For all those badasses amongst you that won’t take winter as an excuse, here is some tips on how to survive those freezing coldwater sessions! Those hacks will make your winter months more fun and easy! And btw this tips work fine even if you just go to a colder water spot for the first time and are way too spoilt by bikini/boardshorts only sessions 😉
- If possible: get dressed and undressed indoors
- If you’re driving to the spot: warm up those boots & gloves
- How to get into your wetsuit more easily
- Get into your dry (yesss!) wetsuit
- Surfer’s Ear and how to avoid it
- Having a warm DIY „shower” right at the spot
- Have your Chai/Hot Chocolate/Tea ready to warm you up
- Stay warm with a windbreaker
- Poncho, baby!
- Piss off or how to make your wetsuit live longer (and it’s smell more bearable)
If possible: get dressed and undressed indoors
There is nothing worse if you’re already freezing before you hit the water so if you can: put on all your gear before you get outside. If you have to drive to the spot you can put your wetsuit halfway on and put the rest once you’re at the spot.
If you’re driving to the spot: warm up those boots & gloves
There is nothing better than getting into kind of warm boots and gloves right before you hit the cold water! Place them neat the heaters of your car (but not too close!) so you’ll have some preheated rather than cooled down gear.
How to get into your wetsuit more easily
It starts with one of the most annoying things ever 😉 Getting in and out of your wetsuit. The simplest thing is to use a thick plastic bag or simple sock to get into your wetsuit more easily. And no, getting out of it won’t get any easier:
Get into your dry (yesss!) wetsuit
Get yourself a wetsuit dryer (looks like a bigger coat hanger).While we owned this thing and took it on our travels I’ll honestly say: it’s not really handy for traveling and it is pretty loud – but man, getting into a completely dry wetsuit the next day is a fantastic feeling! So if you’re back home anyway: enjoy the luxury of drying your wetsuit.Btw it is dried with cold air so the wetsuit material doesn’t wear off because of the heat (that was my main concern).
Surfer’s Ear and how to avoid it
You will most probably have heard of Surfers Ear, which can be cause from cold wind and water exposure.
“Irritation from cold wind and water exposure causes the bone surrounding the ear canal to develop lumps of new bony growth which constrict the ear canal. Where the ear canal is actually blocked by this condition, water and wax can become trapped and give rise to infection. The condition is so named due to its prevalence among cold water surfers. Warm water surfers are also at risk for exostosis due to the evaporative cooling caused by wind and the presence of water in the ear canal.” Source: Wikipedia
To avoid it you can for instance use Surf Ear which was developed by Swedish surfers.If I get a light infection I like to use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to flush my ears out. Generally if I feel my ears get weird I use the German homeopathic called Dulcamara D12 (available here, for international readers I’m sure there is something similar).
Having a warm DIY „shower” right at the spot
Fill a thermo mug with hot/warm water, leave it in your car and just empty it into your wetsuit once you’re out of the water. It’s almost as good as a warm shower back home and will heat you up from the inside.
There is nothing like your favorite tea (or coffee) in a thermo mug, waiting for you after your session – even better if that thermo mug is ocean themed like the one I designed 😉 It’s one of life simple pleasures. You’re welcome.
Stay warm with a windbreaker
When your wetsuit is just a bit too thin or you’re standing in your wet wetsuit on the beach in the wind after your session a windbreaker will keep you warm. All the major kite brands have them, most also with a hole for the hook of your harness.
There is nothing like snuggling into your poncho after a long session. I love my Vivida Poncho (get 10% off by using code „WAKEUPSTOKED10“). Besides the “normal” fluffy ponchos Vivida now also has an all weather water-resistant poncho/changing robe with an extra puffer for warmth.
Piss off or how to make your wetsuit live longer (and it’s smell more bearable)
While I was in Cape Town, somebody asked me whether I smoke weed every time I got into the car since my wetsuit (due to the water crisis in Cape Town, using it 2.5 months straight and never letting it fully dry) took its toll. Using a wetsuit shampoo not only makes it easier for your kite buddies to bare the smell of you but also lets your wetsuit live longer.
Need more inspiration on how to survive your coldest session yet?
Check out these 5 cold water movies