Success often follows a pattern: right place, right time and you knew what to do next. Either a repeated pattern was identified or there were specific pain points that inspired the creation of a solution. This pattern identifying is similar to body surfing on shallow waves. While the shape and size of the waves might not be the same each time, there are most definitely some places off the shore that are better than others to spot and ride the breaks inland.
I recently went off the grid in Kiawah, South Carolina. The hard-packed beaches were incredible for bike riding and sandcastles. But the flatness of the shoreline gave way to breaks that aren't nearly as big. Most of the time. But, after spending a little bit of time watching the patterns and feeling out the sandbar beneath the surface, it became easier and easier to tell which waves were going to build into something with momentum and which were just good for show.
But, even after identifying the right place, it was still about knowing the right time. And even still about executing on the all out dive into the surf and paddling into the break that gave way for the most distance covered. I only caught a couple of great ones my first few times out, but sometimes that is all it takes for you to get back out the next morning and start learning the patterns again.