It’s a mental and physical thing

Wipe-outs. We all have them. At any stage in your journey, you might have them on every single wave. I don’t mind wipe-outs. (They’re just a good opportunity to go for a dip in the ocean.) Since my surf lesson … Continue reading

The cold water feels warm to me

You know it’s cold outside when you hurry down the steps with your surfboard and feel a surge of relief when you get into the water. This was me the other morning.

It was 7am. There was ice on the grass. There was a spray of steam coming off the ocean. Changing out of my warm clothes and into my wetsuit, my extremities were immediately numb. I couldn’t feel my fingers as I waxed my board. Oh man, I thought woefully, that water is going to be freezing! I still only have a 3/2 wetsuit. I wear a rash vest under it to create more insulation but I was dreading that freezing cold dunking of the first moments in the surf.

Carrying my board across the carpark and down the stairs, I could suddenly now feel my feet – but I wished I hadn’t. They were being stabbed with little gravel stones that felt like razor blades that burned on my skin. I hurried. Ouch ouch ouch. I climbed up on the rocky shore (the tide was so high the beach was under water) and did my warm-ups. I knew I needed them. Then headed for the water.

Slicing through the water, paddling out, I felt a relieving warmth wash over me. The water was 17 degrees Celsius, according to the surf report. I can hear my NSW and QLD surfer friends (and Hawaiian too) shivering right now. But let me explain something. The water was 17 degrees…the outside temperature was 5. The surf felt so warm I didn’t want to get out, but cold enough for me to break my toe and not really feel it until two hours after I dried off and defrosted.

Ahh got to love cold surfs.

Surfin’ in the rain

The wetsuit sticks to my thighs like glue and I have to shimmy my hips like a professional Tahitian dancer to slither out of the salt-soaked neoprene. Throwing a cautious glance to the gaggle of guys in the car next to me, I expertly extricate the bikini from under my sweater and pull on some shorts. I sit in my car and blast the heater, watching the fog disappear from the windscreen. I think to myself, I’m wetter now than I was in the water!

It’s cold again

Summer has abandoned me. Noooooo. Goodbye you little minx. See you again in seven months.

Cold weather means that it’s time to purchase a 4/3 wetsuit. I’m looking at Rip Curl and Roxy, but also really enjoyed surfing in an XCel. I’m leaning more towards Rip Curl though because they are (surprisingly) cheaper and have a zip up the back. I absolutely adore the look of a particular Roxy wetsuit (one pink leg, one silver and black leg: hot) but was dismayed to realise that it’s the ‘over-the-head’ wetsuit. Why? Why Roxy? You’re a women’s brand; why do you want our hair pulled out? I was a bit disappointed because it’s a really pretty wetsuit. Cue girly moment.

Plain old black Rip Curl one it is. At least I won’t stand out for all the wrong reasons (that I am a kook and a priss).

I’m also very seriously considering ear plugs. The water is freezing here. (Okay, maybe not actually Arctic but the water temperature does drop below ten degrees Celsius.) Also, it’s windy. And onshore. My ears hurt. Not good! I do not want to ever experience ‘surfer’s ear’ and it seems that borrowing my boyfriend’s old neoprene hood (very stylish) and wearing ear plugs will be a good place to start. And his booties. Oh ho ho. Won’t I be a sight?

It’s truly showing me that I am actually a dedicated surfer to be willing to go out in winter, and I’m not just a girl wrapped in becoming a ‘surfie chick’ – I am wrapped in becoming a surfer. No bikinis and tropical weather here to flaunt that booty. Just a rubbersuit that makes me look like a Power Ranger. Pew pew!