Fact: your extremities get cold before any other part of your body.
Have you got a worn glove or boot with a tiny hole in? Have you got a hood that doesn’t offer a good seal? Even if they are only letting a drip of water in, then that chink in your armour can ruin all the warming effects from the rest of your suit. You need to be encased in one sealed neoprene cell.
With the above in mind, you should be saving a fair bit of your winter rubber wear budget to invest in some decent protection for your feet, hands and head. As we’ve banged on about before, wetsuit technology has advanced so far that the latest suits barely let any water in at all.
You’ve got a few decisions to make regarding where you are going to be surfing and the temperatures that you are going to be dealing with. And also how much you personally feel the cold. The average sea temperature in the middle of winter goes from 5 degrees in the north of Scotland to the balmy heights of 8 degrees around Cornwall and Sussex. The further up our fine land you are geographically located, the thicker your kit needs to be. We don’t want to state the obvious but don’t sell yourself short or you will ruin your own winter.
Trying boots, gloves and head gear on is essential. They need to be as fitted as is comfortably possible. With gloves, if they are a little bit too big, they are likely to carry water in the ends of the fingers which will make your finger tips freeze in no time. Paddling will feel as though you’ve got a dumb bell in each hand. If you’ve got wettie boots that are too big, you’ll get ‘jelly foot syndrome’ as your foot swims in freezing cold water. Plus jumping to your feet will be almost impossible as boots that are too big get caught under your toes and make you trip over. If your hood isn’t tight, then you can suffer the ultimate in freezing pain – the complete flush through. Water will sneak down the side of your face, down your neck and down your back, where it will sit in the base of your spine, freezing your kidney’s.
It’s not just a matter of keeping your hands, feet or head warm, it’s a decision that will affect your core temperature. Ultimately this will decide whether you stay warm this winter while you surf. Which will in turn affect how much you surf, it’s that serious! Make the correct choice from the excellent range below.
Wetsuit Accessories Retailer Guide
King of Watersports
Down the Line Surfshop
West Coast Surf
Secret Spot Surf Shop
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