Waves on the surface of the ocean and lakes are caused by the wind transferring its energy to water. Tsunamis are different from surface waves because they are caused by landslides, volcanic eruptions or underwater earthquakes.
There are three different types of waves: shore dump, spilling and surging waves. In a shore dump wave, the waves grow steeply and then break powerfully in the shallow water near the shore. Spilling waves are waves best used for body surfing. Surging waves are waves that never break. Stronger and higher waves are created by the wind blowing over the water for longer periods of time.