Is your local surf spot crowded during daylight? If you are stuck surfing a break that feels more like a heavily populated metropolis, check out the following tips aimed at helping you safely shred when the sun don’t shine.
Select a Spot You Know
Getting a spot wired is hard enough in broad daylight. At night, it’s even more challenging. You should never paddle out in the dark unless you are intimately familiar with how the waves break. You need to know every rock, jetty, and twist and turn in the reef. Sandy points and mellow beach breaks are the safest options.
Surf Mellow, Predictable Waves
Night surfing will push your limits. Low light makes waves seem larger and faster and night surf sessions are always a bit spookier and more challenging. Stick with mellow, predictable waves and consider it a chill surf sesh.
Full Moon Surf
A full moon on a clear night provides enough light to identify incoming waves and potential hazards. Plus, surfing under a full moon is a uniquely beautiful experience.
Seek Out Ambient Light Sources
If you are surfing in a developed area you can probably find a man-made source that will provide sufficient light. Piers, boardwalks, construction sites, and streetlights are sometimes bright enough to illuminate a lineup.
Bring Your Own Light Source
If you’re fortunate enough to surf beyond the scope of urban light pollution, you can use car headlights, construction lights, or portable stadium lights to illuminate a peak on a clear night.
Bring a Buddy
Since night surfing is inherently a bit riskier, you would be wise to employ the buddy system. It will be difficult to see each other, so consistent vocal communication is the best way to avoid collisions.
Don’t Get Eaten
Many marine creatures feed at night, and low light may make it difficult for hungry critters to differentiate you from their preferred food. If you surf in the dark, don’t wear shiny jewelry, unless you’re comfortable with turning yourself into a giant fishing lure. Consider staying away from waters where sharks like to hang.