Surfing After Rain: What You Need to Know

Hey wave riders! 🏄‍♀️ Ever thought about catching those gnarly swells right after a downpour? Mother Nature can serve up some epic waves after a good rain, but is it worth paddling into those stormy waters? Hold on to your boards, folks, because in this blog post we’ll dive deep into the world of surfing after rain and reveal the secrets behind those glassy, uncrowded lineups. So, before you zip up your

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Surfing After Rain: What You Need to Know

Surfing after rain can offer an uncrowded lineup and quality waves; however, it’s important to consider water quality, as rain can cause runoff with pollutants, bacteria, and debris. To reduce the risk of illness, it’s best to wait at least 72 hours after a storm, avoid surfing near storm drains or river mouths, and pay attention to local water quality advisories. Additionally, it’s important to be cautious due to changing surf conditions and potential hazards such as floating debris or strong currents.

The Perks of Surfing After Rain: A Silver Lining

Despite the potential downsides, there are some undeniably sweet reasons to surf after rain. Here are a few of the benefits that make it so appealing to some surfers:

1. Less Crowded Lineups

The idea of catching a solo wave at a popular surf spot is like music to a surfer’s ears. With fewer riders paddling out after a downpour, you might find yourself with more space and better opportunities to catch some memorable rides.

2. Glassy Waves

Rain can calm the wind, turning up some of the cleanest, glassiest waves you’ll ever surf. Combine this smooth surface with uncrowded lineups, and you’ll have the recipe for an epic surf session.

3. Unique Swells

As storm systems roll in, they can create fantastic swells that are just waiting to be ridden. Paying close attention to changing conditions and staying diligent about safety can yield some truly thrilling and one-of-a-kind surfing experiences.

Water Quality Concerns: The Not-So-Fun Side of Surfing After Rain

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows (or, in this case, rainclouds and swells) when it comes to surfing after a downpour. The main concern is water quality – quite simply, it can be pretty gross out there. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Polluted Runoff

When it rains, water runs over streets, sidewalks, and various surfaces, picking up all kinds of nasty stuff along the way. This filthy mix, also known as urban runoff, often ends up in our oceans. We’re talking about motor oil, fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and all sorts of pollutants – not exactly the kind of water you want to be submerged in.

2. Bacteria and Illness Risks

As you might expect, bacteria levels can soar after a heavy rain, putting you at risk for all kinds of unpleasant illnesses. The most common culprits are gastrointestinal bugs, skin infections, eye irritations, and respiratory issues – these can all put a damper on any surfer’s stoke.

3. Debris and Hazards

Rain can also wash out debris, including tree branches, trash, and other random items that make their way into the water. Colliding with a piece of debris while dropping in can be both painful and dangerous. Plus, the water can be murkier than usual, which makes it harder to spot potential hazards.

Avoiding the Pitfalls: How to Stay Safe While Surfing After Rain

Alright, you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and you’re still up for the challenge. What now? Follow these tips to stay as safe (and healthy) as possible while you conquer those gnarly post-rain swells.

1. Wait It Out

Patience is a virtue, and it’s especially true when it comes to surfing after rain. Most experts recommend waiting at least 72 hours after heavy rainfall before jumping into the water. This gives time for bacteria levels to drop and debris to clear out.

2. Check Local Water Quality Reports

There’s no harm in doing a little research before paddling out. Look up local water quality reports or beach advisories to ensure you’re not diving into a bacterial soup. Most coastal areas have monitoring programs that provide regular updates on water conditions.

3. Steer Clear of Drainage Areas and River Mouths

Play it smart and avoid surfing near storm drains, river mouths, and other areas where polluted runoff is more likely to end up. The further you are from these hotspots, the cleaner the water should be.

4. Assess the Surf Conditions Thoroughly

Always take a good look at the water conditions before paddling out. Is it too murky? Are there any visible hazards? Trust your instincts, and if something seems off, don’t push your luck.

5. Boost Your Immune System

Give your body the best chance to resist infections by keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated. It might not guarantee you’ll dodge all the nasty stuff in the water, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

6. Rinse Off Thoroughly

Once you’re done riding those waves, give yourself (and your gear) a thorough rinse. Shedding all that potentially germ-laden water can help minimize the risk of infection.

7. Inspect Your Gear

Before heading to the beach, take a moment to check your gear carefully. Make sure your wetsuit, leash, and fins are in good condition. Failure to do so could put you at risk for injury or equipment failure in potentially hazardous conditions.

Surf Equipment Tips for Post-Rain Sessions

So, is your quiver ready for those post-rain surf sessions? Here are a few suggestions to ensure you’re always prepared.

1. Keep an Eye Out for Used Surfboards for Sale

After a storm, don’t be too eager to risk damaging your prized surfboard. Instead, invest in a more budget-friendly board that you’re not too attached to. Keep an eye out for used surfboards for sale, and consider snagging a backup for these specific conditions. That way, if your board gets dinged, it’s not your precious favorite.

2. Opt for a Suit with More Seal and Protection

Investing in a wetsuit with features like sealed seams, a high-quality zipper, and wrist and ankle seals can help minimize the water that seeps in during your post-rain surf session. Staying dry helps you stay warm, and the added protection also offers a barrier against potentially contaminated water.

3. Don’t Forget the Earplugs

Wearing earplugs while surfing in less-than-stellar water conditions can help reduce your risk of ear infections. Plus, they have the added bonus of keeping your ears warm on cold days.


And there you have it, wave riders – everything you need to know about surfing after rain. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with the right safety precautions, gear, and a healthy dose of respect for Mother Nature, you can make the most of those tempting post-storm conditions. Stay stoked and catch you on the next wave!

Embracing the Elements: Rainy Day Surf Essentials

For those brave souls who dare to venture into the surf after a downpour, it’s important to be prepared for the elements. This means packing the right gear and knowing some useful hacks to make the experience more enjoyable. Here’s a list of essentials and tips to help you thrive in those post-rain surf sessions:

1. Dry Bags and Waterproof Cases

Keep your personal belongings safe and dry by investing in a high-quality dry bag. Additionally, consider using waterproof cases for your electronics, such as your smartphone or camera, to ensure they’re protected from the elements.

2. A Warm Change of Clothes

When you finish riding those epic post-rain waves, there’s nothing more satisfying than peeling off your wet wetsuit and changing into warm, cozy clothes. Ensure you have a dry change of clothing, including a warm hat and a pair of socks, waiting for you at the beach.

3. Rain Gear

Even though you’ll be getting wet in the ocean, it’s still a good idea to stay dry on land. Pack a rain jacket or poncho to wear as you check out the surf conditions or prepare your gear. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella too – not just for yourself, but for friends who might need some shelter.

4. A Reliable Leash

Post-rain conditions can be unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to become separated from your surfboard. Ensure you have a strong, dependable leash that will hold fast amid potential debris and strong currents.

5. Warm Beverages

Keep your spirits and body temperature up with a thermos of your favorite warm beverage. Whether it’s coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, there’s no better way to stay toasty as you enjoy the unique experience of surfing after rain.


Rain or shine, dedicated surfers know that there’s always a way to find joy in riding the waves. So, as you delve into the world of surfing after rain – equipped with newfound knowledge, safety tips, and essential gear – let the water cleanse your spirit and ignite your passion for this incredible sport. In the immortal words of Bob Marley, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” And that includes making the most of post-rain swells. Stay stoked, and may your sessions be filled with unforgettable rides! 🌊

FAQ: Surfing After Rain – Your Questions Answered

We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions about surfing after rain to help make your experience as enjoyable, safe, and informed as possible. Dive in and find answers to all your queries right here:

1. Is it safe to surf during a rainstorm?

Surfing during a rainstorm is generally not a good idea, as weather conditions can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in wind and surf can make for dangerous situations. Additionally, the risk of lightning strikes poses a significant hazard to surfers. It’s best to wait until the storm has passed before paddling out.

2. What are the best swell and tide conditions for surfing after rain?

Every surf spot is unique, but generally, swells created by storm systems can produce excellent waves for surfing after rain. It’s essential to consult surf reports, tide charts, and local knowledge to best understand the conditions at your chosen break.

3. How can I find suitable breaks for surfing after rain?

Do your research by talking to local surfers, checking online surf communities, and consulting surf guides for your area. They’ll provide insight into which breaks might work best under specific conditions and which spots to avoid due to potential hazards, such as runoff or debris.

4. Can I get sick from surfing after rain?

Surfing after rain carries an increased risk of illness due to elevated bacteria levels and polluted runoff. Taking necessary precautions, such as waiting a few days after the rain, avoiding hotspots, and rinsing off thoroughly after surfing, can help minimize this risk.

5. What if I accidentally swallow water while surfing after rain?

While it’s best to avoid swallowing any water, if it happens, monitor your health for any symptoms of illness, such as fever, upset stomach, or skin irritations. If you experience any adverse symptoms, consult a medical professional for advice.

6. Can I wear contact lenses while surfing after rain?

Wearing contact lenses while surfing after rain may increase the risk of eye infections due to bacteria in the water. It’s a good idea to wear good-quality, watertight goggles or switch to prescription surf sunglasses instead.

7. Are there any specific health concerns for children or elderly surfers after rain?

Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to getting sick from contaminated water due to weaker immune systems. It’s especially important for these groups to adhere to safety precautions and consider waiting a few days after the rain before hitting the waves.

8. What should I do if I feel sick after surfing in post-rain conditions?

If you experience symptoms like fever, vomiting, skin irritations, or sore throat after surfing in post-rain conditions, consult a medical professional for advice and treatment. Be sure to mention your recent exposure to potentially contaminated water.

9. What gear should I always have for surfing after rain?

Some essential gear for surfing after rain includes a reliable leash, a well-sealed wetsuit, earplugs, dry bags