wave breaks over a soft sandy bottom making them ideal for beginners to practice. As the sand is constantly shifting due to the tides, currents and storms, the wave shape, size and peak location are often changing. This ever-changing bottom makes for an exciting and dynamic wave.
Yep, you guessed it! This wave breaks over a coral reef or rocky bottom. As the coral reef and rocks don’t move like the sandy bottom, reef breaks produce similar waves every time (depending on swell, tide, intervals, and direction). Often due to the wave moving in from deeper water onto a shallow reef, this causes the wave to become steeper and can be barrel heaven! Reef breaks require much more attention, as there are dangers that lie below. We always suggest you talk to a local, be honest about your level, and check the tides. No one wants to drop down a wave and be greeted by gnarly coral heads!
Point breaks occur when the shoreline extends out to the sea creating a headland. As the wave hits this headland, it begins to peel along the shore creating a long, well-formed wave. There is usually only one take off point at these breaks meaning you might have to get in line to wait your turn, but these waves are definitely worth the wait!
We always recommend talking to a guide or local before entering the water, so you are aware of the local currents, hazards, and reefs!
In addition to knowing the lingo, you also want to make sure you’re wearing the appropriate gear, too. As most of our time surfing is spent paddling (the least popular part) our backs and shoulders take a lot of sun.
By wearing a good rashguard you’re keeping your skin safe and Platinum Sun rashguards are made with a high quality 30 SPF, 4-way stretch material. So, you can protect yourself from the sun without feeling restricted. Rad!