As a native Rochestarian I've never really gotten into surfing. Maybe when I'm older and rich and have my own private tropical island. Even the most talented surfers can't do much without waves though. This relates to the wave unit we are currently studying in Regents Physics.
Oceanic waves are transverse waves, because the displacement of the medium of said waves is perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the waves. Where the foamy-top of the waves in the ocean are is referred to as the "crest". This is the same as transverse waves on a 2D graph; the top of the wave is referred to as the crest, and where it dips down is referred to as the trough. Because timing is an important aspect of surfing (I can infer), it means that a larger amplitude for oceanic waves is preferred by surfers. This gives them more time to ride the actual wave. On a two-dimensional graph, the amplitude is measured from the point zero on the graph to either the crest or the trough - many individuals make the mistake of measuring the distance from the crest and the trough to get the amplitude.
No math in this post.