how to surf at night ?

Night surfing with the Blackswan lamp is a unique and intense experience, it takes preparation and attention during the first sessions…

The surfing should be fun and riskier situations should be identified and avoided.

Before you get overwhelmed by the unique atmosphere of a night session, there are some principles to follow.

The Black Swan team will share our experience.

The first time

You should always take every opportunity available to reduce the level of difficulty when surfing at night.

– an easy spot

– Calm waves

– A known board

– Physically fit

– No fog or rain

Reduce the number of unknowns in the equation.

The learning period

Surfing at night requires a small learning period. You will need to be more intuitive and become more responsiveness, but once the technique is aquired, it’s pure happiness and stoke!

Do not expect to score at the first session, although experience shows that some people acclimatise easily to the new parameters.

A new tool for your quiver

Imagine the lamp like a new board in your quiver, some weather conditions will fit perfectly, some don't

The Blackswan surf lamp is like a board and more in your quiver, its use is optimal under certain conditions. Surfing a 1m swell at the nearest Worldclass point break in your area could be the best session of the year! But surfing a 2m swell on an unknown beach break will turn into a nightmare.

No Bad surprises!

Proper maintenance and preparation of your equipment is essential for good performance and maximum safety.

– Lamp 100% charged

– A surfboard leash in good condition

The spot

80% of the quality of night surfing depends on picking a suitable spot.

Types of spot:

– Beach breaks

They have the advantage of being less vicious than the reefs but the disadvantage of a peak that can move tens of meters depending on the quality of the sand bank. It must be responsive and selective to score.

– Point break

Wave anticipation is excellent, it is the night surfing holy grail. Benefit from a close shore line, predicatable wave and ride that train into the darkness!

– Reef break

Being able to surf a crowded reef break on your own at night is immensly satisfying, the reefs often have visble rocks in the immediate environment that allows better tracking in the line up.

The downside is that sets can shift or come in wide putting us in a difficult position. Surfing reef-breaks in the darkness requires lots of experience night surfing, so build up to it.

My favorite breaks often have rocks, reliefs, harbour, cliff causing plenty of white water down the line, this allows us to anticipate the arrival of the sets well in advance.

The moment



– The glassy waves

– It is often the best sessions, the thermal activity is at its lowest level, the wind is often nil or offshore.

– The sun rises, the lights of crazy …


– Mornings often prone to fog

– Limited chance to check the waves mean you maybe in for a surprise, good or bad!



– Ability to check the quality of the waves

– Warmer time of day

– The look on peoples faces when you come running down the beach 10mins after sunset!


– Fatigue of a full day before your session

– Full night


– Person to look at you strangely when you go or out of the water


– unusual muscle Alarm

– No possible check

– Output night water

Weather conditions

– Swell

It is easy to predict the swell, weather patterns have become effective, some models indicate nighttime conditions.

– The wind

Depending on the climate and topology of the place, the wind tends to fall overnight. weather conditions (temperature, pressure) between the land and the sea without changing the effect of radiation from the sun.

– Fog

This is the most sensitive parameter and least anticipable. bit embarrassing day, at night it prevents surfing. As an open car fog, the light illuminates the millions of water droplets suspended in the air and creates a glare.

Anticipate the waves

The principle of operation of the human eye: a light source (sun or artificial) sends a light beam towards an object, the object reflects the light beam into its environment, the eye captures this light ray, retina converts this wave in available information to the brain, the brain creates an image. This complex process is repeated thousands of times each second.

The difference between an artificial lighting in the terrestrial environment relative to the marine environment is the ability of the element to reflect the light, the index of refraction. In perfect conditions, clear water, visible background, you will see the curl of the wave 5-10m, the white foam 80m and relief to over 100m.

If the water is loaded with sediment (estuarine output), the coefficient increases so the results improve.

Refractive index

Finding yourself in space

You have to make a mental map of the spot and its specificities

The relief help to position in space, a tip, a pebble. spots with relief that foamed waves help to anticipate the return sets.

If the spot does not offer sufficient reference or current, I always position a luminous element on the spot, a simple camping lamp € 10 only. it is visible and it facilitates positioning. to try it is to adopt it.


Depending on the season and the outside temperature, allow 1 mm more for your combination. Temperatures can drop to 10 to 15 ° c at night.

Night life

It is a vast and important subject, it will be treated in depth in a post.

There has never been any shark attacks on surfers in Europe (area between Norway and Morocco), the rest of the world to study case by case.

Although there is a chance in a million that you are eaten by a shark in the practice of night surfing, prevention is better than cure.

Avoid areas subject to sharks. Besides sharks, marine life also feeds at night.

Also avoid river mouths because these areas are where the fish and food flow into the ocean, making it a feeding area for sharks.

Each part will be subject to a separate post.

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