You are right; most good photos depend on good timing. Of course, there are two levels of timing. The first you are referring to is that moment when everything in the photograph comes together and everything looks perfect. This is also called the 'decisive moment'.
The other time factor though, is shutter speed; this is the amount of time that you have the shutter open as you make the exposure. This can often be as critical to the photograph as the decisive moment.
Within this photograph you used a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second but although this can often be fast enough to freeze some action, it is often not fast enough for stopping the action of a wave in close detail. Given the choice, I would have preferred to see this image captured at 1/500the of a second; this would eliminate the motion blur within the photograph and would, in effect freeze the background.
As to how you get to the faster shutter speed, you have two options. I would give first preference to using a wider aperture if this was available for the sake of creating a softer looking background. The other option though, is to increase the ISO two stops, from 100 ISO to 400 ISO. Eliminating the blur from the photo would create more mystery. We would see the soft texture without the movement, and be more intrigued by what we saw.
Now there is one more adjustment that I would like to see happening. In the top right of the frame you will notice the image is brighter than the rest of the frame. Given the chance, I would use an exposure adjustment brush in Lightroom to pull back the brightness at least half a stop or more. The secret to making images like this look good is creating an even palette.
All those comments aside, good effort!