The call of the ocean is as relentless as it’s waves. For those devoted to surfing, winter isn’t a season for putting your boards into hibernation and just staring longingly out to sea. Across the world, the colder months often bring legendary swells, they’re not for the faint-heartened and only the truly committed hit the open water for winter surfing when the temperature drops.
The fortitude of regular winter surfing is not to be maligned but for those who brave the frigid weather, the rewards are there. Open beaches and empty waters mean you’re free to catch waves as you please. The sea may be cold, but catching the perfect break feels even sweeter than it does in high summer and enduring the hardship of the bitter elements earns you a badge of honour amongst the surfing community.
The shorelines during winter surfing are more beautiful than they are bleak. Frost hangs off the final remaining blades of grass, the winter spray illuminates the rocks and cliff faces and the conditions often lead to picturesque waves, breaking in formation, uninterrupted by hordes of regular beach goers and holiday crowds. This setting provides an epic backdrop, and that feeling of catching your first wave of the session is amplified by the stunning nature around you. Even if the swell is only fair, the location lends an extra element and makes donning the thick suit, gloves, boots and hoods worthwhile.
You needn’t go it alone. With empty beaches, you can assemble a group and have the freedom of the seafront. The sense of camaraderie that winter surfing creates is unparalleled and those who endure the elements together become a tight-knit community of individuals committed to their chosen pastime. Sat around roaring fires on the beach regaling in the tales of the day’s rides with a frozen upper lip are all par for the course and part of an unforgettable experience.
In summary, there is no feeling quite like winter surfing, it’s human vs nature in its rawest form. If you’re a regular surfer during the warmer months, prepare yourself, invest in the right kit and try your hand at winter surfing, you’ll fall in love with surfing all over again.
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