Many think of the hot summer months as the best time for surfing and, true, many of the places we here at EarPro personally love offer a great summer surfing experience. So, why would anyone face up to the challenge and choose cold water and icy winds over warm sandy beaches and sunshine?
“Most people have heard of the classic surf film The Endless Summer, but what surfers like myself chase is actually the opposite,” says professional big wave surfer Mark Healey. “We spend the Northern Hemisphere Winter in the north and when spring arrives we turn our focus to Fall/Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.”
There are many reasons why cold-water winter surfing is great: the waves are at their best, the crowds are smaller and it’s even good for your health.
Here are our top three reason why you should give cold-water winter surfing a try:
Reason #1: Cold-water winter surfing offers better waves
In many locations, swells become greater during the winter. So, forget the sometimes seemingly never-ending flat spells and only ankle-high waves that accompany so many summer surfing experiences. Simply put, winter waves are more reliable than summer swell and less northerly winds also mean the swell is smoother. And, as there are less surfers out in winter, you have a greater choice of what swells to surf and, in turn, this can make you a better surfer.
Reason #2: No crowds mean the waves are yours
Can you imagine a surf spot where you can keep riding great swells without any other surfers in sight? Many do not think of surfing as a year-round sport and, more often than not, there will only be very few surfers during the winter period. And that is exactly why surfers in the know are very much looking forward to this time of the year. Patrick Gudauskas, a professional surfer from Southern California, fully agrees with us that winter is the best time to surf, saying that ‘in California it’s much colder, and with the larger waves you can often times find less people in the water and score magic windows all over the coastline.’
Reason #3: Cold-water winter surfing is healthy!
Unless you spend your days in the slopes snowboarding or skiing you will definitely get too little sunlight during the winter months. Going winter surfing will definitely help with getting that extra and much needed dose of vitamin D. Also, it can boost your immune system as studies show that the cold water acts as a mild stressor activating the immune system. The cold water also gets your blood pumping which may improve your circulation, in particular to extremities. As if that weren’t enough, the large winter swells are great to practice your paddling, burn calories and also build up core strength!
As always, let us know about your cold-water winter surfing experiences but, above all, stay safe and have fun!
We’ve compiled our favourite cold-water winter surfing videos on our YouTube channel – Enjoy!
Did we make you curious? We recently wrote on why winter swimming is good for you – similar applies for winter surfing.