Cold Water Surfing Hints and Tips

Cold Water Surfing Hints and Tips


My surfing journey started relatively late as I was about to hit 37 years young… at the time, I was working long hours at work and not coping with the lack of social life, or with the monotony. I stumbled across a random story on my instagram with a great surf school called Women and Waves  “one space left for this weekend beginner course in Newquay - book now”… well screw this… I’ve had enough. I had a rare weekend off, a quick chat with the husband and and hour later I was in my car driving to Cornwall - music on full blast - freedom. I loved every second of it.


Fast forward a few years… I am no pro but I have surfed through the winters and it’s amazing to see the community of coastal folk who are addicted to the cold blue.

Here is my top tips if you are thinking of starting surfing in the winter months and might be worried about the cold:


  1. During the winter… less daylight means more planning so if you have the option to work during the darker hours do it so that you can take advantage of the light and surf during the day. You can easily miss weeks of surfing in the winter if you are too stuck to a schedule - you will need to be hot on the tides and charts too
  2. You will need to wear a heavier wetsuit during the colder months (particularly December - March) a 5/4mm wetsuit will be dramatically different to a 4/3mm wetsuit. A 5/4mm winter wetsuit in a lot heavier, and so expect it to be slightly more challenging as you paddle out. 
  3. Preparation is essential. Firstly equipment, winter wetsuit, boots, gloves, a hood then for changing before and after, either wetsuit bucket, dry bag or a board bag. You will also need to remove than love warm water wax that you have put on your board and put on a nice fresh coat of cold water wax... I'm a big fan of West Coast Surf Wax which is fully sustainable and 100% natural. 
  4. Post Surf prep to maintain that amazing cold water high is key too. Take a thermos flask, snacks and a changing robe. Then finally,  warm baggy clothes and a hat to change into post surf. You will be craving food after your surf but I'm a massive fan of this halva flapjack... recipe to follow!
  5. Go in with your mates, if you have a crew that you can go for a surf with them to encourage each other and enjoy the stoke! Otherwise, find some of the amazing surf clubs in your local community to make connections with like minded people and people of the same ability.
  6. Surf theory. Learn to read the swells and tide charts and understand rips and tides on your local beaches. If you aren’t sure contact local surf school or clubs who will always point you int he right direction.
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