3 minute read
Growing up on the North Devon coast where the winter waves are bitterly cold and unforgiving, you could say 7 X National Women’s Surf Champion and dryrobe® Ambassador Lucy Campbell is pretty experienced when it comes to cold water surfing.
With the UK winter in full swing and the motivation to get out there possibly on the decline, we asked Lucy for her advice on how to embrace the harsh conditions that make winter surfing twice as challenging, but twice as rewarding.
If that sounds like where you’re at, get ready to take winter by its horns with Lucy’s best cold water surfing tips...
Winter surfing is such an incredible, exhilarating experience. Sat out in your toasty neoprene cocoon getting blasted by the elements…. or it can be quite the opposite!
Standing in the car park in a sideways hail storm with, what feels like someone hammering at your fingertips, thinking ‘what the heck am I doing here?’.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Just quietly sobbing to myself that my hands don’t work enough to get my suit and booties off to be able to get warm.
I definitely find that in the colder months, the warmer I am, the more motivated I am, so here are a few tips that I’ve learned to keep the froth! I think a few of these work across all cold activities.
- Remember to hang up your suit the night before and/or bring it in! A frozen solid wetsuit is never the best start to a session.
- Put your wetsuit under the passenger seat feet heater on the way to check the waves - you can thank me for that one later.
- Pack a flask of hot water to fill your hot water bottle post-surf. Perfect for bringing life back to claw hands (once you’ve navigated the screw tops).
- Set yourself a goal or challenge… 2x surfs a week? Surfs looking sub par, get out there and get 10 waves or try to catch as many waves as you can in 40 mins. I’m almost certain you won’t regret getting in the water. Be sure to celebrate small milestones and each achievement along the way, even if it’s just that you got out there and did it.
- Hot drinks, your toasty drink of choice to fire you up/ thaw you out.
- All the layers. Keep the heat in with as many layers as needed, but keep in mind that you might need to put these back on in 40mph wind and or rain.
- dryrobe® Advance (obvs) for the aforementioned car park changing, plus surf checks.
- Toasty gloves and boots for both checking the waves and post surf.
- Banging playlist, always.
- Have a surf buddy to keep the froth, and to hold you accountable. You can always join a local surf club or online communities to find others In the same boat.
There will definitely be times when it’s just about embracing the discomfort and pushing through your comfort zone. Remind yourself that every time you conquer the cold water, you are re-enforcing mental resilience and strength.
I think the most important thing is to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Each time you overcome a fear, lack or motivation or improve on technique, take a moment to acknowledge it.