Top 5 | Best Things About Surfing in the Winter

By Jay Vilarrubi-Smith

It’s been politely pointed out that I’ve perhaps been a bit too negative about surfing in the winter. Apparently everyone knows that it’s “blooming freezing” and that maybe I should “stop going on about it.”

And that’s just my wife that’s said that.

So with that rather rude retort ringing in my ears, I feel inclined to put together the top 5 best things about surfing in the winter… and I’ve been banned from mentioning the cold:

The Waves

I know, I know…it’s pretty obvious. But let’s not forget how good the waves can actually be during the winter months.

After spending all summer competing with 100 people for some gentle slop, it’s so nice to actually surf waves that have a bit of oomph to them.

There’s nothing better than peering over the cliff and seeing some solid waves roll in with the stiff offshore winds trailing spray off the back.

There’s also the numerous not so secret, secret spots that always come alive at some point, offering us edit after edit of quality looking barrels.

Enjoy the winter swells, because we’ll sure miss them when they’re gone.

The Crowds

If there’s one thing that keeps me going in the summer, when I see another 10 people running down the stairs at my local, it’s the thought that three quarters of them will disappear after September.

Of course, if you head down to Fistral on a Saturday afternoon you’ll still see a swarm of people paddling around like there’s some sort of secret WSL event going on.

But in the main, you can head down to most line-ups and expect to see a handful of locals who usually know how to treat each other with respect.

There’s even those magical moments where you find yourself on your own, taking your pick of waves, and wondering why there’s no one else in!

The Fitness 

If you can surf throughout the winter, there’s no doubt you’ll arrive in spring in great shape.

Surfing in a thick wetsuit and in some solid waves means you’ll be using so much more effort than when you’re surfing in the summer.

Throw in the fact that you also happen to eat your own body weight in food on Christmas day alone, and this strenuous exercise becomes even more valuable.

So surf all winter and you’ll be ready for those summer paddle battles you’ll find yourself in!

The Confidence

If you take on a solid winter swell, there’s no doubt it leaves you feeling good about yourself.

It may only have been 4-5ft but you’ll still come out feeling like Laird Hamilton. Especially if it was only you in. What, did no one else have the balls?

When it comes to summer, you’ll be suiting up whatever the conditions.

“It’s pretty big out there” Is it? Well for you maybe sir, I survived the winter so there’s nothing that scares me.

The Prestige

Everyone’s a surfer. Just turn on the TV or flick through social media and you’ll see someone with long blonde hair who is a ‘surfer dude’.

But if you surf throughout the winter, then you know deep-down that you’re a real surfer.

There’s nothing better than telling someone you’ve been surfing after there’s been some frigid weather, and receiving the response “Really? You’re mad!”

Yes mum, I am mad. I am a winter surfer.


 

Jay Vilarrubi-Smith

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