7 tips for surfing at night

February 25, 2020 | Surfing
Night surfing: a dark, yet unforgettable wave riding experience | Photo: Red Bull

Surfing at night can be an amazing experience.

Quiet, tranquil beaches, fantastic scenery, surfing by moonlight (more on that later) is something every surfer wants to do.

While nothing in life is without risk, we can tell you how to minimize them. Is it flat? Try nighttime stand-up paddleboarding.

The great news is that with these seven tips, you could be safely surfing at night in no time.

1. Familiarity is Key

Even beaches that you are familiar with can look different at night.

The odds are stacked against you since when doing anything for the first time, it will feel a little different. You may feel disorientated.

Pick a designated spot (tips on how to do this to follow) and stick to it. Beach breaks are the best. Familiarity means predictability.

During the dark, your other senses may become more amplified.

In plain English, that means that every wave could appear a lot quicker and come a lot faster than they normally do.

You should always follow the rules as you would during the day. If a beach is closed or doesn't permit surfing, abide by those rules.

Surfing at night: let your senses become more amplified by the darkness of the skies | Photo: Wavegarden

2. Be Predictable

You will need to know every rock, jetty, twist, and turn to be able to navigate in the dark safely.

Even better, be predictable and consistent.

Research the beach by surfing during the day at first. Fortune favors the prepared! It goes without saying, know your surf breaks.

Outside sets could take even the most experienced surfers by surprise.

3. Find Light Sources

Plan to surf when there is a full or close to full moon. A clear sky is another added advantage. You want as much light as possible.

Think about other light sources as well.

These could be from beaches with lighting, parked vehicles, or other nearby locations. Portable lights are also a great option.

Some resorts even offer night sessions (more on that later). These may suit less experienced surfers or those trying night surfing for the first time.

Night surfing: plan your session when there is a full or close to full moon | Photo: Red Bull

4. Don't Light Up the Room

I know we just told you to think about all possible light sources. But be very wary of high visibility clothing or LED lights on surfboards.

Some sea creatures like to feed at night, and you don't want to be their dinner.

Remember that bright-colored clothing and blood can also attract sharks, so if you even have a cut or graze and think you might be bleeding, get out of the water immediately.

5. Last Resorts

If you aren't ready for night surfing just yet, as previously mentioned, some surf resorts even have lighting (it's as though you're in a football stadium, cool, right?) and these could be a great option giving you a safety net while experiencing the thrills of night surfing.

You may not live close or have the budget to travel to one of them, but it's worth knowing about them.

You could even try one of these out with a friend first, and then decide whether night surfing is something you want to try more.

Night surfer: nothing in life is without risk | Photo: Red Bull

6. Listen Out

It's a great idea to bring a friend with you, that way you can look out for each other.

Since it's going to be harder to see each other, use vocal communication to keep checking in on each other.

Remain alert, trust your instincts, and listen out for anything untoward and maintain constant communication with your buddy.

7. Have a Back-Up Plan

Always have a back-up plan.

Don't surf in an area that's outside of your expertise, somewhere you don't feel confident, or push yourself too far.

It's far better to stick to the mellow waves and consider it a chilled-out session. Less is more.

Find somewhere you feel more familiar with, or surf more in that area during the daytime to build up your knowledge of the area, then try again at night.

Think about the overall conditions and then decide as to whether it's safe to surf.

Surfing by night can be challenging but also great fun and safe - remember to factor in the safety precautions above and use common sense at the same time.

Words by Beatrix Potter | Professional Sports Writer at Essay Service

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