Waves can be formed by storm systems out at sea (ground swell) or by localized on-shore winds (wind swell).
Ground swells travel for a long distance across the ocean until breaking on the exposed coastline. These swells are usually much bigger, better-organized and more consistent then those caused by winds.
Wind swells are created by strong on-shore winds and are usually smaller, less well-organized and choppier than ground swells. With the right wind (off-shore) and the right tide, the wind swell can bring perfect surfing conditions.
Beach Break– Waves breaking over a sandbank and onto the beach.
Point Break– Waves breaking along a headland. The wave can break over a sandbank, coral reek, or rocky formation.
Reef Break– Waves breaking over a submerged coral reef or rock formation.