Do birds use waves in any special way?

I see birds surfing waves all the time from my perch overlooking 90 Mile Beach in Ahipara. While they sometimes soar along the unbroken swell for 100s of yards it seems they are scanning for fish below the surface. However, the main attraction appears to be the sheer joy of surfing the waves; they'll fly south along the beach at night and often 6 or 7 birds will surf the same wave. It's brilliant!