TIPS and SAFETY
Don't surf alone.
Being a good surfer requires being in good shape, you can do things like running, biking and swimming that will build up your cardiovascular system. Warm up before you go out, it will keep you from becoming 'winded' too easily, and will help prevent you from getting minor injuries. (Pulled muscles, strains etc.).
Study and understand the water conditions before going out.
There are usually 5-7 waves per set, try not to catch the first one. the middle waves are likely to be the biggest and break the farthest out.
So your body is ready for the real thing, while you paddle out, dive a couple times to get use to the water and pressure change.
When catching a wave we use a lot of air and energy to get on that wave, when you know you are going to go for one, begin breathing deeply to get a much oxygen into your system as you can.
Don't surf alone.
Surf broken waves, this will help by getting you up to speed
Sit on the sand for at least 10 minutes taking time to understand the water conditions.
If you don't feel comfortable with going, don't go!
When you begin to wipe out, kick your board away from you to avoid injury.
When you are under a big wave it is important that you don't panic but stay as calm as possible, fighting the wave can ware you out too much causing you to not have enough energy to function properly.
You can also try holding your nose. (It keeps the air from escaping).
When you finally do get back up, be aware that there will probably be another big one coming at you, take as many fast, deep breaths as possible.
Don't paddle out where other surfers are riding. (Common knowledge).
Understand the limitations of you and your board. Know about the hazards of backwashes, riptides, currents and whirlpools.
Be aware of SHARP CORAL, DANGEROUS SHORE BREAK and HIGH SURF.
For night surfing:
Surf at a break that you are familiar with, it makes it less dangerous.
Use the Buddy system; surf with a friend.
Go on a full moon, or nearly (so its not too dark)
The most light is given off when the moon is between the 10 - 2 o'clock position in the sky.