Surfing creates an intense connection between an individual and the natural world. Many, including myself, have claimed that the simple act can be life changing. From the largest wave to the smallest surfable ripple, mankind has found a variety of emotions in the practice of wave riding.
So where is the next thrill of surfing? I am here to tell you that it is right in front of you, my friend. Night surfing. Yes, I suppose it is a bit dangerous, but only if you hit it on a big night, which is definitely not necessary at all, even for the biggest of thrill seekers.
The key to surfing at night is dong it on the perfect moonlit evening, which makes it a sort of novelty, much like surfing on a windy lake or surfing naked. You need to wait, watch, listen and react in order to grab the perfect waves in the darkness. Sometimes you will completely stumble upon this opportunity, like I did.
My friends and I were camping out on a beach in Northern California. After a day full of 4 foot closeouts, shallow water diggers, and some board damage, we were beat, cold, and ready to kick up our heels. Plans of relaxation were quickly forgotten when we witnessed the miniature sets in the moonlight. The 3 other thrill seekers and myself quickly shivered our way into our (still wet) wetsuits.
The intense moonlight illuminated the ankle high sets while we laughed our way down every wave. That truly was one of the best experiences I have had in surfing. It showed me that wave size has absolutely no correlation with amount of pure stoke. Laying on my board, looking up at the moon and mass of clear bright stars, while along side of 3 dudes who were enjoying it just as much. Now that is what surfing is all about if you ask me.
Keep your eyes on the night sky, get a good crew, stay warm, and be safe.
Pro tip: If your experience is a little less spontaneous than ours was, bring some colored glow sticks so you can identify who is ripping the hardest!
© Tatiana Morozova | Dreamstime.com – Surfer on sunset
The night surfing crew. Photo by Ryan Hughes