Cold water surfing can be epic but it’s definitely challenging. Especially when you’re getting in for 1ft onshore waves….and its snowing. Instead of compiling a list of “What To Do When Cold Water Surfing”, we’ve gone for “What You 100% Shouldn’t Do”, yet somehow we always end up doing them!
1. Wear Skinny Jeans
After a recent surf in Lynmouth, Devon, I took about 30minutes to wiggle into what can only be described as the tightest trousers in the world. I’ve surfed so many winters and somedays, I still forget. As much as wearing sweatpants/jogging bottoms can make you feel like a guest on the Jeremy Kyle Chat Show, they’re so good for winter car park changes.
2. Forget a boot/glove/hood/wetsuit
This sounds like an obvious one but trust me, its happens. In February, I’d just gotten back from Indo and my first surf was in the North Sea at Saltburn. Air temp was 2 degrees and the water temperature was 7 degrees. I’d left home at 5.30am in the dark and when I got there at first light, I’d started to get changed and realised I’d left one of my boots at home. I still went in but I lasted about 20minutes and even the northerners called me hardcore so I knew it was bad.
3. Forget What Time It Gets Dark
I’ve been caught out in winter more times than I can remember. Getting home from work early, suiting up and running down to the water, only to find that its getting dark. Then you get one wave and have to get out, wondering if it was worth it? It always is!
4. Whacking Up The Temperature In The Shower
It always seems like such a good idea. You’re just so cold and then you get in the shower and HELLO CHILBLAINS!
5. Staying In Too Long
I’m sure everyone has done this one! Staying in too long and then you get out and there is so much to deal with. You physically can’t take your gloves off, cue having to ask a random person passing by for help. Then when you do get them off you can’t properly grip your key and unlock your car or house. Then you just kind of stand there wondering how you’re going to get out of the wetsuit….generally this leads to me having some form of breakdown.
6. The Quick Change
You pull up to a spot and see it firing and are so amped that you change quicker than you’ve ever changed before and jump in the water. It’s when you get out of the water and you’re a freezing mess, you realise your clothes are thrown all over the place. By the time you’ve sorted through everything, your clothes are soaking and so are your car seats.
7. THE WET WETSUIT
Forgetting to hang out your wetsuit and going for another surf. SAY NO MORE.