noun, adjective - Rough water is a description of disturbed, choppy, turbulent water at the surface of the open bodies of water caused by wind and waves. The frequent, irregular wave action is irritating to open water swimmers because it can impede forward movement and can reduce visibility from the surface of the water.
It is also an alternative word for open water as in the La Jolla Rough Water Swim or the Waikiki Roughwater Swim.
The rough water was the reason why he went a bit off-course.
roughwater, surface chop, chop, small waves, turbulence, whitecaps