This paper provides the terminology needed by coastal planners, engineers and policy makers interested in the development of surf breaks, for such purposes as;
- designing artificial reefs and
- predicting the effects of coastal modifications on surf.
It summarises the literature on the science of surf breaks, outlining:
- the types of waves that are preferred by surfers, and their parameters,
- the relationship between wave shape and surfing skill required to ride such waves,
- the bathymetric features that produce waves suitable for surfing.
It is becoming increasing recognised that surf breaks have social and economic value for coastal communities. In order to preserve and enhance these resources, a common language is needed to facilitate communication between surfers, scientists and policy makers.
 B. E. Scarfe, M. H.S. Elwany, S. T. Mead, and K. P. Black. The Science of Surfing Waves and Surfing Breaks - A Review. March 7, 2003. Scripps Institution of Oceanography Technical Report.