Is it worth surfing after the rain?

Recently a rainstorm has passed, the waves have leveled off, become smooth and beckon to climb into the water.

There is usually no one in the water at this time, which undoubtedly adds advantages. Well, how can you pass by even waves and the absence of surfers on the lineup ?!

As much as the beautiful waves might tempt you after the rain, we have several reasons to refrain from such an engaging activity.

This article will explain why surfing isn’t that good after the rain.

If you surf where there is a change of seasons, you know what monsoons are. After months and months of dry weather, heavy rain is bound to cause problems: all the trash accumulated over the season will go straight to the ocean.

It can be a good thing in certain places, as river estuaries can have perfect sandbanks that ripple into.

However, even if it isn’t the first rain of the season, heavy rainfall can pose a severe health hazard to surfers looking to catch the great waves that usually accompany the rain.

All rainwater that runs down the drain is not filtered: this means that all engine oil, pesticides, chemicals, debris, and possibly sewage are carried directly into the ocean.

Standard recommendation: Stay out of water for 72 hours after rain (note – after the rain has stopped, not when it starts). During this time, the number of bacteria in the water should be reduced to normal levels.

But many people wonder if this is necessary? If you ask surfers whether it is safe to surf after the rain, you will get many answers. Some will say they wait a total of 72 hours.

The rest wait one or two days. Others say you will be fine if you stay away from downpipes and sewer outlets.

And then there is a kamikaze who will climb into the water, not even waiting for the rain to end and not paying attention to the debris floating by.


It is a fundamental question because its answer may depend on whether it is worth going into the water after the rain or whether it is still worth refraining from.

Come to some wild place with a minimal population, for example, to the island of Siargao in the Philippines, where the locals are very concerned about the environment and maintaining cleanliness.

There will most likely be no problems with sewerage. The greatest danger is contaminated soil or gasoline from the road, but this is not a very densely populated area.

And it is unlikely that you will get sick from the fact that you climb into the water.

However, Southern California, for example, is an entirely different story. So many people are there, and the concrete and asphalt covering the ground mean that all the rainwater cannot penetrate the soil and stay there.

If you have been to Los Angeles, you know that there is practically no open space there – it is covered with buildings and roads.

So, in the end, the rain has nowhere to go but to the ocean, taking everything with it.

Surfing in a less densely populated area can be less risky. However, the risks increase if you surf in a third-world country near river estuaries due to poor sewerage and wastewater systems.

For example, suppose you’ve ever been to the Bali island of Kuta in January.

In that case, you will never forget these huge mountains of garbage on the beach or the million bags and other rubbish that sticks around your feet when you try to enter the water.

During the rainy season, all the garbage that the locals throw into the rivers or the ocean returns to the west bank, and it becomes disgusting to enter the water and hazardous.


Of course, there are areas where there are drainpipes right on the beach, and when it rains, you might see a stream of brown water that ends up right on the lineup.

This place is not the best choice for surfing after the rain.

Another awful surf spot choice is near the harbor or bay. There is a large amount of sewage, which also carries all the mud into the sea and harmful residues from ships’ exhaust.

The further you get from these places, the less likely you will catch an infection. However, don’t give in to a false sense of security just because the water “looks clean.”

We can fill a glass with toilet water and hand it to you, and it will look great. The bacteria are invisible.


Surfing after the rain is genuinely a roulette game. You can be delicate and not get sick, and most people are likely to be okay.

However, if you pick up something, it can end badly. Anything that floats in polluted water is more dangerous than the microbes you usually encounter day after day.

And in the worst case, it can lead you to intensive care or kill you.

We will not tell scary stories about people who were “lucky” to be thundered into the next world or about those who were a little more fortunate.

Just know that this is not a joke at all. In dirty water, you can pick up infections of the sinuses, ears, eyes, gastrointestinal diseases, and even hepatitis.


To many, this article will not seem serious enough. However, some love surfing so much that they are ready to take risks.

We’ll add that if you decide to go surfing after a rainstorm, try to follow these simple rules:

  • After surfing, bend over like tying your laces and blow through your sinuses. It can be repeated several times. It will help the water flow out of the nose;
  • Take a hot shower as soon as possible if you are cold;
  • Rinse your eyes with bottled water as soon as you get out of the water. By the way, it is better to do this anyway after surfing;
  • use alcohol ear drops to dry the water and clean your ears;
  • drink plenty of water and vitamin C.


Surfing after the rain may seem like a tempting idea, though. But, as you can see, not everything is so simple with him.

Although everyone chooses for himself, you just always need to assess the risks adequately.

If it was a short-term rain, this is one thing because it is unlikely that he would have had time to take mountains of chemicals or mud from the beach.

But lingering showers for several days is an entirely different story.

So, always keep an eye on the situation and surf safely!



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