Let’s just dive right into it. Probably the biggest question we receive at the surf school is stated in this title. What does offshore mean? How do you know which spot to choose? What does a point break look like? Well, grab a bar of wax, a coffee, and a notebook because surf class is in session.

 

Surfing 101: Lingo, phrases, and sayings!

 

 

 

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You’ve probably heard some of the words and sayings and have tried extremely hard to understand what frothing surfers are talking about. Whether you’re out on the water, in a local pub, or walking downtown, here’s some critical terms you must know to get to the level of understanding those dang surfers and their cool tricks and slang.

 

Now that we have some slang down, lets get into the different types of waves.

 

beach break 2

 

 

Beach Break – A beach break is a surf-able wave that is breaking onto a beach. The wave is created by the shallow sandy bottom, or sometimes a jetty. A beach break can either be caused by a sand bar out a little ways, or by the wave forming against the shoreline. The advantage to this type of surfing is that you normally don’t have to paddle for miles to get out to the breaking waves. Beach breaks that are caused by sand bars are not always reliable as the underlying sand can move in big storms and swells. Beach break waves do not always break as softly as point break waves or reef waves. On the other hand, wiping out on a beach break tends to be a lot more forgiving than the alternatives.

 

point break 2

 

 

Point Break – When the conditions are perfect a point break can create a really long wave to ride as the wave wraps around a point or headland and then runs along the coastline of a bay or cove. Point breaks can have rock, coral, or sandy bottoms. Most surfers would consider a point break the perfect wave as the actual time riding the surfboard will be the longest. Due to the length of the individual waves and the ensuing time on the surfboard you will often see multiple surfers all riding the one point break wave (without fear of injuring each other). Point break waves can sometimes be difficult to get onto. Beware of surrounding rocks on the headland or point if you lose your surfboard or get swept onto them. Point breaks can be very reliable under the right conditions, as the headland or point that contributes to the waves is fixed.

 

reef 1

 

 

Reef Breaks – Reef breaks are created by a reef under the water, often coral. The surrounding water can be quite deep, but due to the formation of the coral reef the waves will break there, often seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Reef breaks can offer fantastic waves but can also be famous for nasty injuries. If you come off your board onto the coral, ouch!! Coral cuts can be pretty unforgiving, not to mention painful. Reef breaks often involve a very long paddle or a boat ride to get to where the waves are breaking. Reef breaks usually offer a longer wave to ride than a beach break. Beware of low tide barrels on the reef though! That coral isn’t too far away if you fall off.

 

For us in Rincon, the majority of our surf breaks are first reef breaks and second point breaks. While we do have beach breaks in Puerto Rico, you have to be a little adventurous and go exploring other parts of the island.

 

Are you tired of the cold weather, staring at your tropical beach screensaver, and wondering when your time will be? We say your time should be now. The sun is out, the waves are great, the surf classes are progressive, the drinks are cold, the town is bustling, and everyone at the Rincon Surf School and Resort family is here ready to welcome you with open arms. Click below to inquire more about your next tropical getaway you have oh so longed for.

 

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Rincon Surf School and Resort

 

Watch this video below for an explanation of waves and how they work.

 

Your homework is to get on out into the waves and see these notes in real time.

 

Good luck on the test next week!

 

Jay Deschene

SASS Global Travel

Rincon Surf School and Resort

Dec. 10, 2018