cold water surfing

Cold Water Surfing: How to prepare

“Winter is coming” Game of Thrones 2011.

What do I need for surfing in cold water?

Now I’m not predicting an influx of “White Walkers” and epic battles….however every surfer needs to prepare for the end of the summer surfer days. With this in mind, we have taken a look at some of the aspects of surfing in cold water so that you can enjoy surfing in the autumn and winter months.

For those who choose to surf all year round you will get to enjoy bigger swells and less crowded waves compared to a typical UK summer. The fair weather surfers have hung up their boards for another year, so you can head to your favourite surfing spot, park your car easily and provided you’ve read this article, you will be well prepared for surfing in cold water.

watching surfer in the winter

5 Tips to prepare for Cold Water Surfing

Level up on your wetsuit

The first thing to ensure is that you have bought the correct wetsuit for the time of year you’re surfing. The difference in water temperature between the winter months and the summer months is quite stark. When I first started my surfing journey I had a 3/2 mm wetsuit that I’d surfed all summer in and thought that I would be fine to continue with some one-off cold water sessions. I was sorely mistaken and my surf was cut really short and turned into a miserable affair! The average temperature of water in the UK during the summer months is between 15 and 20 degrees celsius, whereas in the winter months it can be between 6 to 10 degrees celsius, so ensuring that you have an appropriately thick wetsuit is essential.

Surf Unleashed recommends:

best cold water winter wetsuit

No face no case

Choosing a good wetsuit hood might not help with your photogenic, should you have anyone out in the surf taking a few photos of you, however it sure will help to keep the warm in. Just like the winter months, we see more and more people wear beanies or hoodies to help keep them warm, due to the fact that our bodies loose heat through the top of our head. Choosing a quality surfing hood or beanie will help you maximise your session. This is our favourite wetsuit hood as it’s 2mm thick and has an adjustable face compression to really help you get a snug feel when it’s on.

Surf Unleashed recommends:

best cold water surfing hood

Protect your hands and feet

Your hands and feet are one of the first things to be closed off by your central nervous system when your body starts to become cold. Now the boring science section to this is that once your body begins to feel cold, it will direct blood flow towards your vital organs to keep you alive.  This means your hands and your feet will start to feel the effects of the cold very quickly during those winter months. Always bear in mind the difference in water temperature,  if you can’t paddle because you don’t want to put your hands in the cold water, your surfing session is going to be miserable. A solid set of wetsuit gloves and boots will help ensure that your feet and hands feel well protected and allow you to stay in the water for longer.

Surf Unleashed recommends:

best cold water surfing wetsuit boots

Warm Up

Having just survived a UK heatwave, I fully understand that when your body is hot the cold becomes much more enjoyable. With this in mind a solid warm up before you get into the sea is going to help your body temperature start off and a higher point, making that initial cold entry more bearable. If you want to know how to warm up for surfing then please check out this article.

Happy Ending

Once you’ve stayed in the cold water for as long as your body can handle it make sure you get warm as quickly as possible.  I can’t recommend these dryrobes enough – if you’re asking yourself – What is a Dryrobe? then check out our buyers guide. They are unisex and long sleeved so your body is able to get warm from head to toe. The thermal insulation means whatever body heat is left will soon warm up on the inside of these sport changing robes. Once your session is over, you can throw one of these bad boys on and begin to pack your stuff away. 

Surf Unleashed recommends:

best winter dryrobe coat for surfers

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