Surfing through winter is tough, but with modern day equipment as good as it is these days cold water and weather shouldn’t stop you. Here are our top tips to surviving winter gleaned from years of battling the elements.
There’s no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes
Any fool can be uncomfortable. Don’t be that guy shivering on the beach. Buy the best three quarter length waterproof and windproof jacket that will keep rain and wind chill off you in the worst storms. It’s your first line of defence in cold water surfing.
Keep yourself warm and dry with a decent hoody. Your aim is more insulation while standing around waiting for tides and winds than temperature stabilisation while being active so sherpas are best.
Check out the Carve sherpa here
90% of heat blah, bah, bah… You know this…
Check out our range of beanies here
Use a changing mat
There are loads out there and they are well worth the money. Not only do they keep your suit less gritty, more importantly they reduce heat loss from your feet while changing. Don’t think they will make much difference? Try one. You’ll change your mind. These insulted matts by Northcore
RipCurl are the best we have used.
Use a technical changing robe
They cut down windchill and help you get changed in comfort. You will have seen a lot of surfers using DryRobes last winter. Check them out. We use them and swear by them.
Check out changing robes here including the SurfLogic quick drying changing robe Billabong Camo Changing robe
Slow release carbs are best. They give you more energy and keep you warmer longer. And Take a flask
Hot chocolate, or soup is a luxury after a surf. It will warm you up from the inside out meaning you will be ready for a second session fast. Buy the Northcore flask here
Dry your wetty
Getting into a wet wetty saps your initial body heat. Sure sometimes it has to be done, but new products like the Dry Bag Elite mean you can dry your wetsuits inside, in the office or out on the road.
They work really well. We use them in conjunction with Northcore magnetic ‘Hook it up‘. Just hang it on your boot, inside your van. Easy!
Stay on top of the tides and forecasts
That means scanning weather charts every day, looking at local wind forecasts, and comparing them to automated surf forecasts. Knowing which beaches to hit when cuts down waiting and wasted time out in the cold. Ideally you want to turn up as it turns on, hit it, then retreat, warm up and get ready to go again.
Take a hot water shower with you!
The new Surfing Madness Pressure Shower allows you to take a hot shower the road. Fill it at home. Pump up he pressure, hey presto hot shower when you get out. Or warm up a wet wetsuit for a second surf … which is one of life’s little luxuries when the wind chill is minus 20!
If you can’t get the water every day do some supplementary exercise. Surfing in winter is tough, you get beaten, and this saps energy. If you aren’t fit enough to take those beatings then you will enter into a downward spiral and get less waves, your surfing level drops and it will deplete your enthusiasm. You have to stay on top of things. Do twenty press ups every day at a minimum. 10 Burpees a night.
If you want proper programme check out our Surf Fitness guides “Surf fitness – the complete guide” and “Advanced Surf Fitness”
If it swells ride it. Funny old double entendre but so true when it comes to winter. You have to surf everything. Think about it. One weekend out could mean you don’t surf for two weeks. Two weekends and that’s three weeks between surfs … It’s hard to come back from that in January.