When is the Best Time to Surf? The Logical Answer Ever

By Sophia the SeaMonster on Jan 28, 2023

The surfer’s level, excellent surf conditions, and personal preference are primarily the things the best time to surf depends largely on. It’s that simple.

But when your level falls under the ‘novice’ rank, figuring out what time of day the waves would be perfect becomes overwhelming and exhausting, while anything like ‘personal preference’ turns into indecisiveness. While the thought of just missing out on the best surf conditions is what you fear the most, going without knowing anything authentic would dramatically increase the time you take to learn surfing.

To make you avoid this situation entirely, I just dived deeper into the ‘web’ and came up with the widely agreed best times of day, and months of the year to surf, as well as the reasons why those time frames are best for beginner surfers like you.

When is the Best Time to Surf?

Assuming you’re a beginner wanting to find the perfect waves for learning, the ideal times of the day to surf are generally around sunrise and right before sunset when there’s swell in the water. However, those two times aren’t the end of the world - if you’re skilled enough to read a surf forecast report like a surf scientist, you can preserve some of your life’s best solo surfs at a usually crowded surf spot.

At this point, deciding whether you want to be an early riser or risk surfs at dusk can be pretty challenging. But only unless you get reasons for that. Well, no worries, this is actually what I’m here to explain.

Why Early Morning & Late Evening are the Best Times to Surf?

1. Less Crowded Lineups

This one is specific to surfing in the early morning. For most surfers, getting up even a few minutes before the crack of dawn is a necessary evil that they must encounter to ride their fair share of waves. In fact, for early-morning surfers, the chances that they’ll ride their few set waves with only a few heads out are exceptionally high.

With a smaller crowd around, you’ll spend less time thinking that you’re being judged as a novice and more time focussing on nailing the art! Even better, making just a couple of pro-like maneuvers would be sufficient enough to impress many when there are fewer!

Of course, the water won’t be as warm as you’d like, but that’s what a wetsuit is for! So, wake up before the sun rises, put on a wetsuit, and arrive at the spot for the first light.

2. Light Offshore Winds

Wind conditions become another reason why you should prefer riding the waves in the early morning and late evening.

Based on a typical wind circle, the winds in the morning are offshore. They are lighter and start getting more assertive in the late morning, peak in the afternoon, and then occasionally become light again just in time for a beautiful sunset. The light offshore winds provide smoother breaks and clean, perfect-to-ride waves.

On the contrary, late morning (a few hours later sunrise) and afternoon (a couple of hours before sunset) wind typically bring choppier and harsher waves which aren’t a thing of novice surfers.

Important Note:

Associating offshore winds to the morning to be lighter and onshore to the evening to be stronger is a typical, most often happening atmospheric phenomenon. That might not always be the case. You need to be able to identify both wind types and decide accordingly.

3. An Extra Edge Healthwise

Starting your day, getting a new meetup with nature and a full body workout (surfing), and even ending peacefully with tranquility all around is an excellent experience.

A regular morning surf session not only pays off in the long run but also triggers the ‘feel good’ hormones that make up for a productive day. You’ll surely be tired after a full hard day, but a short evening session with calm water is can bless you with a fairly relaxed mind.

Let’s Now Fill in the Blanks, Shall We?

Yes, please. You’re welcome in advance!

Those two-day times aren’t the end of the world - surfing can be super fun, yet thriving in the middle of the day. When surf conditions are right, desirable waves on your local breaks appear when you least expect them. These hourly surf sessions become some of the most memorable occasions for surfers because they occur less often and tend to be uncrowded.

To get the most out of your ‘middle of the day’ surf session, you must diligently follow the surf forecast for your spot. If the report signals wind levels to be lighter into the afternoon while there’ll be swell in the water, chances for good times are high.

4. Sometimes, It’s Your Good Luck!

Sometimes, you’re driving by one of your favorite spots, listening to music, and nothing like surfing is on your mind. And decide to see what the surf looks like, and voilà, the winds are light, and the waves are looking great with only a few people out!

What is the Best Time of the Year to Surf?

In general, the winter months are the best to offer the perfect surfing conditions. This is because the waves tend to get bigger, and the swells are more reliable. On the contrary, waves are smaller and less consistent in summer months.

It turns out summer can be the best time for beginners so that winter can be for more advanced surfers.

Nonetheless, beaches are different worldwide, and so are differing surfing conditions.

For example, Hawaii, Morocco, Australia, California, and Peru are famous for their world-class waves and consistency for surfers. You can surf in these locations almost all year round. They offer suitable atmospheric conditions like warm water, sunny weather, friendly vibes, and other facilities like plenty of hotels, surf schools, and shops nearby.

Final Thought

Knowing winds and their variations and honesty about your level as a surfer are the keys to determining the best surfing time. Whichever time of the day or month of the year you choose to surf, stick with them for a few months. Your experience will increase your knowledge of waves and your self-awareness as a learner. And this is precisely what is the key to leveling up and starting surfing like a pro!

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