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Swells 101: How Are Waves Formed?

Posted by DAVID KELLY

Swells 101: How Are Waves Formed?

  It might seem like the simplest of questions, but the reality is that many surfers don’t actually know where their waves come from. And little wonder. In an age of computer-guided swell models and customized spot forecasts, it’s easy to live from surf reports to surf reports rather than understanding the science ourselves. But 20 years ago the idea of an online swell model didn’t even exist, and 20 years before that the only surf reports in existence were word of mouth from the guy who got to the beach earlier than you. Go back a couple of hundred...

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