Surfing is a great sport. But 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.
Have you ever wondered why when sunset approaches, almost everyone leaves the water?
Here’s the reason why; sharks. Most people fear surfing after dark because sharks are known to hunt in the night. This is reason enough to scare people from surfing at night, but the shocking thing is that there are people who enjoy surfing after dark.
So does it mean that these people are insane or that the non-surfers are paranoid about sharks?
It is statistically known that one is likely to get struck by lightning or die from a car accident, than it is for one to encounter a predator attack. Nonetheless, the one in a million likelihood of a shark attack is enough to draw people from the water when the sun sets. The surf-kind however let nothing deter them from enjoying their favorite sport, even after the sun sets. There may be no patrol guards or life savers in the night, but the surf-lovers manage to beat the odds.
Here are 10 night surfing tips that probably the surfing vamps use to safely surf in the night, and might be helpful to you too.
Designate a surf spot
It is hard enough to get a surf spot during broad daylight, and it is even harder in the night when you cannot really see that far, or clearly. 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.
Utilize the full moon
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. Moreover, a full moon enhances the chances of an unexpected experience with skinny-dipping locals.
Employ other light sources
It is usually dark at night, which makes it hard to see. 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.
Surf smooth, foreseeable 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 absolutely challenging compared to surfing in broad daylight. Therefore, do not surf waves that might actually kill you, just to be on the safe side.
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 your crazy group of friends, since surfing in the night is basically a dangerous pursuit. Although it may be challenging to see one another when surfing, talking to each other constantly will help prevent any collision.
Watch out for sharks
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, if you get cut and start to bleed, get out of the water and stop the bleeding at once. It is well known that blood attracts sharks, so if you do not wish to become the meal, stay clear of the water if hurt.
Avoid river channels and openings
These areas are where fish and food flow out into the ocean, which makes it a shark feeding area. Also, do not surf after a downpour. This is because the water becomes murky from the rain, hence low visibility; a shark might mistake you for fish.
Don’t dress for a party
Avoid wearing shiny, bright jewellery or high contrasting colors when surfing in the night. All these may attract the shark, which you don’t want at all.
Warning signs usually indicate danger. They are sometimes set in the beach to warn swimmers and surfers where sharks have been spotted. Don’t ignore those signs and gamble with your life.
This doesn’t apply to your titles. Knowing yourself means how much good of a swimmer and surfer are you? If you are caught in a sticky situation, can you get yourself out of it? Don’t go surfing in the night if you know you’re not that good at surfing just yet, because surfing at night is more challenging than it is in the day.
One fact you should get straight is that night surfing and day surfing are completely different. There are so many challenges for surfing in the dark such as low light, which makes it hard for you to see an incoming wave. But it doesn’t mean that it is impossible; the surf vamps are at it for one. Just ensure that you make the odds favorable to you and don’t go at it alone, always have a buddy with you.