Having to surf in the biting cold is pretty much inevitable for riders in the UK, where freezing green waves, menacing grey skies and frostbitten fingers are more of the surf scene than tropical sands and hibiscus flowers.
Luckily, British boarders are a pretty hardy bunch, as pro surfer Mitch Corbett has just discovered. Back from an epic road-trip around the UK, Mitch is heading up documentary project The Endless Winter, meeting legends of the British surf scene and charting the history and traditions of the sport, from some fantastic vintage footage of moustachioed surf dudes to the dubious pleasure of wearing a woolly jumper under a wetsuit.
In honour of the chilly British waves we asked Mitch about the best ways to stay warm in the winter.
MITCH CORBETT ON HIS WINTER ESSENTIALS
What will you be packing for winter surfing?
Clothing! Some huge warm hoodies, the most waterproof garments I can find and some very comfy waterproof boots such as the Cushe After Ride. For the water I will be taking Quiksilver’s heated rash vest and plenty of Sex Wax, as there are no surf shops up in Scotland. Wax is really important in freezing waters.
Other essentials include my Ipod, as on very dreary wet days some upbeat tunes can really help lighten the mood. Vitamins are great too, as you are in such extreme conditions that your immune system needs topping up all day. Finally a flask – the more hot water to make tea with, the better.
What’s your can’t-be-without-it piece of kit for winter conditions?
A really good wetsuit is without doubt the most essential item for me. Without one, surfing in the depths of winter can be a very uninspiring pleasure.
Check out the trailer for The Endless Winter.