stay toasty

stay toasty

winter waves

Photo: Marinus Joris – Northsea Juice

Ice-cream headaches and frozen-to-translucent fingers shouldn’t stop you enjoying the benefits of coldwater surfing – stop dreaming of tropical oceans and remember, cold water’s good for body and soul (it opens the capillaries, they close again and blood rushes back to keep the body warm. It’s like doing invigorating upside-down-yoga-poses to promote activity in the organs and glands. And doesn’t that make you feel alive!)

Embrace the brain-freeze-wave-flushes, followed by the beautiful feeling of a little warm wee (ooh nice, and yeah, I know, not good for the super-duper expensive wetsuit, but with a good rinse… ahhhh) and keep warm with these rather clever tips.

winter waves

Photo: Marinus Joris – Northsea Juice

Obviously you’ve got a good well-fitting wetsuit and all the clobber for head, hands, feet; checklist tick tick tick – hood, boots, gloves, thermal rash vest, TICK!

Clever tips:
1. Start your day with ginger and lemon tea – heats you up from the inside-out

2. Always end showers with a cold rinse – toughens you up, invigorates your body, and does wonders for your skin.

3. Eat up to heat up
A healthy meal before you surf (not immediately before – allow an hour or two to digest) boosts your metabolism, body temperature and energy – which you’ll need for paddling with your winter kit on!
If it’s pumping out there and you can’t sit still long enough for a big meal, bananas, avocados, nuts, dates and figs are great slow-release fuel.

4. Layer up
Layers trap air and keep your heat in. Put your thermals on before you leave the house, or even better, your wetsuit (if still wet, put it on in a hot shower, and good on you! You surf so much your suit’s still wet!)
You’re much more likely to get in now as well…

5. Hotty-Bottie Genius!
Pour hot water in a flask or two, take them with you.
(NOT boiling water – do I really need to add that?)
Pour a good splosh of water into your suit before you surf. Pour a bit more in when you get out, jump around some and feel warm glow returning to your body before taking it off and slipping into your lovely warm clothes (cos they were wrapped around your flasks – told you this was clever stuff.)

6. Limber up
Stretchy-stretch jumpy-jump, do a little dance, spread a little warmth – share the heat with your muscles by doing an aerobic warm-up. No slow stretches when it’s cold; get pumped up as you warm up!

7. Keep on moving, don’t stop no!
Sitting still is a sure way to feel the freeze. No sets coming, paddle around, wave your arms (not like you need to be rescued), keep your legs circling, head waggling and toes wiggling so your heart keeps thumping and blood keeps pumping. Up your wave count as you need one more before you get chilly, and when you start to get cold, get out.

Keep loving the seaside, keep surfing, and stay toasty!


Photo: Marinus Joris – Northsea Juice

Words: Gail Bennie

(Jersey surfer girl residing in Sagres, enjoying the warmer waters of Portugal)

1 Comment

  • Katie Bennie

    20.12.2015 at 00:17

    Stay toasty right enough!

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