Winter can be the best time to surf in the UK. It takes the level of adventure, and the rush of adrenaline, to a whole new level if you can brave the drop in temperature and have the right gear. It’s every surfer’s dream to have space away from other surfers to enjoy the waves and improve their techniques, not to mention, the surf in the winter can be the best all year! So, what are the main reasons to surf in the colder months?
Here are just a few from us to give you an idea
You have the sea to yourself - many surfers choose to stay away from the sea during the winter months so those who choose to enjoy the winter surf can do so with all the space! What a dream. Just you and the sea and no fear of collision so you can take the time to improve your techniques.
The swell - the UK waters can produce some of the cleanest swells in Europe during the winter months so it is such a buzz to catch some perfect waves in quiet waters. This is a key time to up-skill and learn new moves and maybe even catch a barrel!
It’s good for your health - who wants to be stuck in a gym or pounding the streets in the cold to stay fit in the winter? The fitness benefits you get from paddling in stronger swell are huge and will improve your upper body strength and keep it strong all year round. Not to mention the benefits of fresh clean air and vitamin sea.
Beat the winter blues – keep your vitamin D topped up with supplements during the winter months as we don’t absorb it when the sun isn’t strong, and then take a dip in the surf to keep your endorphin levels up. There is no better way. Before you know it, it will be spring and you have survived another winter with a smile.
Lessons are quieter – if you are inexperienced or want to improve your technique with some extra lessons, the surf schools will be much quieter so you will be able to have more focussed, even 1 on 1, lessons to get ahead.
While you are enjoying the benefits of a winter surf, it’s also important to make sure you are aware of the risks. Winter can also be a dangerous time to surf in the UK so being mindful of this and taking necessary precautions will make sure the experience is ONLY positive for you. Here are some tips on staying safe on your winter surf;
Be warm - It’s no surprise that you will need to make sure you have the right gear to surf in the winter to make the experience enjoyable and also to avoid hyperthermia! We have all seen the end of the film Titanic. Being in freezing cold water is no joke so make sure you have a proper neoprene wetsuit, recommended thickness is 5mm. You will also need booties, gloves and a hood to make sure your extremities stay warm.
Bigger swells – yes, the great thing about winter surfing can also be the biggest risk so keep an eye on the swells and tides on magicseaweed.com or any other forecasting site for the safest times to surf.
Make sure you have a buddy - It’s recommended that you should never surf alone in the winter months as most of the UK beaches have no lifeguard patrol. So, for safety reasons always take a buddy or look for groups where you can look out for each other and make sure you all get home safely as you never know what can happen on a surf. It’s fantastic that the swells are better but it’s also sensible to make sure you have some company should anything go wrong.
Surfing doesn’t have to be saved for the warm summer months. Many people are now wild swimming in nothing more than a swim-suit so there has been a huge movement towards enjoying our coastlines and wild waters, and their benefits, all year round. Try it! This winter, grab a friend, grab your board and give it a go. It could be the best thing you ever did!
Here at Kosin we are all about getting out in nature and doing what makes us happy all year round. We want to stay warm while we enjoy the great outdoors and UK coastline during the winter months. Our collection of sweatshirts and hoodies, and a toasty changing robe, has the whole family covered for your next outdoor adventure. Check out our collection HERE.