- 25 November 2014 | Surfing
Experienced surfers will always tell you that the best time to ride waves is generally in the morning and right before getting dark. There are very good reasons behind that rule of thumb.
It's always hard to leave a comfortable bed, especially on those early morning winter days, Saturdays and Sundays. The famous dawn patrol may be a pleasure for many, but it is also painful for millions of surfers worldwide.
So why do surfers wake up early in search of waves? Why is it better to put on a wetsuit at 7:30am and paddle out in cold water? Is it a ritual, a solemn rite, or are there scientific explanations for that masochistic behavior? Let's see.
The first reason for getting up early to surf is quite obvious. If you're paddling out at 8am, the chances of joining a crowded line-up are quite low. You may not have all waves for you, but the levels of stress in the peak will be considerably insignificant.
Wind plays a critical role in the quality of surf at your local break. The majority of spots privilege offshore winds, or simply no wind at all, and that will usually happen at dawn and dusk, when the temperature of the water equals the temperature of the surface of the earth.
As morning breaks into day, both temperatures will diverge, and onshore winds will dominate. As a result, you'll notice heavier closeouts, choppy waters and fast-breaking waves. By noon, glassy waves have left the show. So remember: calm and offshore winds are friends of dawn and dusk.
There's another relevant reason for waking up early for surfing. Only the early morning (6am-10am) sun rays will provide you with health benefits including Vitamin D, detoxification, mood elevation via serotonin, immunity and digestion improvements, and effective protection against multiple skin problems.
Finally, don't forget that the magic morning lights will turn your day into a memorable living experience. Believe it, it will work for you in the short and medium term.
Post Scriptum: if you live in shark-infested waters, remember that the predator eats at dawn and dusk. Take care.