How to deal with cold water surfing.
It seems we have been dropped straight from summer into the heart of winter, the first hard frosts have been felt on our dawn surf sessions and the evening wind chill feels like were suddenly living in the Antarctic. However winter in the UK is always the season to score the best waves, we have decided to put together some of Jeff Townsley’s very own cold water tips to keep you surfing through.
Don’t try and surf through the winter in your 3.2 summer wetsuit.
This might come across as common sense, but you’ll be surprised how many people try and go for shorter sessions in their 3.2, in the depths of winter this can be extremely dangerous, hypothermia, fatigue and cold shock are not things to take a risk with. Winter wetsuits are a must.
Layer up when you’re heading out to the beach.
Before you’ve even got to the wetsuit stage, keep warm! Grab a thermal hiking top or if its dry pop your Polypro Thermal Long Sleeve underneath your clothes. Being warm before you start out is always going to be beneficial for you, plus it keeps you motivated to get into cold water.
Eat some carbs. (scrap the diet)
In all seriousness, some healthy carbs don’t go amiss when you’re trying to keep warm for long periods of time, root vegetables are the ones to go for. So when your preparing lunch box or eating the night before, be sure to add some potatoes into the mix.
Paddle around the lineup.
Keep your body on the move when you are out in the lineup, your blood will be flowing and warming every part of your body. The fitness benefits are also incredible! You may even find yourself paddling into the perfect takeoff positions.
Find the perfect fitting surfing accessories.
The boots, the gloves, the hood and the thermal rash vest. Make sure all of these surf accessories fit you perfectly. Neoprene products generally hold water within the materials making them slightly larger when wet, try taking a size small to make sure when you are in the surf your accessories are one hundred percent fitted.
Pre heat some tea or soup before you go for a surf.
This is a classic idea that just works. What is better than to return to your trusty surf wagon to be greeted by a steaming cup of something hot. Flasks will keep most drinks hot for a number of hours now and for the time it takes to make this magic happens, the reward is huge!
Protect your ears.
Your ears are extremely important to keep protected, even more so in the winter months. Surfers ear is nothing to joke about, whether you are bodyboarding, surfing or just in the ocean. Buy yourself some decent plugs.
Get the crew out.
Get all of your friends to brave the elements with you, one of the greatest feeling is watching your friends pull into perfect winter waves while a north wind howls… Okay actually this would be much nicer if it 30 degrees and warm water. However your friends are great for safety reasons plus enjoying your post surf hot drink chat is much better with them.
Do you have any cold water surf tips that help you keep warm? Post them in the comments below.