Reading tide charts can be useful to surfers. Knowing the tide patterns for your spot, will help you know what times are the best to catch the surf you like. Surf picks up as the tide goes out, so usually a few hours before low tide is the best surf.
Ultimately, the best surf depends on the topography of the spot, but as a general rule of thumb, tides moving out are best catching rideable waves (unless you longboard). This is because shallow water makes swells bigger, so if big swells are rolling in, surf will be the biggest at low tide. You just have to make sure there is enough water to ride the wave out. If the water is too shallow, the wave will break straight down the face into the shore or rocks below.