# Surfers learn how to read wave sets to catch the biggest wave of a set.?

Surfers learn how to read wave sets to catch the biggest wave of a set. What explains the different sizes of waves within a set?

I am lost trying to research this question.

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• 10 years ago

Waves are created by the wind blowing over the water. Waves that are produced locally are called wind waves, sea waves or seas. The size of the wave depends on the strength of the wind and the fetch - the distance the wind blows over the sea. Wind waves always travel in the direction of the wind.

When waves move across the ocean away from the wind that caused them they are called swells. Swells do not travel in the direction of local winds. There can also be more than one set of swells coming from different directions. Swells and seas often have different wavelengths. Sometimes the peak of one wave will coincide with the trough of a swell and they cancel each other out. When crests coincide, you get a much larger wave.

Sets are produced as the wave crests from two or more systems of swells or seas get closer together until they coincide to produce the biggest wave of the set. They then decrease in size as the crests and troughs get closer together.

• George
Lv 4
10 years ago

Sets of waves are a combination of two or more waves that travel close together. The first wave has to push the water in front of it and so is smaller. The next waves are stronger because of the water rushing back that helps build the wave. The peak is some where when the friction of the return water slows the water down and does not impact the next wave.

As far as surfers go the sets can appear all day and they observe the size of the waves to see which is the highest.

• derosa
Lv 4
4 years ago

circumstances are continuously changing. oftentimes, as a set comes you will discover that the third or perhaps 4th wave is the main important. the 1st wave is very just about continuously accompanied via a much bigger one. some situations you get king waves that are in actuality super waves that pop out of no the place and oftentimes seize multiple surfers off look after. i'm uncertain why wave sizes selection in a set yet i understand which you will oftentimes never have an excellent wave then a small one then an excellent one lower back. they normally ascend and then descend in length as each and each wave in a set breaks. Time between each and each breaking wave could have a ingredient in it. If there is something from 12 - sixteen seconds between waves then you definately understand those are super rolling waves maximum possibly from a typhoon out a sea. The shorter the time between the wave the crappier and extra inconsistent it is going to likely be. look into this hyperlink from Magic Seaweed in sources. wish this helps you

• 10 years ago

I notice that when the ocean pulls me hard into itself, the following wave is weak and easy to manuever past. When the approaching wave doesnt pull you towards it very roughly I know that wave is gunna shove me back towards the beach if I try to go over it. Its weird and kinda hard to explain I haven been surfing for very long so maybe im just crazy. Also I realize how long a set typically lasts and the last wave is noticeable.

Source(s): Couple years of surfing. ;P