Most people associate surfing with warm water, sandy beaches and lots of sunshine. The sport can easily transition into the winter. In fact, many fans prefer the cold season because that’s when they get the best waves and favorable winds. Also, there are fewer people.
But as the water and outside temperatures decrease, you need to rethink you gear.
You need a surfboard that will give you more paddling ability because the water gets fast-moving and currents become a problem. So basically you need a board that is longer. Some surfers also add fuller foil through the stringer line of the board to hide the extra volume for easier jump. A board specific to ride in the winter is likely to be wider and have a more rounded tail to help with the speed.
You are also wearing more rubber because you need to stay warm. Your wetsuits get thicker and longer and you have to put on gloves, boots and hoods. That’s why having the right gear is even more important in the winter.
You may not like hoods and gloves but they are necessary when you’re spending hours in the cold water. Full body wetsuits are a must if you want to make awesome duck dives. Just because it’s more rubber doesn’t mean you won’t be flexible. These days they are made very stretchy. This is also crucial to keep in mind when buying a suit. You don’t want to under or oversize it. You also need boots and gloves that don’t leak.
1. AG47 Performance 4/3mm Chest Zip Wetsuit
This suit is made of 92 percent nylon and 8 percent elastane. It’s perfect for when the water is chilly – around 50 degrees. It’s stretchy and comfortable, making paddling easier. It’s 4/3 mm thick and retains body heat. It’s also wind and water repellent. The suit features hydrolock seam seal system for thinner, lighter and more flexible layers, sealed with liquid tape to prevent leaks. Price: $325
2. Excel Drylock 5/4 mm Hooded Wetsuit
This suit will keep you very warm even if the water is 40 degrees, the air temperature is in low 30’s and it’s very windy. The wetsuit also dries out quickly so you can go surfing the next day. It’s thick so the flexibility is not as great as a 2 mm suit but you still paddle freely. The Drylock is also Xcel's only wetsuit that includes a waterproof entry system, stitch-free Fusionweld seams, and the water-repellent Quick Dry Fiber exterior. Price: $365