wetsuit won­der­land

THERE'S NO EX­CUSE TO NOT SURF RIGHT THROUGH WIN­TER. WET­SUITS ARE SO TECH­NI­CALLY AD­VANCED TH­ESE DAYS THAT GET­TING KNACK­ERED TENDS TO HAP­PEN BE­FORE THE COLD KICKS IN. HERE ARE A FEW POINTERS IN GET­TING YOUR NEW SU­PER­HERO SUIT.

Carve - - STUFF -

1. SUITS YOU SIR!

It sounds ob­vi­ous but get­ting a wetsuit that fits you is your main pri­or­ity. Too loose and you'll get flushed with cold At­lantic salt and do some top-notch swear­ing. Too tight and you'll go pur­ple and if you're try­ing it on in a warm shop may sweat like you didn't know you could. There are plenty of tall/short op­tions th­ese days so what­ever your shape there's a suit for you out there. Get­ting it on and off shouldn't be a strug­gle or a fight. The right suit is like a favourite driv­ing glove. So fig­ure out what en­try works for you be it back zip, chest or zip­per­less. Be aware that one brand's 'Medium' isn't the same size as oth­ers, so sup­port your lo­cal shop and try on the suits that fit your bud­get and needs to get the per­fect match.

2. GET THE RIGHT SUIT

Do you surf for three hours or one? Do you tend to sit and chat a lot or are you mo­tor­boat­ing around the lineup max­ing your wave count? A 6mm hooded suit might be too hot for a frother, so there's al­ways the 5mm and sep­a­rate hood to con­sider.

3. AC­CES­SORISE

A good suit is the foun­da­tion of your win­ter ar­mour but don't stint on the bits and bobs. Good gloves and boots fin­ish off your get up. You get what you pay for and again fit is crit­i­cal. As for mitts ver­sus gloves that's your call.

4. RE­PLACE? RE­NEW? RE­PAIR?

If you need a new suit fair enough, but check out your old one. Could it be re­paired and used as a sec­ond suit? Qual­ity wetsuit re­pairs are amaz­ingly cheap and well worth the ef­fort and a back win­ter suit is al­ways a good idea, so one is al­ways veer­ing to­wards be­ing dry. Or at least not caked in ice.

5. SURF SMART

Your wetsuit is your de­fence in the cold war, but in any war, it's win­ning the lit­tle bat­tles that count. Rinse and dry your suit, on a proper hanger, nowt worse than a frosty suit. Use chang­ing mats/dry Robes to keep you warm be­fore you jump in. A flask of favoured hot bev­er­age will get you in­ter­nally heated be­tween ses­sions. For icey suits a gal­lon con­tainer of hot wa­ter chucked in your wetsuit bucket can warm it a bit on the way and then you can pour it over at the beach for a toasty change. Com­mit to the ses­sion, don't 'umm' and 'aah' for twenty min­utes los­ing vi­tal temp and froth lev­els.

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