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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tips for Night Surfing | Catching Waves at Night Point Break Style

By Rick Bickerstaff We've all seen the epic (and totally false) night surf scene in Point Break, right? Despite Hollywood's mistaken depiction of night surfing, there are a lot of benefits to it, including fewer people and awakened instincts due to the lack of sight. I've made a few mistakes on the nocturnal way though, so I thought I'd share some tips for going on a night surf.

Courtesy of Inlet Charley's Surf Shop (

First, schedule your surf on a full moon. I've been out before the moon rises and can say, firsthand, that a giant luminescent ball in the sky makes a huge difference in your session (who would have thought?). It's also an amazing sight to see a big red moon rise over the city while you're out on the water with just a few trusted friends, which brings me to my next tip...

Always night surf with friends. It's a bit dangerous out there because you often can't see the waves or other surfers until they're a few yards away. You need guys around you to keep an eye out in case something should happen, and vice versa. But how do you see your friends in the dark?

Bring glowsticks! Tip #3...I realized this on my last paddle out when a few guys had glowsticks, but my crew did not. When one of them dropped in, it was easy to see. When I dropped in -- not so much. There were a couple of near-collisions that could have been easily preventable with a little illumination. If you want to take it even farther, try buying these neon wires and strapping them to your boards and wetsuits for a very Tron-esque surf session.

surfing at night with glowsticks

 Final tip: get to the break before the sun sets, so you can see how the wave is breaking that day. Even at a familiar break, it's always good to take a look in full light in case the particular swell is bringing something unexpected. Also, check ahead for tides and swell direction so you're well-informed. I know that is normal surf routine, but the stakes are higher for a night surf if you're not prepared for the conditions. Or you could just skip all these tips and hire Red Bull to help....
Share you night surf stories below! Last time I went out, I thought I saw a ghost (but I think it was a buoy)!

Final final tip - yes, night surfing is dangerous!  Be smart and safe!