I think every surfer would agree that they prefer surfing when it’s not crowded. Crowds can tend to increase the risk for injury, increase the stress levels in the water, and decrease your wave count.
If you’re a beginner surfer, if you’re a surfer with a career or a family, or if you don’t live close to the beach, crowded surfing may seem like your only option at times.
The best – really the only way – to get better at surfing is to surf more waves. That can be very hard to do when you’re dealing with crowded lineups and beaches.
If you absolutely have to surf with crowds, here are some things you can do to up your wave count:
- Get better at paddling.
- Surf a board with a little more volume.
- Improve your fitness & endurance.
- Develop your eye for spotting good waves.
If you want to beat the crowds – whether on the weekend or a workday – you’ve got some options too:
- Dawn Patrol: Wake up before the sun rises and get out into the water at first light. The crowds are typically lighter or nonexistent depending on the spot. The winds will usually be calm too, making for perfect, glassy surface conditions. You’ll get your surf out of the way and will be able to go on with your day in peace.
- Sunset Sessions: While an evening surf during the week is typically going to be filled with the after-work crew, staying out around and past sunset until last light will usually let the crowds die down.
- Mid-day Lunch Surf: If it’s not summertime, you can usually find a window of uncrowded surf if you’re able to sneak out of the office for lunch.
- Find some new spots: If you’re having no luck where you normally surf and can’t seem to beat the crowds, it might be time for some local adventures. You’d be surprised of the semi-secret waves you can discover with a little searching and some trekking. If you’re looking for uncrowded waves locally, find the spots where beach access is limited or requires some walking. Check places that aren’t covered in the surf reports or by the cams.
If you’re having no luck at all at home, it might be time for a surf trip.