Winter Surfing 101:
Crisp mornings, howling polar winds, sideways rain, and a frosty body can make winter surfing a right pain in the ass. However, the consistent, well-groomed winter swells are something we all desire. We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be so bad, and with the right preparation it can be a lot easier this winter. With a few adjustments to equipment, you will be back out there enjoying winter surfing in no time!
Wetty's may be the most vital part of winter surfing, without one you're going to find out rather quickly how cold the water can get here in New Zealand. As you can imagine wetsuits change from summer to winter, as the neoprene gets thicker when the water gets colder to increase the warmth of the suit. We recommend a 4/3mm wetsuit, and a 5/4mm wetsuit if you are in the deep south of NZ (or feel the cold a bit more than most). You may also notice that wetsuits contain a lot more insulation than regular summer suits, this is to keep your core warm and keep you out there longer. With all this thickness and insulation you will realise that suit doesn't fit and feel the same as your summer suit, it won't be as flexible or stretchy. However, we have suits that still possess a lot of flexibility to keep you movin and groovin this winter (whilst being cosy)!
Here's what we recommend:
If you are after a more cost effective option see the Ocean and Earth range:
A wetsuit covers a lot of your body, but there are some vital parts still missing. This is where you realise that your hands are on the verge of falling off, your feet become paralyzed, and you pounding ice cream headaches. Making booties, gloves, and hoods a necessity to keep yourself warm for winter. We have a range of models and thicknesses in all wetsuit accessories to suit your preference!
Don't panic the board you ride in summer won't explode in winter. However, it is important to realise with the increase of neoprene from your wetsuit and accessories, you will weigh more (no offence). This doesn't mean throw your boards away, we just recommend a bit of extra foam, and rail length can be used to carry some of the load in winter! Adding an extra couple of litres to your board won't affect how the board performs on rail, but it will increase your paddle speed, allowing you to catch more waves and stay warm!
It may seem small and insignificant, but having the wrong temperature wax can make or break you're surf. If you are using a warm or a cool water wax it can be too slippery for cold. This is due to cold water wax being softer and sticker, whilst warmer wax is harder. Having cold wax ensures that there is plenty of grip on your surf!
EXIT top tip: Booties add a lot of grip so be careful on how much wax you use!
+ don't forget your Pickle!
Getting changed is one of the hardest parts of winter surfing. With a howling wind invading bare skin, it can make for a very uninviting experience. So why not wrap yourself in a warm hooded poncho to keep the cold at bay, and avoid an awkward dropped towel situation (we have all been there). As well as what you use to change, why not have something to get changed on. Change mats and changing buckets can keep both your feet and wetsuit clean, whilst having a convenient place to store your wet wetty! There are some days when it can be too cold to even get changed. Many prefer to get changed in the warmth and comfort of their own home, this is where a dry seat cover is vital to get from A to B and back again without getting your car seat sopping wet from your wetty!
- O&E Deluxe Wetsuit Change Mat
- O&E Low n Dry Compact Wetty Bucket
- O&E High n Dry Collapsible Wetty Bucket
- O&E Dry Seat Cover
Now you're sussed with the info to tackle this winter, if you have any questions feel free to give us a call, email, or come in store, we are always happy to help!
Stay warm out there folks, and stay stoked!