No matter where you go these days for surf cold climates are not at the top of the list, usually. But for many surfers life in a wetsuit is , excuse the pun, a cold, harsh reality. Wetsuit technology has of course come along way in a relatively short time. Not so long ago many of the spots that are localized or over crowded in cold regions, where water temps hover around the 50 degree F mark, were not so just a few years back. They were just an empty peeling point, reef or sand break that welcomed any and all surfers hearty enough to endeavor.
Luckily for those seeking solitude a wetsuit is one of the best vehicles for seeking unsought wave destinations. Places all over the world are opening up due to today's kick-ass suits. Places both stateside and interntionally are now accessed more than eveer and by more people than ever thanks to the marvelous wetsuits of today. Iceland, Alaska, Oregon, Nor Cal, Nova Scotia, the list goes on and on of places where surfing is a serious part of the regional culture and even economy to some degree. So what is the most important piece of equipment in the cold? Bar none it is the wetsuit... do not forget it.
COLD CLIMATE SURF ESSENTIALS:
4/3MM or thicker full suit w/ attached hood.
6/5/4MM booties are a crucial component of cold weather surf sessions.
2MM + gloves. They take some getting used to but, warm hands are happy hands.
Down or heavy wool/pile jacket (might want to throw in ome backup rain gear too)
Extra clothing ( socks, sweater, warm hat, etc)
Thermos filled w/ hot fluids (not essential but nice)
SURF WETSUIT MANUFACTURERS:
Have somebody who knows wetsuit fit (ie retail shop) help you find the best fit from the right manufacturer. Fit does vary from label to label. And tight is right. So what feels tight in the store will feel right in the water. Also, avoid surfers ear buy always wearing your hood when in the water and/or wear ear plugs.