5 Top Tips for Winter Surfing
October 2020, 3 min read
Summer might be over, but Winter is often the best time to find great waves. Swell is much more consistent, waves are bigger, and the cooler waters can shake off a bad hangover.
Surfing in Winter can present a few different challenges though, so our team of surfers have come together and rounded up our top tips:
Stay safe, and buddy up
Beach lifeguards normally finish their regular patrols at the end of September. Ask an experienced local surfer about the conditions and where the safest place to enter the water is. Most surf schools will still be active though, so we recommend getting some advice from the instructors who will know the beach well. Always surf with a friend and let someone on shore know where you will be and what time you expect to be back. Avoid days where the surf is too high for your fitness and ability, and beware of strong winds.
First, get a sweat on
Yeah, we get it - you’re super excited and can’t wait to get in - warming up is boooooooooring. Trust us, you’ll reap the benefits (especially in the Winter). Once you’re suited up and ready to go, performing some light dynamic stretching exercises will ready your body for the cooler water, helping with flexibility, prevent injury and loosen you up. Just leave the splits to the gymnasts.
Invest in warm gear
There are good wetsuits, and then there are GREAT wetsuits. Poor seals, small holes and thin neoprene can make for a cold session. Treat yourself to a wetsuit that is really warm (like a 5/4MM zipless) and Winter surfing will be a whole lot more enjoyable. Pair it up with some split toe boots, thick gloves and a hood and you’ll be asking for more! Oh, and don’t forget to bring warm clothes to get changed into.
Surf & Turf....like a pro
Have you ever been super hungry after a long surf session…..like ravenous? Well multiply that by 1000 for the Winter. Your body works harder to stay warm, and the thicker wetsuit tires the arms a little quicker. But do not fear - you’ll get fitter in no time. Make up a hot drink in an insulated flask, and bring a healthy carb loaded meal. It won’t touch the sides….
Take your time and embrace the experience
Cold water can give you a small shock - but don’t worry, as long as you have a thick wetsuit on, you’ll be fine. Relax and slowly walk into the water. Take your time. Breath slowly. You’ll be warm once you get paddling and focus on catching those waves!. Once you get out of the water after surfing, it’s easy to try and quickly take your wetsuit off – don’t rush, it doesn’t help. If it’s windy - hide behind a friend, they will thank you later.
It can be really difficult to carry your surfboard when it's cold and your arms are tired from paddling. Check out Leash Loop - A surf leash that helps you carry in comfort. You'll never have to take anything to the beach but your surfboard, leash and wetsuit again.