The Poor Man’s Guide to Winter Surfing

The Poor Man’s Guide to Winter SurfingNot every­one can afford a wet­suit quiver, but if you live out­side South­ern Cal­i­for­nia or Hawaii ­– some­where with real sea­sons – a vari­ety of rub­ber is real­ly the only way to enjoy year-round surf­ing. Ide­al­ly, we’d all have prop­er rub­ber for all con­di­tions, but we don’t live in a per­fect world. Some of us have holes in our booties and leaks in our wet­suits and can’t afford an upgrade.

Buy one very good win­ter suit
If you surf some­where cold, you need a good win­ter suit. There is no way around this one. A good win­ter suit is para­mount. Skimp on boards, skimp of fins, skimp on your car. If you got cheapo on your win­ter suit you will freeze. Wear­ing an old 3/2 over a new 3/2 does not a 6 mil make. Wet­suit Buy­ing Guide

Go as thick as pos­si­ble in boots and gloves
Get thick­est boots and gloves you can find. Thick­er booties last longer and are still use­ful with a few holes. Round-toed boots and mit­tens are less sus­cep­ti­ble to leaks and are eas­i­er to repair. It is always bet­ter to be warm than cold so if you can only afford one pair of boots, go thick. Besides, warm booties and a good detach­able hood can help make a sealed 3/2 far more versatile.

Recy­cle Old Suits
This goes back to rule one. Not every­one can afford a new 3/2, a new 4/3, and a new 6/mil. As your suits get worn-out and leaky, adjust their use to warmer sea­sons. Your old 4/3 becomes your new 3/2. Grab some scis­sors and your old 3/2 becomes your new spring­suit. Always replace your thick­est suit first. 

Recycle your broken leashesRecy­cle your bro­ken leash­es
Many-a-friends make fun for this one, but the Vel­cro straps on old leash­es are a great way to seal your wet­suit around your ankles. Ankle seals can stretch an old-suit beyond its expi­ra­tion date.

Duct Tape
Can’t afford a new dry­lock suit? Seals all stretched and worn? A bit of duct tape around your ankles and wrists can do won­ders to pre­vent a cold water flush. Just make sure you don’t buy cheap tape. Crap­py adhe­sive comes undone in the water, there­by mak­ing you one cold litterbug.

Flex and Seal
As seen on TV! They use this stuff to turn a screen door into a boat. It’s messy, yes, but it is an inex­pen­sive wet­suit repair solution.

Keep Water in the Car
A ther­mos of hot water will help thaw your hands and will take the chill out of pulling on wet booties. A healthy sup­ply of drink­ing water will allow your body to make its own hot water, which you can use how­ev­er you see fit.