FEBRUARY 2019- By Charlotte Carpentier
You like to surf but winter season is a big challenge for you ? You feel hesitant to face the cold, the wind, the rain or the snow ? Well-equipped you are gonna be able to enjoy the consisting waves from winter swells. Here is a list of accessories you will need to be warm and most importantly, do not miss any session. So now, no excuse!
The wetsuit, an accessory… which is not one !
The full wetsuit is the best way to protect your body from cold water by optimizing your freedom of movement.
5/4 ou 4/3 ? The choice of thickness depends on the temperature of the water, the temperature of the air, the wind speed, the cold-sensitive of the person and the time you plan to spend in the water. It is very subjective. For indication, the 5/4 mm will be useful for waters between 5 and 12 ° C and the 4/3 for those between 10 and 17 ° C.
It is also important to choose the size of your suit according to your morphology. It must be perfectly adjusted to your body so that the thin film of water that penetrates inside heats up quickly. Choose soft, comfortable, light and high end materials if you surf frequently.
Neoprene booties, for an optimal comfort!
Neoprene booties are mostly used when the temperature of the water is below 15°C.
As for wetsuits, there are several types, varying in their shape and thickness.
There are two mains categories: the traditional booties "round toes",shapped like shoes and the « split toes » booties which are characterized by the separation of the thumb from the other fingers, offering a higher board control and better comfort.
The sole is also a key element in the choice of your booties because it will allow you to have a good feeling with your board. An insole too thick or not flexible enough will offer you fewer sensations.
Tip: Models that can be flipped allow you to dry faster and avoid nauseating odors.
Ear plugs, to prevent exostosis
Otherwise called "the surfer's ear", exostosis is a narrowing of the external auditory canal of the ear developed after prolonged exposure to cold water and wind.
In order to avoid the appearance of exostosis, which in the majority of the most advanced cases requires a surgical intervention, we definitely recommend to wear a hood, as well as earplugs.
Hood or chapka, depending on your mood
The hood will allow you to both protect yourself from the wind, helm’s that you feel on your head when you get into cold water and exostosis.
Most often, we recommend a 2mm hood, so as not to lose freedom of movement.
And if you think that the hood is not very glamorous, opt for a chapka to ride with style! Easier to put on, it is a trendy and comfortable accessory that offers good freedom of movement.
A perfect compromise between the hood that is very waterproof but gives the feeling of being in a bubble (with little sound and less balance) and the beanie that falls at the slightest drop and which does not fully cover the ears.
The gloves, to paddle warm
The gloves protect you from cold water when you are paddling out to the peak.
Especially when you know that the body, exposed to cold, naturally seeks to reduce heat loss.
Yes but how ? The blood vessels, starting from the extremities (hands, feet, nose, ears) are tightened to concentrate the blood circulation at the level of the vital organs. This is the phenomenon of vasoconstriction.
In addition, during the session, your hands are still in the water. It is therefore strongly recommended to cover the extremities of your body to limit a heat loss too fast which could shorten your session.
A tip: to keep a good grip, opt instead for a thickness < 3mm (except if you live at the North Pole, of course!)
The poncho, the accessory that make all difference !
It’s freezing outside, you wanna remove your wetsuit.
You’re cold, you’re wet and you need something to hide yourself.
No problem, I know what you need… it’s a poncho! The perfect accessory to use before coming in the water or after a cold session.
But be aware that all ponchos are not equals ;) opt instead for thick cotton sponge 380g for an optimal comfort!
On Saint Jacques’s website, you can even have your name embroidered on it (just in case someone wants to borrow it, it can helps ;)
Session is done?
Now you can enjoy your rest and have a cup of tea or a yummy hot chocolate :) Thermos will help you to keep it warm till you come out from the water. And, to share with your friends don’t forget eco-cups ;) Aloha !