THE POLES ARE THE NEW TROPICS, SIX-MILS ARE THE NEW TRUNKS, ALEUTIAN RIVER SALMON IS THE NEW BREAKFAST BURRITO AND FROSTBITE IS, OF COURSE, THE NEW MALARIA. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO OPEN A SURF MAG NOW WITHOUT PROS AND PHOTOGS GUSHING ABOUT A MUSHBURGER WITH A SNOW CAPPED CLIFF IN THE BACKGROUND. HOWEVER! THE ONE UPSIDE IS THAT WE NOW KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT STAYING WARM IN THE SURF. GETTING COLD IS NOW WHAT HAPPENS IN BOARDSHORTS WHEN THE WIND COMES UP . . . WEIRD!
1. DON’T SIP WHISKY FROM YOUR HIP FLASK
It’s a hoax. It’ll make you ‘feel’ warmer, but actually cools your core by dilating your blood vessels and thus giving off heat. So while a hip flask is an irie gift for the discerning gentleman, it’ll come in more handy in a pricey nightclub than on a winter surf mission.
2. DON’T STRETCH
Static stretching makes you more likely to pull a muscle in the cold, not less. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news to all you freaks that like to do the hamstring stretch on the water’s edge.
3. DON’T PISS*
Sure, it feels warm first of all. It also feels nice, liberating, fun, self-indulgent, exciting, novel, naughty, defiant and comforting all at the same time. But it soon cools, and then sloshes around inside your legs/boots as a frigid, heavy, cloudy yellow stinking broth. It also rots your suit, which is bad news in terms of both scent and more importantly, longevity and functionality.
“Staying warm is easier with a beard” – Kepa Acero
4. DON’T SIT AROUND
Froth, paddle around, stay busy. No matter how good your suit is, generally you’ll be warm on a straight line on the comfort graph, then at some point after around 2 hours, it’ll drop down suddenly. Condense your sesh. Think about the very best bit of the tide. Do your sitting around back home post-session, in front of the fire playing chess, surf time is for surfing.