Large, thundering waves along the coast can have their origin in the
transfer of energy far out to see. In the open ocean, the wind energy
can slowly dissipate from the surface to depth. But the wind is also
pushing energy laterally. If it travels a long distance, it can pick up
more energy because of the motion of the Earth due to Coriolis.
When this energy hits the coastline or a high topographic feature,
the water has to get rid of this energy somehow. The energy becomes unstable, and
is released as large waves along some coastlines that change
quickly. Surfers know these areas, because they are the ones that
produce the large surfer waves.