July 4, 2022
big wave

Learn to surf big tides – waves of all your life

Our today’s candidate can work perfectly not only at large waves, but also in standard conditions.

Neither small nor high waves will be a problem for her, but it is better, of course, to choose the latter.

Every rider surfs big waves. However, each has its own “big” wave.

For the famous bigwever Greg Long, a big wave can be 15 meters in size, and for a simpler surfer – 1.5 meters. But regardless of the size of the wave, the same techniques are used to overcome fear and gain additional self-confidence.

Greg Long surfs
Greg Long

There is no easy way to get started to surf the big waves.

As in other areas of life, in order to conquer your “big” wave, you need to gradually develop the necessary skills and work on self-confidence.

And here the trick is not to conquer a huge wave like Jaws, but rather to be able to have fun in a variety of conditions: it does not matter whether these are small waves or real giants!

When we want to start riding big waves, we need to understand – there are various fears and obstacles that prevent this.

The first step is to recognize the ones that hinder you.

For example, are you afraid of depth or shallow water over reefs? Or maybe you really don’t know how to surf a ghana, or have no idea how you’ll behave if a leash breaks?

Recognize your obstacles, your fears, and then start working to remove them.

Know the wave

diving under the waves

Swim to the spot with fins and a mask and spend some time diving under the waves.

Learn to understand how they move and break, what happens underwater when a wave travels from above.

Try to understand how close you can get before you get sucked in by the wave, and how hard the lindens can penetrate the water, can you swim between the foam and the bottom?

Stay calm

surf meditation

Your body reacts physically to what you think about. If you start to worry, your heart rate rises, your breathing quickens, you may start to sweat, and your muscles become tense.

There are several techniques you can use to calm yourself down. For example, you can imagine that you are in a familiar, safe environment, while you need to present as many details as possible in bright colors.

The first few seconds this surf method may seem useless, but after 2-3 minutes it’ll have a powerful effect.

Another way to calm down is to realize – the others on the line are people just like you. The wave kneads everyone equally.


Last time we wrote about how useful breath control to surf.

The ability to hold your breath for a long time increases your confidence, you become less afraid of wipeouts on large waves.

Even just the realization that you can hold your breath for a long time already helps to hold it for a longer period of time.

Get closer to your gan

surf the big wave

If you only take out your big wave board when the big swell comes in, then it’s not surprising that you feel less confident on it than on your everyday board.

So try to surf your ghana on small days.

Forget the sneering glances on the lineup, get used to your board for big waves, understand how to surf it, how to rake it on the waves. And when the swell of the year comes, you will be fully armed.

Keep yourself in form

stretching before starting to surf

Not the most tricky advice, but very useful nonetheless.

Getting in good shape will help you both directly, for example, during rowing out on the line on a big day, and indirectly, as an added bonus to confidence in how your body will behave.

Do not miss your chance

surf big tide

Don’t put off hitting big waves for the next swell. Use every opportunity that comes along, push your boundaries constantly.

We cannot set a specific day on which we’ll surf the wave of our life, and train for that date, when you surf.

So if a swell has come – go to the ocean, expand your comfort zone and surf it!

Consider a return plan in advance

Portugal Big Wave Surf

If you know which spot you’ll surf when the big swell comes, then you should think in advance about how you will get ashore, or what you’ll do if the board breaks or a leash breaks.

Will you need to swim ashore through the waves, or will you have to swim a certain distance to the nearest exit from the water?

Don’t put off deciding what to do until a small piece of board dangles at the end of your lichen.

Most likely, nothing bad will happen, but the planning process itself will give you extra confidence on the lineup. And this confidence will help you try to take more waves.

There is nothing bad in damage

big surf

Even if you swam to the line-up, and realized the conditions were too much for you, then there is nothing wrong with going back to the shore.

This is also an experience from which very useful conclusions can be drawn.

By carefully analyzing all the factors that cause concern when riding large waves, the surfer will be able to know in advance how he’ll need to behave in different situations. And when you sit on a line-up full of this knowledge, you have no choice but to have fun!

To learn how to surf well, every surfer must be able to understand the ocean. He must know what a swell is, where the waves come from, how the wind affects them, and much more.

Among such knowledge, there is knowledge about the big ebb tide.

To surf the best waves at the best time, you need to understand how the big  tide can change the waves, what water level is ideal for a particular spot, and when to expect that level.

In this article, we’ll understand what the ebb and flow is, where they come from, what they are, what affects the tide level, and how to determine at what time what water level to expect.

Well, at the end, we’ll write what practical value tides have for a surfer.

The main reason that the water level in the world’s oceans rises and falls every day is gravity. First of all, it is the gravity of the moon.

Since the Moon is closest to the Earth among all other celestial bodies, its influence is the biggest.

In second place is the Sun. And, although it is much farther from us than the Moon, the attraction of the Sun is still felt, since it is much larger than any planet in the solar system.


However, the Sun’s gravitational force in relation to the Earth is only 46 percent of that of the Moon.

By the way, there is another celestial body, the gravity of which affects the earth, this is Venus! Yes, yes, however, its gravity is only 0.001% of the solar gravity.

The force of gravity of the Moon and the Sun is called tidal force.

It is not large enough to act on solid bodies (although the Moon is capable of stretching them up to 30 cm!), However, water in the World Ocean lends itself to its significant influence, the liquid state of which allows the water level to change by several meters.

Many who have been on the ocean for more than two weeks have noticed that on some days the ebb can be very strong, and on others it is not so noticeable.

The fact is that, depending on the phase in which the Moon is now, the difference between the maximum and minimum water may differ.

ebb and flow

During the full and new moon, that is, when the Sun, Moon and Earth stand in one line, the difference is maximum. This big tide is called “syzygy”.

This phenomenon occurs because the tidal forces of the Sun and Moon add up.

And during the first and third quarters of the lunar cycle, that is, when the Moon is half illuminated by the Sun, the water drop will be minimal. This phenomenon is called quadrature wave.

Also, the trajectory of the Moon and the Sun also affects the height of the wave.

The fact is that the Moon moves around the Earth not in a circle, but in an ellipse. Therefore, at one time the Moon is closer to the Earth, at another – further away.

When the syzygy ebb falls during the period when the Moon is at the point closest to the Earth (this happens once every 7.5 lunar cycles), there is a very big tide.

If, during the big syzygy tide, the Earth also approaches the Sun as close as possible (its orbit also looks like an ellipse), then the big tide will be even higher. This happens every 18.6 years.

Where is the second big tide

You may ask, if the Moon attracts water only from one side, then why there are two ebb and flow per day, from one side of the planet?

To be honest, this question haunted me until I read the excellent book Surf Science by Tony Butt.

The second flush comes from two factors. The first is the difference in the force of attraction of the moon between one side of the earth and the other. The second is the centrifugal force that occurs during the rotation of the Earth.

With the first factor, it seems to me, everything should be clear at once. The moon is closer to one side of the earth than the other.

It is logical to assume that the strength of gravity will differ. The way it is.

If we take the force of gravity of the Moon in the center of the Earth as a basis, then on its surface, which is closest to the Moon, the force of gravity of our satellite will be 3.4% bigger than in the center, and weaker by 3.2% on the opposite side of our planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.