How to make the most out of your surf session… on a time crunch!

The following list is a collection of efficient and time-saving tips and tricks to assist you as you embark on your surfing journey and to maximize the fun out of each session. This is about how to make the most out of your surf session!

We all lead busy lives, and while we may dream about surfing all day every day, for most, that ends when we open our eyes!

Read on to learn the best practices on how to make the most out of your surf session… and fit it into your schedule.

Most of these items, as you may have already guessed, boil down to planning ahead and time management. However, let us know if any of these surprise you!

1) Check the waves before you go

Depending on where you live, whether it be Honolulu, LA, or San Diego, your ability to drive to different spots to check the waves may be limited.

Once you are surfing more consistently, you will start to get a sense of the proximity of various surf spots and what your driving radius will tend to look like. It becomes easier to learn how to make the most out of your surf session!

Who knows, maybe you’re even so lucky as to walk right down to the beach! — All the better. Regardless, it is always a good idea to check before you go.

We all have busy lives, and if it’s the sort of week where you only have a quick window of time to surf, you want to make sure you are setting yourself up for success when you do hit the water.

Download an app like Surfline, and check the waves from anywhere. Surfline is considered the most trusted surf app for a reason.

It allows you to find and save your local surf spots so that you can check wave heights, wind patterns, and more, and even see live cam recordings at select locations.

The app even provides a forecast a few days out so you can be in the know. I find that for really off shore breaks, Surfline cam footage can sometimes be more helpful than observing from the beach!

Some other similar apps to assist on how to make the most out of your surf session include:

  • Magic Seaweed: provides long range surf forecasts with wind patterns
  • Windy: intuitive weather models
  • Google Earth: birds eye view of surf spots

Also, at HOKALI we have our own Surf Report to check the weather in our surfing locations!

Finally, the last option — and arguably the best — is to remember where your friends live! Your circle of friends and surf partners are important for more reasons than one.

If you have someone you can call up to give you the latest report, that is a tried and true method to have solid reads of all the spots in your area.

2) Rock the sun protection

A huge benefit to wearing sun-protective clothing when you’re out in the water (besides the obvious: protect against skin damage) is the time-saving aspect!

Instead of spending 10 minutes in your car slathering on sunscreen, asking your friend to get your back, etc., throw on a T-shirt or rashguard and a hat! (Bucket hats are a good option, as they stay on securely and have a chin strap in many cases).

You will spend far less time getting ready before you hit the water, and you will avoid all the unpleasantness of rushed sunscreen applications, i.e. sunscreen on your car door handles, or running into your eyes. Avoiding these inconveniences aid with how to make the most out of your surf session!

Obviously, the simplest option is to go for it without any sun protection measures, but, that is definitely not the best for your skin in the long run.

3) Traffic, traffic, traffic…

This can be said about anything at all, but — avoid peak traffic hours! Knowing this is great for how to make the most out of your surf session!

There’s honestly nothing worse than psyching yourself for your surf session, packing the car and your board, and then lining up in bumper-to-bumper traffic, arriving at the beach an hour after you had originally planned.

As much as possible, try not to surf at peak rush hour traffic, when people are leaving or going to work.

In addition… find your shortcuts!

That one main road lane that always gets backed up behind a line of 40 cars turning left? Try the backroad.

If nothing else, surfing regularly will make you a better driver… promise. Especially if you frequent one spot, you’ll soon know the ins and outs of every little backroad… and the parking lot hacks.

On a similar note, you may notice that the line up is especially crowded at certain times! After work for one. If life affords you the opportunity, you may find your experience to be more enjoyable and less hectic if you go at an off hour when people are typically in school or work.

4) Load up ahead of time

If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, it can be a good idea to load up your board ahead of time.

Loading your board in the morning, you’ll feel more motivated and ready to go, knowing once you’re ready you can leave the house with ease, and not stress as much about making it to the beach with enough time to do the main activity… surf.

Just like planning for your day and making your meals ahead of time can help with your productivity, loading up the big-ticket items–like your board–can make the action of finally getting out that much more enjoyable!

Obviously, forgo this option if your car is parked in direct sunlight, as the wax on your board will melt.

5) Make your last wave worth it

This especially applies if the break is far off shore.

If you are working in a shorter window — whether you need to take your dog to the vet, head to work, pick family or friends up from school, you want to try and catch a long last ride on your belly!

On your deemed last wave of the session, instead of riding the wave towards the shoulder, angle yourself back towards the white wash so you can be carried towards shore.

Position yourself in line with the white wash from waves coming through so that you can make it back to shore in no time!

Any further suggestions? Leave us a comment below.


Check out this post to help you with the possible unpleasant sunburns that can hold you back from surfing!

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