Winter can be harsh, but surfing in the UK isn’t a seasonal sport like it used to be.If you have the money to spend (£250-£300 every couple of years) then there’s no need to spend half the year on land! The kit is obvious the more you spend around the middle range suits warmer you will be, but its not just the money that helps.
Don’t check the surf for too long, watch a couple of sets come by and make the call. The longer you stay in a heated car or outside in clothes the less likely you are to get in there.
In the winter you probably don’t have enough time to wait for it to get onto the right sand bank so wait for it to get good before you get in the cold water.
The most painful part of cold water surfing can be the walk back to the car, especially when there is a cold easterly wind blowing. Back in the car you will love yourself if there is a flask of something hot to drink and some thermals to put on!
In the water keep moving, the more you paddle the warmer you will stay as the blood keeps pumping around you and keeping the frostbite away. paddle from peak to peak, if there is is a lull paddle in a get a couple of smaller ones on the inside.
If you are lucky enough to surf at a break with strong rip for an easy paddle out make the most of it don’t bother wasting your limited number of ice cream headaches in the impact zone
Socks: I love winter socks, its one of those comforters that almost make the discomfort worth having!
Keep fit: Winter surfing needs an alternative source of exercise other than just surfing because with the shorter days and colder sea your water time is not going to be enough to stay fit. On top of that surfing in the winter is more physically demanding with bigger waves and more paddling resistance with the thicker wetsuits. there are plenty of youtube fitness for surfing vids out there so take your pick.