It's winter up here in the east coast and surfing can be a bit of a bear with the recent Polar Vortex blowing in. Recently, I was talking to a friend about their winter surf session. The take away from their story, their hand slipped when gripping the rail to pop up and busted their face on the deck. Lucky no trip to the doctor, but some bruising to the ego.
It's cold and wearing mitten or gloves while keeping you warm, can be slippery on an unwaxed portion of the board. Do yourself a favor and wax those rails. It's also helpfuling during the summer, unless you're a pro, wax those rails.
Oh in case you wonder what it's like to nail your head on the deck of a board, Check out Sunny Garcia slipping off his board.
Winter time means it's bitter cold in the north east of the united states. But on the bright side, it also means pumping waves. Sometimes there will be a swell that lasts for a few days and there is nothing worse then starting your session getting into a cold damp wetsuit. After surfing in the winter for a few seasons, I've figured out a quick way to make sure my wet suit was as dry as possible for the next day surf session.
Hopefully you've rinsed your wetsuit with fresh water and ready to hang dry. I recommend getting a closet rod and install it over the bathtub. A rod similar to: Adjustable Closet Rod 30 to 48-Inch should do the trick. The reason for having the rod is to let your gear hang and drip dry into the tub.
First thing to do is to make sure the wetsuit is turned inside out and do the same with the gloves or mitts. It's pretty difficult to turn boots inside out, but I recommend at least rolling down the top of the boots. Lastly, hand squeeze some of the water out of the wetsuit and additional gear. It's impressive how much water neoprene can hold. Less water means it will dry quicker.
The simplest solution is to have a fan blowing on everything, any fan will do. As you can see from the photo all my gear is relatively close to each other, but with enough space to let the air flow freely around. It's important to make sure to the fan points directly at the boots. They take the longest to dry and if damp tend to stink due to bacteria on your feet. It's a pretty nasty smell, so making sure they dry pretty quickly, usually keeps the stench at bay for some time.
I've never completely timed this, but usually I hang everything at night; by morning, all the gear is nice and dry, including the inside of the boots. I'm sure everything can dry within 3 to 4 hours depending on how warm the room is and the fan is blowing and circulating the air.
Hopefully this will help you stay warm for your next winter surf session.
Another great swell passed New Jersey in mid october. While I wasn't personaly about to surf the actual weekend it came on. I did get a chance to enjoy it the day before. It was impressive and I haven't seen so many consistent barrels since the winter. Before I jumped in I was able to take a quick video of a couple surfers getting shacked. Jersey surfing is slowly waking up to the winter swells. Lets see what the future holds.
On September 22 2014, New Jersey was blessed with summer's last breath. On saturday a strong wind and ground swell made conditions extremely difficult to ride. Of the 2 hours I was out there I only caught 4 waves, with the last ride actually being quite good, I was satisfied considering the conditions.
Sunday was warm and overcast with fog hanging in most areas. But the waves, were beautiful. Shoulder high, glassy with little wind. There were some head high sets that rolled in. And as long you were in the right spots, you can get an a great ride. Which brings me to the most memorable wave I caught that day. A lone outside overhead monster came my way. I was in shock to have caught it, but it stayed open and glassy, letting me play to the best of my ability. When I got back into the lineup, the old guys were stoked and complemented me on the catch. I still caught a couple more great waves. But that was the standout for me.
On Monday the last day of summer, the swell came to it's peak, with certain areas reaching head high plus! With clear skies, warm weather and the perfect amount of offshore wind blowing through, the waves were groomed and pitched perfect barrels. Unfortunately that's still above my ability. But, I was able to pick a smaller spot that did just the same. I think for the first time I got close to getting barreled 3 times, but the wave still got away from me.
Lastly, sitting in the water with 3 others guys we were blessed the most amazing sunset. I haven't seen it that intense for years. It was humbling to take in the moment.