Some of the usual symptoms that you’ll usually get with cold-weather include – dry skin, chapped lips, and a scratchy throat. But don’t panic; there are some simple ways to help you stay warm this winter while outdoors winter surfing.
Winter surfing can be an extremely cold sport to be involved in. During the winter, most would rather stay inside by a nice warm fire. However, if you are determined to winter surf there are some tips that will help you heat up and decrease your chances of catching a cold or getting frostbite
Here are some practical suggestions for surfing during the colder months:
1. Dress warmly to stay warm – Thermal Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuits are great options to have when going out winter surfing.
This type of clothing provides insulation against the wind chill and creates dead air space between each layer which traps body heat, therefore keeping you warm. Wearing t-shirts with long sleeves underneath is also a great idea, as well as wearing two pairs of socks.
2. Carry some hand and foot warmers to help heat up your extremities if they feel cold or numb
Keep these small heat packs in your pockets so that when your hands or feet become cold you can grab them and warm up quickly without having to go back home. These are most effective when warmed up in the microwave just before use.
It is worth checking the content of your heat packs beforehand because carrying around chemical heat packs can be hazardous. They can cause skin irritation, especially if your skin becomes sweaty, then comes into contact with the warmth of the warmer. The danger is that they can smoulder and cause burns. You should also make sure to check them regularly, as these heat packs can burn out over time.
3. Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water may seem a bit strange when discussing how to stay warm winter surfing, but it is actually a good idea to ensure you drink the appropriate amount of fluids throughout the day.
This might be more important than usual because drinking water will help prevent hypothermia and dehydration at this time of year. It’s worth noting that alcohol intake dehydrates you which puts your heart under additional stress as well as making the effects of cold weather even worse than they actually are.
4. Maintain an adequate calorie intake – eating enough food is important if keeping yourself warm during winter surfing. Even though you may not feel hungry, you still need to feed your body the right kind of nutrients on a daily basis.
If you can eat spicy food, then this is great because spicy food contains capsaicin which is a compound that can increase your metabolism and also help you stay warm.
5. Concentrate on keeping your legs warm first – Once again this is weird information for how to stay warm winter surfing, but it can have an added bonus for your overall health.
Heat loss from the head and chest isn’t good, but heat loss from the legs is even worse. This means that if you keep your extremities nice and warm and don’t let the cold in by wearing thermal clothing, then you’ll find it much easier to stay healthy during colder months.
How do you prepare for winter surfing?
Surfing is one of those sports where it’s always better to get out there on the water sooner rather than later. The waves are still good in the wintertime but you have to be prepared for the elements.
Here are some tips on how to get ready for this season and prepare your board for winter surfing.
- Buy a new wetsuit if your old one is no longer warm enough; they can cost anywhere from $300-$600 but will last many seasons if properly cared for
- Get an extra pair of gloves
- Store your board in a cool dry place when not using it so that it doesn’t warp or crack from exposure to moisture.
- Wax your board regularly so that the water beads up rather than soaking into the wood, which can cause rot or warping.
- Take care of any cracks in your fins by filling them with epoxy before they get worse and render them useless.
- Tie down all loose straps (e.g. leash strap). This will stop straps coming undone and losing your board mid-wipeout.
To be able to enjoy the cold winter months, you won’t want to get sick. Be sensible about how you go about surfing in winter. Give yourself time to warm up properly, take care of your skin and don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses.