Peony Knight / O’Neill Wetsuits
Adjusting to the change in water temperature isn’t easy, it can take a lot of dedication to keep surfing all winter long, but it’s not unachievable, far from it.
Surfing all year round is something that us surfers in the UK, and colder climates just do, without really thinking about it. That being said, if you’re in the early stages of learning to surf, the prospect of surfing all winter long may seem a little daunting. However, this needn’t be the case, with a little extra preparation and focus, winter surfing can be something that slots into your life like surfing did during the warmer months.
Here are our tips on how to help your transition into winter a little easier.
Invest in your surfing
Buying a good wetsuit will make your winter surfs so much more enjoyable. You won’t be warm in the sea with a cheap wetsuit. Now, we’re not saying you have to spend hundreds of pounds on the very best top end, what we are saying is invest wisely. Try before you buy, do your research. Look out for wetsuits with glued and blind stitching, proper seals on the wrists and ankles, a fleece-like lining inside and a chest zip is best for winter.
SurfGirl Winter Wetsuit Guide 2024
Featuring this season’s best wetsuits from the top surf brands
However, don’t be afraid of buying second hand, if a wetsuit has been looked after then it should still see you for a couple of years at least. Which really is the key to your wetsuit care, always rinse and dry out your wetsuits, you will thank us for it!
Don’t forget that you will also will need to add boots, gloves and a hood to surf during winter. Check out our selection at the Beach Boutique
Check out this video where Alannah gives us her tips for optimising your surf kit to keep surfing for longer and be the most comfortable in the water this winter.
Photo: Rip Curl
As the temperatures drop, so will the number of hours you’re able to spend in the water. There is no shame in having quick surfs. Just paddle out, catch a bunch of waves and get out before your body gets the chance to get cold or tired. As it gets colder you may find that you can only last 45 minutes or so, then as you warm up you may manage to last longer. Just listen to your body.
Preparation is key
We all know we need to get our board, wax and wetsuit ready, but what about getting your after-surf essentials ready. Like a flask, hot water bottle, snacks and comfy clothes to chuck on. You may laugh at the thought of bringing a flask with you, but honestly if you’ve got numb toes after changing in a windy car park after a chilly surf, then you may just wish you had one. Same goes for comfy clothes. Leave the skinny jeans and tights at home, opt for joggers, hoodies and warm layers.
Surf with a buddy
Sharing the cold-water waves will be far more enjoyable if you’re with a friend. They can keep you motivated on the coldest of days, cheer you on in the line-up and understand your pain when you get ice cream headache after duck diving the first set of the day. Put a WhatsApp group together to keep you all in check and plan your weekend surf adventures in advance. Joining Facebook community groups and pages to meet local surfers in your area. Keep the surf stoke flowing and amp each other up for the waves all winter long.
Stay fit between the waves
If you work a Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm job, then your surf time will be limited to weekends, meaning what you do with your time in between is key. Keep fit, active and rested, all with the aim to surf as much as you can in your free time.
Probably the most important rule, but the one that is often forgotten is try to avoid spending the entire winter on the sofa, eating comfort food and letting your surf fitness slip, especially as our movements are so restricted these days. Practice your pop ups while you catch up on your latest Netflix binge, do an yoga online class or workout before work. Stretch your body, keep your upper body and core strong. Nourish your body from the inside out. The more you do it, the more you’ll notice it in the surf.
Why not try a 7 Day Free Trial of SurfGirl Premium and get fit for winter, improve your stamina, muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness, all so important for surfing in winter.
There’s lot of great surf specific workouts and programmes to keep you surf fit. Plus nutrition tips on how to eat well and avoid comfort eating. Check it out for free today!