Growing up on the beach on the Oregon Coast, I spent a lot of time watching the waves. We lived on the beach and when a storm hit, we could hear the huge breakers pounding the shore and the remnants of the surf would spray against our windows. In the morning there would be flotsam scattered along the beach, tiny bits of usually unidentifiable because of the ferocity of the waves.
I loved to walk out on the rocks on calmer days and watch the waves course in and out with the changing of the tides. Other than some major running through the waves, I usually limited my self to skimboarding and kite flying because the water was so rough and cold.
When I was in high school, my buddy talked me into donning a wet suit for some body surfing. It was amazing. I fell in love with looking for the perfect wave, even at my limited level. Unfortunately, with lack of funds and lots of schoolwork, I wasn’t able to spend much time in the ocean.
Tired of the rain and the cold, my family moved to Long Beach when I was 17. A part-time job and early release gave me time to start surfing in earnest. I took a few lessons and found it was much harder than body surfing! Those guys who spend had been surfing since they were kids made it look so easy. I was lucky though, while I was hanging out at the beach I became acquainted with some surfers who were willing to work with me and help me over the hump. Soon I lived on the water.
So how did I start writing this geeky page about wave dynamics. I became curious about the math behind waves and started reading about why some areas produce better waves that others, and I am now sharing that with you.