Reading the waves as you peer out into the ocean helps to know where both the biggest waves are breaking, and where the best waves are breaking. Having the basic knowledge of what is going on with the each angle of the wave in correlation to height helps to have an overall understanding of the shape and speed of each wave.
First take a look at the horizon to see where it is at its highest point. The side with the steepest angle down is where its going to peel meaning that is the way you want to ride. Riding the way it breaks maker sure it won’t close out on you. The steeper the slope is, the slower the wave will peel meaning you will not have to generate as much speed to keep up with the wave making it better for beginners. Always make sure that you ride the wave from the center of the break to make sure you maximize ride time while avoiding cutting anyone off.