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What Does Dawn Patrol Mean In Surfing?

   August 1st, 2022   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

What Does Dawn Patrol Mean In Surfing?

Streaks of orange and red in the sky. The sun taking its moment to peek over the horizon and begin its day. The calming collapse of waves on the shore. There’s nothing quite like a beautiful morning by or on the water is there? This is the time where surfers start their day in the water, also known as dawn patrol surfing. 

Dawn Patrol Meaning

There are wetsuit brand lines such as Rip Curl Dawn Patrol and even phone/watch apps specifically designed around dawn patrol surfing. In this instance though, we’ll be discussing the dawn patrol surf meaning.

What does dawn patrol mean in surfing? Essentially, it means that a person gets out of the comfort of their own bed around or right before dawn, maneuvers into a wetsuit, and heads to the beach to patrol and ride the best waves. 

Why? It just depends. Some surfers do this to beat the crowds that usually show up throughout the late morning and afternoon. Some do it to beat the heat (similar to runners or cyclists). Others participate in dawn patrol surfing simply to start their day with a rush of feel good chemicals before reality sets in. No matter their reason, surfing in the early hours of the morning reveals picturesque sunrises and an ocean that is limitless in its beauty.

dawn patrol surfing

How to Gear Up & Go Dawn Patrol Surfing

While the snooze button on an early alarm is very tempting, don’t let that happen to you. If you want those calm winds and smooth waves where you can be yourself on the water and not have to worry about others blocking your way, an early morning alarm is worth it. And then some. 

Prepare yourself the night before by ensuring that your wetsuit is properly folded and ready to glide into in the morning. A soggy suit might set you back a few minutes and might tamper with your sanity at 5am. Have your board waxed and ready to pick up and take with you on the go. And if it’s cold outside, pack your booties, gloves, hoods, etc. in a wetsuit-friendly bag. 

And do not forget to check the weather and water temps the night before so you know exactly what wetsuit and accessories you will need for that early morning surf session. 

You Won’t Regret It

The exercise and the endorphins from a dawn patrol surfing sesh will hopefully set the day up for success. It’s pretty hard to find a surfer who ever regrets chasing waves bright and early in the day. 

Are you a dawn patrol surfer? If so, what do you love most about it? And if not, never say never and maybe give it a go at least once in your life! 

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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  • Al says:

    Hi LoLo / Team,
    I am 59 and overweight. I always snorkel on top of the water and never had a wetsuit. I will be going to the Big Island this Feb and according to what I can find water temp is between 73-78 F and thinking I may need one for this trip – not sure of thickness and suit size. What do you recommend? Is a two piece better for my size?
    Height 66″
    Weight 245 #
    Chest 51″
    Waist 51″
    Hips 47″
    Neck 16″
    Inseam 28.5″


  • Laura Lister says:

    Can you advise me? I am 78 years old and find my pool a bit too cold. I would like to purchase a wet suit jacket that is very flexible and easy to swim and do aerobics in. Since swimming helps arthritis, movement is very important. I do not do straight laps, but various exercises worked into a lap. Also – I am overweight so I do not want anything “sexy”.

    What do you think?

    • Crysta Goff says:

      I’m going to send you a private email, Laura. (:

    • John Gross says:

      Hi make sure it has a full zipper they can be hard to get off at your age,you dont want a full suit or a pull over that you may need helping getting on and off,i just checked ebay theres a xxxl camo jacket full zipper,25$bid 15 shipping.looks new.
      And you can use as out of water jacket if its super cold.they really hold heat in shockingly so.
      Because of how hard they are to remove you might want to start with hood gloves and feet.try searchs like neoprine gloves socks hood.jacket check ebay cheap.also thift stores often have wetsuits for like 20$

  • Marco says:


    I read your blog in a quick and non efficient way. I didn’t find the answer I was looking for. I found your views very interesting, points are great too, thank you for your post. It helped me understand a little into what I was looking for. I hope you carry on with your views and different ways of wording your initial subject/subjects. Enjoy reading your book in hot summer days, it’s when you’re most alive in the most ways you can be.


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