Cold water Surfing is a reality for those of us living in the Northeast. We get a break late in the Summer when the water temps often reach into the 70’s. But we all wear a wetsuit most of the year. Many Surfers turn in their boards for snowboards or skis once those cold windy days start. Unfortunately they are missing often the best surf of the year!
Wetsuit technology has changed drastically in recent years, producing lighter, warmer wetsuits than ever before! Often while sitting in the line-up I often feel overheated and sweaty. That’s how warm they are! With the new equipment, Surfing for a couple of hours at a time is easy. By doing a little pre-planning you can make your Winter surfing experience a lot more enjoyable.
Picking a Wetsuit
The primary concern of most Surfers when shopping for a wetsuit is price. This is a huge mistake! Buying a suit for the Spring and Fall you can get away with a less expensive suit because the water is warmer. But in the Winter, the conditions are serious. Having the absolutely best gear you can afford is essential. To surf all Winter a hooded 5/4 is the only way to go. The wetsuit companies realize that they need to offer a mid-priced suit, so today 5mm suits can range from about $300 to $500. The difference in the suits is the quality of the rubber and the seams and taping. The warmest most flexible rubber with the best seams and taping are the way to go.
If your budget keeps you in the lesser expensive suits don’t fret…… you’ll still be able to get in the water, just more likely not as long as those in the full on gear. As always when buying a suit, try on suits from several manufacturers. We only sell the best brand name suits so quality is not an issue. The suit that fits and feels the best is the suit to buy.
If you are planning on surfing on all the best, coldest days be sure to buy 7mm boots and 7mm mittens. While the 3 finger and 5 finger gloves give you a bit more feeling with your board, you can survive much longer with the mittens
Thicker boots and gloves are more difficult to get on then their thinner brothers. A new product, called wetsox goes over your feet and your boots will never give you trouble again. Another method is to take a small amount of mixed water and dish soap and rub some just along the tops of your boots and gloves. Be sure not to get them inside or you’ll spend you session with your hands and feet sliding all over the place!
Tips to make your Cold Water Surfing more fun!
- Always keep your suit in a warm dry place
- Get all your gear together the night before. There’s nothing worse than getting to the beach and be missing a glove!
- Put your suit on in the warmth of your house.
- I suggest waxing your board in the house before you leave. Putting on cold wax on a cold board is no fun at all
- Always have an extra surf leash in your car
- Bring a couple of gallons of warm water with you. It’s great to pour that warm water all over you after you get out of the water
- I suggest never taking your suit off outside at the beach.
- Put a heavy towel on your seat and on the floor and leave your suit on until you get home.
- I always ride home with my suit and get in that nice hot shower. Getting your suit off in the shower is a lot more fun!
- After removing your suit carefully rinse it off, then turn it completely inside out and rinse it completely.
- Do not hang your suit by the shoulders to dry. Instead hang it over a bar or across a hanger and place it somewhere warm to dry.
Surfing in the Winter can be challenging, but the rewards are well worth it. Uncrowded days and great Surf are to be had, don’t miss those days!