Bomb cyclones and 20ft + swells. Sounds like winter. This early start to the storm season has gotten everyone’s stoke levels high, but also reminded us of the added challenges of winter surfing. Gone are the easy summer days where you can slip into a 4/3mm suit with no boots and surf for hours without a worry. If you were lucky enough you may have even had the privilege of surfing in a bathing suit.
From October onwards, it’s a different game and staying warm out there is key to your success. Fortunately, if you follow these winter warmer tips, you’ll stay toasty and motivated to surf all winter.
Get yourself some good neoprene! Here’s what you need: a 5/4mm Wetsuit. This means 5mm thickness in the torso, with 4mm thickness in the arms and legs. We use Xcel brand wetsuits and have done so for years. It’s the brand we know and trust. The condition of the suit is absolutely crucial - if there are any rips or tears or any water leaking through the seams, you should get repairs or invest in a new suit for the season. Additionally, good accessoires are just as important. You’ll want 7mm Boots and 5mm gloves and a 3mm hood (this can be as part of the wetsuit or bought separately). A key tip is to have a good indoor storage system to keep your suit warm and dry. The thought of putting on a cold, wet wetsuit that has been hanging outside on the front porch all night can turn even the frothiest surfer away from a session.
- The Choncho: To whomever invented the changing poncho, we salute you! It is a glorious invention that has the dual effect of guarding your privacy and keeping you warm during that crucial moment when you are changing the Cox Bay parking lot before and after your surf.
- Thermos: Hot tea, coffee, whiskey, whatever you like. The thermos keeps your beverage toasty for the pre-surf beach check, and keeps some heat for when you are out of the surf and trying to bring your core temperature back up.
- Friends to Stoke You Up! Winter surfing has its challenges, but nothing gets me more motivated to surf than when a friend calls up to say “Let’s go!”
Surfing with a buddy is a ton of fun and when dealing with winter surf conditions, it also becomes about safety. Now go surfing with your friends and cheer them into some sweet winter waves!