How it is surfing at night?

March 8, 2017

Surfing is a great sport. However, often are times when your local spot is too crowded in the daylight, so what do you do? Opt for the time when people are less crowded, when you can have the ocean to yourself, and enjoy your favorite sport. In this case, surfing at night can be an option.

Not many places will allow you to do that. It all depends on artificial lights or full moons, so surfers are able to see the waves coming and catch them. Therefore, never paddle out in the dark in an unfamiliar environment to you. Go out surfing in areas where you are closely familiar with the wave. Ensure you know every wave section, jetty and rock, as well as the twist and turns in the reef. The safest options are the mellow beach-breaks and sandy points. Due to the low light, it might be difficult to spot irregularities and spot boils, hence anticipating a wave is your best bet.

A clear night lit by the full moon is enough to see other surfers, approaching waves and stay clear of danger. A full moon’s surf is also a rarely enchanting experience. In the absence of well lit buildings, construction sites, piers and boardwalks, which are sufficiently bright to cast light, you can use artificial light sources such as screen LED lights, truck headlights, portable stadium lights, light bulbs and fluorescent tube, just to mention a few. These will provide you with adequate light to spot coming waves.

Surfing at night will definitely extend your limits.

Little light tends to make the waves appear larger and quicker. Night surfing is always a little scary and challenging compared to surfing in broad daylight. Probably your reason for surfing in the dark is to escape the daytime crowd, but you cannot surf alone in the night. It is common sense to surf with a partner or a small group of friends. Although it may be challenging to see one another when surfing, talking to each other constantly will help prevent any collision.

Security Tips for Surfing at Night

Although there is a one in a million chance of you getting eaten by a shark when surfing, it is better to be safe than sorry. Avoid shark prone areas. Other than sharks, other marine life feed at night as well, and the dim light makes it hard for hungry sea creatures to tell if you are food or not. Also avoid river mouths as these areas are where fish and food flow out into the ocean, which makes it a shark feeding area. Avoid wearing shiny, bright jewellery or high contrasting colors when surfing in the night. All these may attract the shark.

There are many instances when surfing at night is considerably less dangerous than it might be. 

Whether you’re a professional or novice surfer, surfing at night is not about showing off your skill level. Just enjoy the moment. Use a surfboard that you already know and are comfortable surfing with. You should always take whatever opportunities available to decrease level of difficulty when surfing at night.

There are a couple spots around the world that offer night surfing experiences using strong stadium lights. Matinhos in southern Brazil and Keramas in Bali, Indonesia (where you can learn to surf with, are some of them. Surfers often have memorable sessions at both spots.

That being said, good luck the next time you paddle for a session at night and remember, stay safe.