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Wind Waves

Wind picks up water and forms ocean waves that travel along the surface.

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Surfs Up
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Surfs Up

Why It Matters

What are the optimum weather conditions to produce the biggest waves for the Mavericks surfing competition?

Mavericks Surfing Competition is an annual surfing competition held off of the central coast of California that attracts surfers worldwide. It is famous for its dangerously large waves, powerful currents, and unpredictable conditions. Check it out: http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/blog/_/post/4921217

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1. In order for the Mavericks surfing competition to have the biggest waves, coastal wind conditions must be just right! How do coastal winds form? Watch the following clip about how they form and then describe the process.

2. How do the coastal winds create bigger waves? What factors contribute to a good surfing wave? http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/surfing/makingwaves.html

3. When should I go surf? Step through the process of forecasting when a big wave will hit using the Exploratorium’s guide: http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/surfing/forecast/goes.html

4. Use the process that you just learned and the data on Surfline’s site (http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/mavericks-central-california_4152/), to determine the current conditions for surfing at Mavericks and your forecast of when they should hold the Mavericks competition. Make sure to check out the Local Wind Chart on the lower left hand side for additional data. Why do you think that the competition is typically held between January and March?

5. Take a look at some of the other surfing locations in the SF/San Mateo Counties (Ocean Beach, Pacifica, etc.) and compare the conditions. How are the conditions similar? How are they different? Why would you expect these similarities and differences?

Resources Cited

PPNF. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APeter_Mel_at_Mavericks.jpg

ESPN. http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/blog/_/post/4921217

YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM0d3fGew-0

The Exploratorium. http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/surfing/makingwaves.html


SurfLine. http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/mavericks-central-california_4152/

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