Surfing a Hollow Wave

Hollow waves are formed when the incoming swell hits a steep ocean floor or a sea bottom with sudden depth changes such as reefs or rock formations. As a result, the wave crest curls over and often creates pockets or barrels. The air under the lip of the wave is compressed, and a crashing sound is often heard. Hollow waves are more common in offshore wind conditions as the wind helps to hold the face of the wave up creating a more vertical wall until finally the water has to topple. These waves are best for experienced surfers as they allow for more vertical turns and above the lip mauvers. Hollow waves are also a lot faster and less forgiving. Short boards and performance type surfboards are best suited to these waves as they are easier to catch on a steep wave face that is about to crash, hence they require a faster and precision take off. The shape of short board surfboards also allows for faster surfing in hollow waves which is perfect for keeping up with sections of the wave or rail to rail turns.