Forgive me if this has been discussed before, and if its kind of captain obvious material, but
Do you find if harder to surf in cold water than the tropics? Is it harder to be as flexible in your movements?
For instance, I live in Perth, its now winter, my wave count has gone down, its harder for me to bend the knees, harder to twist, etc etc. Also, if the board hits my shins during a wipeout , you can really feel the sensation.
Where as if I go to bali, or even the stretch between the Sunshine coast and Coolangatta, its much much easier to catch waves and physically move around such as bending the knees, twisting the upper body etc.
Also, in Perth during summer, I still wear a wetsuit, but some how its still easier to surf than winter.
Whats the thickness of your winter suits ,top of the range rubber or base wetsuit ?
Its a stock 3/2 mm rip curl flash bomb.
Not sure if it's genuinely physical or just psychological but surfing in warm water always feels more flexible on the body IMO.
Surprised to hear your wave counts down during a Perth winter. Although I'm even more surprised to hear you wear a wetsuit during a Perth summer. That's sounds bloody dangerous.....
In my opinion cold water surfing is hard on the body.. especially when you're battling strong currents in a 4'3. It really canes the back and shoulders..
Maybe it's a feeling of being disconnected with your board too? Wearing gloves and booties and 5 mil of rubber feels like a barrier between me and the board, not to mention how restrictive that stuff is compared to a pair of boardies.
Also, cold water just saps your energy. The simple act of breathing and maintaining your core temperature uses a lot more fuel than when you're immersed in 26 deg water. Even at my age in warm water I can surf a 3-4 hour sesh no worries, in freezing cold water I'm good for about 2.
cold water causes vascular constriction., so your arms and legs become less responsive. add to that a layer of constricting rubber and you naturally wont move as well, ending up slow and tight. id also say that you might be just more susceptible to the cold too since you need a wetsuit in summer. i get away with a 2mm springy in winter in NSW excepting the south coast, but im in the minority and so probably not a fair comparison. try some warm ups prior, keep busy in the water, and remember to breath deeply when in the cold water. your body needs more oxygen when its trying to warm itself.
As you get older you should also be aware that cold water increases blood pressure. You should keep your work rate low so as to have something in reserve if needed.
Geez Hippo you would die in Victoria.
Give me cool water any day, when the water temp is over 25 as in Bali in Jan. I get so knackered and overheated I feel like chucking, its like playing footy. I long for the cold refreshing shock as you hit the water back home, where I can surf for hours feeling like a 59 year old grommet. I always thought W.A. ocean was warmer than S.A. and I find a top of the range 3/2 sealed steamer and maybe a hood is all I need in July and August. Maybe I'm just an unfit old bastard. Cheers.
I'm somewhere in the middle, trending towards cooler/cold water. Don't mind the cold at all, but really don't like it when it's too warm. Tweed Coast seems to be an ideal mix where I have the luxury of surfing in boardies year round (+ vest in winter) but I often find surfing in tropical locations saps my strength.
Yes hippo WA is balmy compared to Vic. Be thankful! I was in a south facing town in WA a coupla years back around this time of year & went from head to toe rubber to what was essentially my summer steamer.
Might be what your used to but I find Bali ok but Ments or Maldives are too warm.
When i was in the ments in June I felt fantastic...heaps of energy, surfed top of my game....then when I came back to Vicco in July, slapped on the booties and 4/3mm, I was blowing take offs left right and centre. I felt dazed and confused for my first few sessions back home.
You definitely get used to the cold, but it's harder, physically and mentally. I think it makes you a stronger surfer. Copping rogue winter waves on the head in less than 14 degree water makes everything else seem easy really.
I agree Indo water can be too hot, Vicco water is to cold in all but the summer months, and north NSW to Sunny Coast is perfect all year round.
@Stok Same thing happens to me, but i think it has as much to do with Indo waves being very predictable and easy to surf and most Vicco waves being unpredictable and very uneven and hard to read and surf.
The water in Sumatra is too hot for comfort and, combined with the air temperature and sun, creates a real risk of over heating in the water.
warm water makes you feel young, cold water makes you feel old.
I'll second that.
And add that it's a warm climate as a whole makes you feel young.
Cold climate....great for lazy days , excuses for not surfing or indulging in the outdoors and sleep ins.
It never gets really warm here but when I finally get to surf in boardies I feel like a teenager and so energised. I don't mind getting smashed either in warm water. Having said that, my first surf in boardies this season was a month ago and I'm still out of the water having done my shoulder that same day. Looks like I'm going to miss the whole summer this year.
Mid-winter and I surf more cautiously, I want to make that wave. Getting flushed in water below 10 degrees aint fun.
But I've said it before, winter surfing gives you a sense of accomplishment. You get some nice waves in winter when the water is frigid and the air temp even colder and you really feel like you've earned them.
Water below 10 degrees?? Christ that's cold.
I reckon swimming and surfing in really warm clear water is a sensual experience - as long as you've got the rashie and sunscreen on, just get in there and luxuriate.
Indo wet season as a storm builds can get ludicrously hot.
And ludicrously glassy.
Take it on the chin.
I'd rather be too hot than too cold.
Getting out of the shower in an unheated house mid winter down south is soul destroying.
that's why god invented cold beer.
have a cold shower blowin......that'll fix your unheated house problem, you'll feel super warm when you get out.
jokes aside.....i dare you, just once, and report back .
don't take ya steamer off
Zero chance of that happyas$.
I do have fond memories of waking to a chilled house and sitting in front of the slow combustion naked and fanning the coals back into life .
The dawning heat felt so good on the scrotum as the morning joint took effect.
Then it was shuffle up the bakery in baggy trackies and uggies.
Good memories .
Got to love winter in a small south coast town.
For about 3 hours till the novelty wears off and you realise that the tropics are pumping with long groomed lines as gorgeous women frolic in bikinis and the cold beers that Freeride mentioned -
yeah thanks for describing that in so much detail. you really have a way with words. career in writing perhaps?
i remember ending a long cold winter in Canada bearing down to -30C minimums. sitting in a beer garden on a bright spring day sipping an ice cold one in shorts and a t-shirt. it was 3 degrees outside.
lesson for today....beer tastes good in any climate.
It wasn't your 30th beer for the day was it ?
That's how drunk I'd have to be to be wearing boardies in -30 degrees .
I honestly think I'd be one of those crew that goes into cardiac arrest with that ridiculous ice bucket challenge.
That's so true AndyM.
Except for the Rashie.
T Shirt if anything.
Unless I'm riding a keel fish, then it's an unbuttoned dress shirt to flow in the breeze and create the impression I'm flying.
Feel like a bit of a dill saying it but you get that water that I call liquid velvet, just the softest water and it's like a dream.
With my skin I have to go for the long sleeved rashie, it's the only thing I can wear in the tropics. Sometimes I want to team it up with my French foreign legion hat but I resist the temptation.
When I'm at The Pass, the unbuttoned aloha shirt and the moustache come out, while the legrope comes off.
Nice one Happy, warm can definitely be relative.
I was in the north east U.S. one winter, about -20 with maybe 25 knot winds, fucking bitterly cold. Flew to northern Germany where it was about 3 or 4 degrees. It felt like a spring day so I wore the ol' thongs out in the streets of Vegesack, and didn't zee Germans stare.
you probably weren't wearing socks with your thongs Andy. apparently the german chicks find it a turn on to see bare naked feet......dont quote me on that though, i might have just made it up.
Yeah this fraulein came up to me and said "Sie haben schöne Füße" but the penny didn't drop till later.
just spent 2 weeks in Phuket water was 29-30 degrees didn't notice any real difference to Vic summer surfing in a short arm steamer.... but prefer it a million times more to Vic winter water!!!!! that stiffens you up.
with every passing winter the older i get the better i was. From boardies in nauru, to 4/3fl flashbomb booties and hood at home, gimme warm water any day.
Surfed back at the ol' stomping ground at Middleton today. Was pleasantly surprised with water temps, especially at the coldest time of the year. No icecream headache and booties helped me stay in for 2 hours before going numb.
I'd be interested to hear what the Irish surfers think about surfing in warm water. They are iron men and women, but I imagine some must make the trip to the tropics. It must feel entirely weird to be just in a pair of boardies and be in the ocean.
I get a little SAD during winter, but it's not because of the cold, more the lack of daylight. The last 3 winters I've been on a training programme, entirely mental, of just dealing with the cold. Between that and better wetsuits and a mild winter this year I just don't have any problem with the cold any more.
But, as noted on another forum, those first few surfs in the steamer can feel so stiff and sorry arsed. It comes good quickly enough and the better quality surf and being able to park at the local more than make up for it.
Cold water is more dense, as I understand it, and I have taken a few hefty blows to the ribs on wipeouts, one in particular leaving me wondering if I had broken something. Left a bit of what I suspect were strained soft tissue around the floating ribs.
I do like the warm water surfs, but after a week in Bali I'm looking forward to some water that has the slightest refreshing quality to it. It's nice being out in the water in just boardies and rashy for hours and not getting the slightest chill, but it's too much after a while.
Love the east coast summer surfs in boardies and rash vest, just the right coolness and freedom, but the damned crowds are hard to avoid.
North Coast NSW Autumn would satisfy most with its goldilocks water temps, wave quality and crowd factor.
Autumn anywhere up or down the coast is a grand time to be alive Blowin. Just have to ditch that nasty work habit.
can you elaborate about your training program batfink? how do you mentally beat it....its all physical isnt it?
Hi Happy. It's highly technical, I developed a program I called the 'harden the fark up' program'. It involved hardening the fark up.
Cold is a mix of the physical and the mental. My thoughts on it were no more than just dealing with it and not obsessing about it. Your body will react as it must, but mostly that is just the small blood vessels constricting, which is good to keep the middle warm. How you respond mentally will determine whether you feel it more or less, not so much on whether you get particularly cold. It's just a mental perspective switch.
Got some good experience in mid winter south coast after a longish surf late afternoon, icy sou-wester blowing down from the snowy mountains. Had already had the thought to toughen up, and just walking back accepted that I was cold and largely stopped shivering. Knew that I would be warm soon enough. Didn't rip my wettie off shivering, just accepted it.
And if you think the mental side of it isn't important, check out Wim Hof. He is known as the ice man and I'm pretty convinced he is fair dinkum. Even if he isn't, I've had exposure to Indian yoga masters who can do some amazing feats of tolerance through the power of the mind, so I was already sold on the mental side of it being powerful.
It really is just a perspective issue. Honestly, try it. Also, I tended to finish my showers with cold water through summer up till about mid April, just to help. One of Wim Hof's simpler suggestions.
yeah, i read about wim last year some time. i occassionally take to the cold showers just for the hell of it (no hot just all cold) and in winter too sometimes. i got it from my old pop who did that shit in germany, outside, and in winter. ha ha. yeah nuts, but he did live till he was 94. i remember now, wim had a particular breathing technique. i didnt think too much of. it seemed unnecessary to me.
this thread did spark my interest again, there is a really interesting podcast from back in April this year by RichRoll who is talking to a guy called Ray Cronise. look it up. beware its 3 hours long. Ray is sold on the positive adaption benefits derived from veganism, eating only once a day roughly speaking, regular intermittent fasting, and repeated mild cold exposure like setting your house temp down to 15, or swimming in sub 26 degree water. its all towards his quest for health and longevity. after listening to it I get the impression, he smart, very smart.
sounds like a recipe for survival but not for doing much else.
thats just turning your metabolism right down low.
Not much good if you want to get out and enjoy what life has to offer.
yeah, i thought so initially too freeride. but listening to him hes certainly no recluse. interestingly, he reckons that mild cold exposure (no shivering) actually increases your metabolism of body fat. shivering is too much into the muscle glycogen burning side and therefore mimicks physical exercise which is counter productive to the focused fat burn. and that your body can be adapted towards this cold tolerance and the subsequent benefits. its very interesting stuff, probably not to the extent he does it but then hes basically donating his body to science in this respect. i think it kind of pioneering.
Where's Uplift when you need him?
I'll check it out some time Happy. I just don't buy veganism at all, and that's from someone who was vegetarian for 20+ years. The philosophical underpinnings border on sophistry in relation to eggs and dairy in particular. If you are going to go vegan you need to be mindful of what your body needs and how it is going to get the essential nutrients, and it ain't straightforward. But happy for anyone to go down that path, I just don't buy that there are any health benefits from it.
As for intermittent fasting and/or only eating once a day, I'm all for it especially as you get older. 3 meals a day is just ridiculous overkill unless you are either working physically demanding jobs or training up. I've been on to breaking up my eating habits by regularly missing meals, having them at different times etc for most of this year. It actually came from reading Nassim Taleb's series of books including 'The Black Swan' and 'Antifragile'. The idea is that your body does not respond well to stasis, and needs to be shaken up on a regular basis.
Cold exposure, such as swims on cold winter days, is just good for the soul and there's no question that your body responds positively to it. I haven't got into it yet, but ocean swimming in just the speedos or boardies in winter is a longer term goal, maybe a retirement years activity I hope to take up. Surfing in a wettie is a doddle in comparison. :-)
And not heating up your house too much through winter saves a shiteload on energy bills and just means wearing an extra layer. All part of just not getting too comfortable to counter the terrible sedentary air-conditioned life at work.
There is a lot of truth in your "Harden the Fuck" post Batfink.
So much of it is in the head and the attitude in the approach, sometimes the worse bit is just getting the wetty on and getting over how cold is in your mind.
What about the bath thing?...and resting your body thermostat ?....
I think from memory you run a hot bath and lay in it until its cold and do this everyday for a week?
Also wearing the least amount of rubber for as long as you can as it gets colder helps.
Or you could move somewhere warm and feel just right.
Any victorians here? The peak of water temp its coldest is over and i never got out of my 3/2. Anyone else think that the water has been warmer or is my psycho 3 just the bees knees?
Also what blowin said. I find that if i just accept the reality that yes it is cold but soon ill be warm again it becomes much less of a issue. Same goes with hunger :)