Surfing in winter isn't all bad, there are some advantages, so we made a list of our top 5 favourite things about staying at home in the colder months:
Longboard coach Sam surfing in February / Photo Ben Hartley
If you live in a surf town, the chances are that your town is a seasonal destination. In the winter here in Cornwall, we see a big difference in the number of visitors in the area, meaning that when we go out and about or when you go surfing, you will always bump into a friendly face, you start to recognise the same people and start talking. It's such a lovely feeling to know that wherever you paddle out, you will be greeted by a friendly face, someone who is local and part of the surf community. It's a great time of year to make new friends.
2) Sense of achievement
Surfing in winter can be difficult, especially if your local beaches are taking relentless beatings from Atlantic storms and strong winds, so it can be easy to fall out of the habit of going surfing. But I always have to remember, that every time I go surfing, it's going to make me feel good, even if I surf like a donkey. When I get out the water, I'm usually like ‘Yes, you go girl, it's bloody freezing and the waves are poop, but you did it, now go get yourself some chocolate and warm up, you legend’.
Coach Allan after a fun session in Cornwall
3) Waves for days!
Here in Newquay, we are so fortunate to have consistent waves throughout the year, but during the winter months, Cornwall really comes alive with swell! In the UK, we usually need low pressure systems to bring us waves, so in the winter, we usually have tons of swell, sometimes big, meaning that other spots around the coast start to light up, meaning that it's perfect for loads of road trips with friends, hunting for new waves!
4) Fitness & stamina
Most surfers typically wear 5’4 winter wetsuits, with boots, hoods & gloves over the winter months, which yes, will make you look like a sweet little penguin, but at least you are protected from the elements and you still get to surf your brains out! - Now, when you first put all the gear on, you will usually feel the restriction from the added neoprene straight away, however, wetsuit design, quality & technology has come a loooooong way, so now winter suits are actually pretty flexible, which is rad! - But if we combine this with the cold water, you may find that for the first few weeks, you may tire easier, but keep it up, and you'll soon notice a difference and become fitter & more resilient to the cold when you get used to the extra rubber.
A Cornish gem / Photo Anthony James
Surfing is pretty popular at the moment, but with the tourists gone and if you're lucky enough to surf mid-week when people are at work, you may find that the line up is much quieter than usual, meaning that you can catch more waves and have more room to experiment, especially if your learning to surf or working on a couple of things! The line up here in Newquay can still be busy at times, so if you are pretty new to surfing, please be aware that there are no lifeguards stationed on beaches, so surf within your limits, try to surf with a buddy and do some homework on surfing etiquette to ensure that you have the best possible time out in the big blue!
Check out our other blog on how to stay motivated this winter!