What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your annual (biannual if you are lucky!) surf trip? Probably not a 4/3 wetsuit, hood and booties! For most of us, it would be images of translucent blue barrels rolling down a coral reef pass, a palm fringed desert island backdrop, boat parked in the channel with a cold (insert local beer) as you reflect on another day in paradise.
Brain freeze, thawing out under pressure less, luke-warm showers, having to boil the kettle in the dark to melt the ice on you’re still wet wetsuit… These images are what drive those of us residing in the colder latitudes to consider the previous scenario in the first place! Well, for most us anyway!
Yet with ever more crowded line-up’s the overarching theme in the go to, established tropical surf destinations, should your next surf trip be somewhere cold enough to freeze a penguin’s bits? Does the pleasure / pain ratio of cold-water vs empty barrels weigh in the favour of those willing to consider something different for their next adventure? Thanks to continual improvements to both the cost and technology of decent cold water equipment, combined with the improving accessibility to the far reaches of our surfing universe and the operators that exist there, we think the answer is… YES!
Cold water surf destinations may well present a more fulfilling alternative to the tried and tested tropical retreats for those chasing empty waves and the spirit of adventure which is immediately squashed before the adventure even starts by the sight of 100’s of board bags being offloaded on the tarmac at your arrived destination!
So if you are thinking about a cold water sojourn, here is a brief list to get you thinking!