It’s hard to imagine the depths of winter with UK summer still in effect. But it’s only a few months until the off season rolls around. A depressing thought for some. While others revel in it.
Riders living in tropical climates may struggle to get their head around how anyone can enjoy living and surfing in a cold water/climate location. But they do. Great Lakes surfers in the US regularly slide in foren conditions. It’s not uncommon to see to pics and vids of these hardy locals on social media with icicles on their beards and in their hair. Bonkers it may appear but they seem to love it.
Cold water usually means the chilly surf zones are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Regularly groomed surf, for days on end, you’re not going to have (at least in most of these spots). Low pressure is often very much in charge during winter and they bring wind. That means waiting out periods of harsh conditions until windows of opportunity present themselves. During this time scouting new SUP surfing locations sitting in front of roaring fires help pass the time. And then, the clouds part, the winds blow offshore and you score your gold it’ll all be worth it.
The come down (or warm up) post-cold water SUP surfing session is all full of glow and inner stoke warmth. Knowing you’ve taken on the harshest of elements and won that particular battle is tangible. You can be on top of the world, slowly warming numb fingers and toes as the blood re-circulates. It’s a warm glow feeling commonly referred to as stoke.
Beat downs are much harsher in cold water surf environments. Cold water is denser than that of warmer climes and feels it when you wipe out. Add to the mix a wall of moving liquid energy unloading on your head and you get the picture. Having been tumbled and spat out there’s nothing for it: get back on the horse and paddle back out, laughing as you do.
Clambering into damp wetsuits in cold environments can be a task. The last thing you want is to be chilled before you hit the brine so adequate measures need to be put in place. A dry wetty is very much a good idea! And then there’s actually having the right thickness of neoprene and the right amount of water wear. It may sound obvious but without adequate protection you’re putting yourself in a potential situation. Thinking differently is therefore par for the course.
When you at last get the opportunity to surf in boardshorts (or thinner rubber at least) you’ll be truly thankful. No taking things for granted. Although inside, we’re pretty sure, you secretly can’t wait to get back to your normal cold spot haunts – mainly because the crowd is so much thinner!