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just dropping in
Tide Charts-Understanding Waves
Guest_just dropping in
Hi there.
can you help me with tide charts and how to understand waves better?
I live in Pacifica/Daly City in Northern California (if that is important).
Thank you so much.
Lucia

Posted on: 2010/10/30 20:58
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Re: Tide Charts-Understanding Waves
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Hi Lucia
This is a big topic, but I will try to give you an overview.

The tides affect when and where the waves will break. Waves break on the shore when the water depth below them is about 1.3 times the wave height; a 6m wave, for example, breaks in 8m of water.

So as the tide gets low the waves break on sand banks that they might not break on at high tide. Your location doesn't really make a difference as every beach, reef and point break is different.

Some reefs work better on mid to high tide, as they need more water over the reef, otherwise they can get too shallow.

The tides also affect the rip currents, most times getting stronger as the tide moves out.

Here is a link to a bit more about riptides
http://www.saltwater-dreaming.com/learn-surfing/rip-currents.htm

Sorry this is brief, but I am happy to answer any specific questions you have.

Check your tide charts everyday, and sit and watch the beach, so you can understand what effect the different tides have on your local surf break. As a surfer you should always be watching the ocean and waves, the more you abserve the more you learn, and it's a great relaxing thing to do......sit and watch the ocean :)

Cheers
Rick

Posted on: 2010/10/30 20:59
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just dropping in
Re: Tide Charts-Understanding Waves
Guest_just dropping in
Hi there.


Thank you Rick for your brief but informative description of tides.
(This may be an awkward question however,) do I observe the beach during those times of high tide and low tide?


Thanks again!
So happy to have found another resource person to learn more about all related to surfing and the ocean.


Have a great day!


Lucia

Posted on: 2010/10/31 22:32
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Re: Tide Charts-Understanding Waves
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Hi Lucia
Yes you can do that, but it's best to check the tide charts everyday and then you can work out what tides are best at your beach.
I keep a copy of the tide charts next to the phone, so when I am checking the surf I know if it will get better or worse and when is a good time to throw the board in the car :)

Happy to help!

Cheers
Rick

Posted on: 2010/10/31 22:33
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Re: Tide Charts-Understanding Waves
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Another point is that at different times of the month i.e. Full moon, new moon, half moon etc. the tides can be very different.

The high tide level on a full moon can be very different to a high tide on half moon.

E.G.
In Phuket
Full moon tides can go from a low tide of 0.6 metres to a high tide of 3.6 metres

Half Moon Tides can go from 1.6 metres to 2.6 metres

So being aware of the tide level not just high and low tide is also very important.

Cheers

Posted on: 2013/11/2 21:43
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