10 11 Tips for Happier Winter Surfing

Just a few tips for those who are so smitten with surfing that they are willing to brave extreme elements for a chance to jazz the glass. I should start by mentioning that I am just a regular girl and do not claim to be an expert of any sort. These are just a few things that I think make it easier to enjoy surfing in New England year-round.
  1. Make sure you have the basic proper equipment of course. Your winter attire should consist of a true winter suit (5/4/3 or higher), at least 7mm booties and a good pair of gloves or mitts
  2. Change in your car if at all possible. At first it seemed nearly impossible for me to get into the thick winter suit from inside the warmth of my car but with a little practice I am pretty good to go now!
  3. Have your towel, clothing, coat, hat, etc all organized so that when you get back to your car, frozen, you do not have to fumble around looking for stuff!
  4. Bring a jug of hot water with you and flush your suit when you get out of the water. This not only helps transition but can also be used as a session extendor to heat up a little so that you can go back out! It feels like a hot shower. All you need is hot water from the tap.
  5. Heat up gloves and booties on the dashboard. This works really well when there is sun but you can also use the defrost setting.
  6. Once you are suited up, stay in the car for a bit longer until you are HOT. Drink some water while you do this.
  7. If possible, get a car with seat heaters. SPLURGE. You will thank your toasty ass for it many times over. I use mine all the time in the winter, spring and fall. Editors note 11/08/11: So, my driver's side seat heater self-destructed last winter and nearly burned a hole in my back. Burned right through my coat. I definitely miss it on the colder days! When I can remember, I will turn on the one in the passenger seat and get toasty - always a little nervous now, though.
  8. Time your paddle out well and conserve as much energy as possible for catching waves.
  9. When paddling out, stay calm and say some affirming thoughts about staying relaxed, calm and deliberate with all moves even though it is butt-ass cold. Use the mind-over-matter technique and once you catch your first wave you will have worked up some heat.
  10. Pay attention to your coordination and when you start to feel like you are "losing it" due to the cold, start thinking about ending your session with one more good wave. This way you are being smart and respecting the elements. You may notice this happening when you have caught a bunch of waves in a row and eff them up as soon as you pop up. You can relax, stop beating yourself up and blame it on the extreme conditions.
  11. Rinse your suit out at home with fresh water. This makes a huge difference in drying time and makes it easier and more pleasant to put your suit on next time.

Hopefully something here will help you out on your pursuit for icy perfection. Just get out there and have fun. Think about July in your head and remember how many people will be out there by summer. Enjoy the opportunity for slimmer lineups and more waves for you!

If you have good ideas I would love to hear them. Feel free to add yours to the comments box!

Falling back in love?

Well... maybe a little :) Enjoyed a sunny sunday afternoon ride on the fixed gear today.

lil fixie ridey on bike path!
First time riding her with new fork (original fork got tweaked in an urban bike mishap last summer).

Always time to stop and take some pics of ice bubbles.

Paying a visit to my babies in the shack. I hear we may have some surf coming...

Tour du Nord

After a frustrating week of being tied to a cubicle while the surf was firing, I finally got a little relief.

Surfwax. Holga shot.

junodMet up with surf bud, John (Hye Tyde) in Maine just in time to catch the very end of the swell.

shimmerThe air was warm, the sun was out and the wind was light offshore.

little leftoversWe both got a few sweet little sliders.

it felt warm out. what is up!?It was warm enough to hang out after and eat a snack outside!

FUN O RAMAA trip around the corner to an uber photogenic spot! FUN-O-RAMA.

GRAINA side trip on the way home to Grain Surfboards. No one was home (they were probably somewhere warm with waves!).

Free and EasyFinal stop in NH at my favorite surf shop, Cinnamon Rainbows. John picked this up off the shelf and it just happened to be on sale for 10 bucks! Lucky day. I got the dvd and new mitts which I desperately needed.

iPhone PanoTried out the pano app on the iphone at Cementland before hitting the road.


Wordle Generated Image

This image was generated through this cool little utility/website called Wordle. i am a total nerd sometimes. Ok... lots of times.

First February Session

As I type that alliteration, I think of the many other "F words" I could pair with the word February. Some that instantly come to mind include: Flat, Fat, Festering, Flabby, Freezing, Fearful, Frosty and of course, my all-time fave: Fucked. From my point-of-view these words all go hand-in-hand with the month of February here in New England.


But for all of the depths that February can bring me down to, there is also the sense of getting closer to "turning the corner". The Superbowl is over and Valentines day is almost here. Soon everything will give way to Saint Patrick's day inebreation-fests followed by Easter's peeps and jellybean sugar-highs. The days are starting to get longer on both ends and I can't help but feel optimistic. Especially after yesterday.


Yesterday I got my first much-needed session in for February. The waves were nothing huge. Just fun, clean, fast little peelers. But if it had been a spring day, there would have easily been fifty people out. As it was, with a high of 32° and a steady, offshore breeze – even with the sun – it was cold. There were only 6 people out at a given moment the entire time I was there. For a while I actually had my own private peak. Conditions were fun enough to keep me out there for 3 hours.

get in there

I cherish sessions like this every time and do not take for granted the thin line-up. I know that even when I am living the life I have long dreamed of and idealized in terms of surfing, there will be many crowded, frustrating sessions. I have seen the future and know that I will look back longingly on the cold, quiet, solitary winter surfs that I have enjoyed here.

Though I am still eagerly awaiting spring, and a big life change in the fall, I think this year I will savor winter for just a little while longer. Fabulous, fascinating, fearless, foamy, floating, fleeting, forever... February.

aaaaahhhhh i have arrived