Surfing is mostly taken as a recreational activity with people considering it a fun sport rather than something serious. However, if you’re thinking about becoming a skilled surfer, you’ll need to put in the effort.
Surfing two to three times a week as a beginner is enough to improve your overall physical and mental health. However, to get better at surfing, you should focus less on the time you spend on the waves and more on the techniques you learn.
Surfing can be quite beneficial to your health, however, if you want to surf regularly, you should learn how to choose the appropriate time for surfing, follow certain safety precautions, and choose the correct surfboard for the optimum surfing experience.
- Best Time for Surfing
- Surfing at Night
- Benefits of Surfing Regularly
- Drawbacks of Surfing Too Much
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Time for Surfing
Surfers fear missing out on the perfect surfing conditions more than anything else. However, by understanding the ideal time to go surfing during the day, you can experience the best surfing conditions to practice your techniques and hone them.
The general opinion among experienced surfers is that the ideal time to surf is early in the morning, somewhere around dawn. However, you can also go surfing around sunset since more swells form in the waves around that time.
How To Tell if It’s a Good Time to go Surfing
Before going out to surf, it’s a good habit to read the surf report of the beach for that day. Reading a surf report isn’t difficult—all you need to do is keep your eye out for certain characteristics.
One thing to look for is the swell time of the water. A swell time of 8 seconds is optimal for surfing in most scenarios because it creates enough energy and speed to propel the surfer, and also provides them with enough time to stabilize themselves on the board.
Furthermore, you should also check the speed of the wind. This is important to know as a strong breeze can create difficulties for you when you are surfing, such as hindering your ability to maintain the correct balance.
Surfing at Night
Although it’s a great way to avoid the daylight crowd, surfing in the dark is more difficult and daunting than surfing during the day. Moreover, most places do not allow surfers to surf at night because of how dangerous the water can be,
Safety Tips for Surfing at Night
Surfing at night means you’ll have difficulty spotting dangerous reefs and stones. Therefore, it’s always best to follow precautionary measures if you ever want to surf at night. These include picking a spot you’re used to, using various light sources, and staying close to your friends.
Pick a Spot Carefully
Although this is true for surfing both during the day and the night, you need to be extra careful when you are finding a location to surf during the night. You should only surf in areas that you are already quite accustomed to.
If you don’t already have a site you are well familiar with, spend some time during the day getting familiar with a specific water location. Before testing out the site at night, observe the potential obstacles, plan your approach, and pay special attention to any irregularities in the currents.
Always Follow the Moon or Other Light Sources
It’s important to utilize the full moon during the night since it gives you enough light to spot any incoming dangers and waves. Furthermore, surfing under the shine of a moon is a wonderful experience. If the moon isn’t visible, you should seek out man-made light sources to identify potential hazards. You can even bring artificial light sources with you, like headlights, to assist you while surfing.
Surf Close to Your Friends
Surfing becomes extremely difficult at night, especially if you’re a beginner, therefore, you should try to keep as close to your surf party as possible. Not only does surfing close to your friends protect you from unforeseen dangers, but it is also an overall amazing experience. While surfing with your friends, always try and communicate where you are to avoid collisions in the water during the dark.
Pick the Correct Night
The best night to go surfing would be when the full moon is out. Moreover, the sky should be clear and the conditions should not be too windy. If the wind is blowing at more than 10 miles per hour, it’s better to go back home and come back another day.
Benefits of Surfing Regularly
There are numerous health benefits associated with this sport that motivate surfers to ride waves regularly. Some of them include increasing your overall mental and physical health and making you more energetic in your day-to-day activities.
Helps Improve Mental Health
There aren’t many better ways to clear your mind than by riding waves on a surfboard. As Surfing requires a lot of focus and concentration, it makes the sport an excellent way to momentarily disconnect yourself from the harsh realities of life. Surfing is also a great way to meditate as it allows you to be mindful of your surroundings and improves your heart rate.
Strengthens Muscles and Burns Calories
Surfing burns just about as many calories as a one-hour gym session or playing football for a couple of hours. With the constant paddling, surfing also helps tone your arms along with your shoulder muscles. Even your neck muscles get a decent workout when you’re paddling out to meet waves.
Moreover, surfing regularly has also been linked to lower chances of individuals suffering from heart-related illnesses. It is a great physical exercise that pumps up your heart rate and boosts the amount of oxygen in our blood, giving our muscles the strength to work throughout the day.
Drawbacks of Surfing Too Much
Surfing may offer various benefits, however, the sport also features a couple of drawbacks. Some of these downsides result from not following the correct surfing etiquette, while some result from overestimating your surfing abilities.
Surfing can be Quite Exhausting
Surfing requires a lot of physical exertion. If you don’t preserve your energy, it is difficult to store your breath, which can be disastrous while fighting a massive wave. Consequently, if you’re out of breath, you’re likely to get into problems while riding waves more frequently.
Therefore, if a massive wave comes down on you, don’t spend your energy flailing around like crazy. Instead, be patient and concentrate on staying stable so you can combat the breaking wave effectively.
Surfing Equipment can be Expensive
Just like any other sport, surfing also requires you to have some basic equipment that enables you to confidently take on these massive waves. These include surfboards, wetsuits, goggles, nose gears, and much more.
Without a quality surfboard, there are chances you’ll get washed out by gigantic waves frequently. Sometimes, you will also have to buy a wetsuit if you’re looking to dive in cold waters. Unfortunately, neither of these pieces of equipment is cheap (surfboards can cost as much as $900 sometimes) and require you to invest a ton of money.
Moreover, the more you surf, the more the chances of your surfboard getting damaged. These damages can rack up a lot of bucks when you start to get them repaired. This includes buying a specialized repair kit to fix cracks in your board and surfboard bags which protect the board from getting damaged further.
Surfing can be Dangerous
Surfing large waves can be quite dangerous, and since most waves break away from the beach into the deep water, there are chances these waves can cause amateurs to drown. Furthermore, the intensity of a powerful wave collapsing on you, while you are surfing, can easily break your surfboard. In such a case you might get stranded in the sea, forced to paddle back to the shore.
Best Boards for Surfing Regularly
If you are going to surf regularly, you will require the most durable surfboards that are made of excellent quality. Most surfboards these days are made of either epoxy resin or polyester, and choosing between them can often be quite daunting for new surfers.
|Lightweight in design||Slightly heavier|
|More durable and resistant to hits||Can be damaged easily|
|More resistant to color delamination||UV rays can deteriorate the color faster|
|Can be costly||Relatively inexpensive|
If you’re planning to surf consistently, around 3-4 times a week, then you should go with an epoxy surfboard. Their nearly indestructible covering will prevent the board from getting waterlogged and dented as you ride waves constantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Surfing Regularly Help Reduce Stress?
Surfing can help ease all kinds of stress and anxiety. Surfing requires a lot of mental concentration, making it an excellent way to divert your thoughts from the unpleasant things happening in your life.
Does Surfing Regularly Help Build More Balance?
Surfing helps you in improving your balance and developing a stronger core. Moreover, learning to navigate through enormous waves also helps improve your coordination. Not only does this make you more physically fit, but it also protects you from various afflictions such as arthritis.
How Many Hours Should I Practice Surfing as a Beginner?
As a beginner, you should ideally practice surfing for approximately two hours every time you go to the beach. This can include simply trying to balance yourself on a surfboard or even padding to a wave. If you diligently practice for a minimum of 1 month, you will be able to start riding waves confidently.
Apart from being a great physical exercise, surfing is also a therapeutic activity and helps you live a happier life. However, you don’t have to be too ambitious when it comes to surfing. Always choose the appropriate time and location to ride the waves, and if you do that, chances are you’re always going to have a wonderful experience at the hands of the sea.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.