What’s the best time of day to surf or paddleboard?
Should You Just Go with the Flow?
When it comes to paddleboarding, most of us think that there’s never really a bad time to get out on the water and have some fun! However, picking the right time of day can really make or break a paddleboarding session, especially if you’re a beginner and just finding your feet out on the waves. In this deep dive, we’re going to take a look at the different times of day you can paddleboard, and what makes each one special. We’ll also include things you need to consider to be safe and have fun when paddleboarding in the morning, afternoon, and evening!
If you’re the type of person that’s always on a quest to find peace, tranquility, and zen, then mornings might be your best bet. Early mornings are often less crowded than afternoons and later in the day, which means you can have far more space to yourself. The lack of noise during the early morning provides a great atmosphere for yoga enthusiasts to meditate and loosen up. Lovers of fast-paced surfing can have those sweet waves all to themselves, though the waves in the morning are generally smaller than in the afternoon since the wind strength is lower.
When it comes to boat traffic, early mornings are also an awesome option. Since boats generally start showing up when people do, if you’re bright and early, you’ll have no worries about sharing your water with boats transporting people back and forth. This not only makes mornings great for paddleboarding in general, but it also means you’ll be much safer since you won’t need to keep an eye out for any boats coming your way! On the flip side, you may not find lifeguards patrolling peaches too early in the morning, so keep that in mind for safety.
Mornings are also a perfect option for people who hate paddling against the wind. Generally speaking, the wind is less ferocious in the morning, so you won’t need to expend as much energy paddling out to a good spot.
Afternoons are generally the most crowded time of the day since they’re not too early or too late. If you really can’t bring yourself to wake up early and don’t mind sharing space with other people, afternoons are a wonderful time to get out on the water, too. Unlike mornings and evenings, which can be chilly and dark, afternoons are often the most temperate part of the day and may offer up the best weather conditions.
If you love surfing and want the biggest waves possible, then paddleboarding in the afternoon is almost a must. Since the wind is stronger in the afternoon than in the morning or evening, this is the optimum time for surfers to wage war against bigger and badder waves!
When it comes to safety, afternoons are busy, which means you’re more likely to bump into someone, but it also means there will be people around you to help should you end up in a dangerous situation. Early mornings and evenings, when there are fewer people about, can be riskier of a prospect for beginner boarders, or those with less experience. If you’re on a beach, you can also count on a lifeguard being on duty in the afternoon.
If paddleboarding, for you, is all about enjoying the beauty of the water, then sunset may just be one of the most spectacular times to go paddleboarding. Just like with early mornings, sunset time tends to be less busy, which makes it great for people who won’t like waking up early, but still want space to themselves.
In addition, much like the morning, the wind is gentler, making this a great time for paddleboarding if you’re a beginner. And once you’re done with your paddleboarding adventure, you can return home sufficiently exhausted and enjoy a nice night’s rest. Paddleboarding in the evening is honestly one of the best ways to sleep well and feel fresh the next day!
One important thing to consider, though, is the lack of visibility at nighttime. While ocean traffic is less in the evenings and at night, you should still have a light on you to warn boats and other borders of your position. There is also less likely to be a lifeguard on duty, which may make this dangerous for beginners.
Consider the Tides
Ultimately, the best time of day to paddleboard will be when the tides are the most favorable. No matter how picturesque, crowded, or windy it is, if the tide is unsuitable for paddleboarding, you’re going to have a bad time. Fortunately, the tides are very predictable, unlike the weather! Usually, you’ll have two high tides and two low tides in a day. Finding out when these tides occur will be key in deciding what time it’s best for you to board during.
The tides have different currents, which you can find below:
– High or low tide
1st hour – Weak current
2nd hour – Medium current
3rd hour – Strong current
4th hour – Strong current
5th hour – Medium current
6th hour – Weak current
– Low or high tide
No matter if you are a beginner or advanced boarder, it’s generally wise to avoid periods with strong current since these are the times where you could face the most resistance and could even get dragged out to sea. Make sure you are very familiar with your local tides and conditions and plan your boarding session accordingly.
So When is the Best time for Paddleboarding?
You should pick the time of day you enjoy and then try to time it with the tide and currents. This provides a good level of flexibility so that you can generally board during a period of the day that you really love. Now that you know what to look out for when paddleboarding during different times of the day, grab your board, get out on the waves, and have an amazing time!