When winter rolls around you know that the waves come in “usually”. This means cold waters heading your way. Surfing in the winter can be great or awful depending on how prepared you are. Don’t let the cold stop you from having an awesome surf.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned surfing veteran you know that a good winter wetsuit is king. A great wetsuit can be the difference between a 20-30 minute surf and a 2-3 hour surf. With this in mind number one essential for cold water surfing is a hooded wetsuit 4 mm +.

#1 Hooded winter wetsuit

When looking for a winter wetsuit named brands generally make the difference. Brands like O’Neill and Patagonia have generally always had the warmest suits no bias that’s just my experience.

Winter essentials surfing in cold water can be quite costly so keep an eye out during the year. Out of Season these essentials can be far cheaper than in the bleak winter months. spring and early summer you can get some great deals.

Number 2 good wetsuit boots

To go with your hooded suit you want some boots. Your feet will be in the cold water more than the rest of your body so keeping your feet warm and feeling in those toes will be essential. Once you’re up on your feet you will need to feel the board. Boots with thermal lining and 5mm plus will keep your feet toasty warm throughout the winter months.

Number 3 Wetsuit mitts or gloves

This one can be very hit and miss. Paddling efficiency can be impaired for some people depending on what you go for here many people will not wear gloves throughout the winter.

A useful tip If you choose to wear gloves is to wax where you grab the board most. You will want that extra grip for duck diving and popping up.

Number 4 A great surfboard

Depending where you are in the world and your ability an essential cold water surfboard may be different for you. Here in the UK I would recommend the bull short board for beginners and the Motivator, Heatseeker and Detonator for you intermediate and advanced Surfers, these are some of the teams go to boards when it comes to winter waves.

Number 5 thermos and hot drinks a plenty

A quick essential for surfing and keeping warm would be to not get cold to start with. Much like the wetsuit having a hot drink on hand will quickly warm you back up before you jump in. It will keep you warm in your suit for longer and having that thermos ready for when you get out will be useful all through the colder months.

Number 6 cold water wax

A simple but sometimes overlooked essential is cool or cold water wax in the winter months. This is generally softer then the spring and summer waxes it will be much easier to apply and will help to grip your feet when you need it most.

Number 7 somewhere to put your keys

True all year round But having somewhere safe to keep your keys sure beats leaving them on the tyre. It just  doesn’t feel secure enough. You can get waterproof packs that hold keys. Waterproof key fobs that hold your keys inside your wetsuit or the key locks that you can  padlock to your car. The padlock option is our go to just remember to leave it in the car. Because if you leave it at home it’s back to hiding it on the tyre again

number 8 The Van

Once again Ideal for surfing all year round but especially in the winter this surfing winter essential can be a godsend when getting changed  into your wetsuit out of the cold wind and cold conditions outside the van is the perfect mobile changing area.

Number 9 a friend

The coldwater essential to beat them all having a friend to help you get your gloves on ,paddle out with and generally surf with you 😉 can make those cold water surfs that much more enjoyable and memorable.

Number 10 being ready

For many Surfers this is the time we will come out to play,  the storms are more regular and the swell can get epic in the build up  to the colder months keeping your paddle fitness high will make surfing far more enjoyable.

Transitioning from a summer suit to a winter suit can slow you down those extra 2 mm of neoprene can feel like a rubber band against you. So fitness and exercise  will help you get the most out of your winter sessions, you’ll be that much more excited for a Dawn Patrol on a cold morning ,you stay warmer longer simply because your muscles are generating heat. You Surf longer Because you won’t tire so quickly you catch more waves and have more fun.

Exercise and fitness is something we push and believe in quite hard, here is a few posts about how you can improve or maintain your fitness for your cold water surfing.

Let us know if there’s any  essential cold water surfing tricks or items we’ve missed or maybe it’s just something you and your friends do.


If you’ve enjoyed this blog let your friends know how they can prepare for the winter surf season by sharing this post.


Thank you for Reading

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