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The Ripple Effect | Cold Water Surfing Rituals

Posted by staydialedcoffee on

Cracking the code on your approach to cold water surfing can be the difference between enjoying the bounty of winter swells and staying dry till Spring.

In this rendition of the Ripple Effect we collected basic cold water rituals to help keep you consistent when it's not all suns and buns in the water!

Okay, okay, this is a cool water kit.  Shout out to all those surfing at snow-covered beaches and below-freezing temperatures.  (We're not worthy.)


1. The Buddy System

Sync up with your crew = successful sessions! Dragging yourself out of bed when it's overcast and howling offshores is hard, but when you've set a plan to paddle out with someone, you're less likely to hit that snooze button.

Seea sisters Hallie + Makala heading up the coast for a cold surf at the queen of the coast, Rincon wearing our Barrel + Surf Check organic cotton tees.

2. Warm Fluids

Hot tea, fresh coffee, warm lemon water, or straight hydration is crucial in every session. Studies show dehydration makes it more difficult for your body to stay warm, not to mention flexible for your white water whomping. Bonus points for a steaming hot thermos greeting you for a post-session sip. It will stoke the coals of your core heat post freeze!

Makala staying hydrated, caffeinated, and stoked!

3. Fuel The Fire

Pre-session meals are a make or break in cold water surf. Imagine for a moment your digestion is a fire. Eating watery foods such as fruit and vegetables will douse the heat. Instead, try utilizing hardwood fuel like good fat, protein, and carbohydrates: avocado toast, sweet potatoes with eggs, or full permission for that croissant from your local bakery!  As your body works harder to break down this heavier food, you'll emit more internal heat and stay stoked in cooler temps.

In a hurry?  Have an avocado!  Filled with fiber, protein, and good fat.  These also contain a ton of nutrients like magnesium and potassium, which help avoid the dreaded "Charlie Horse" cramping in the cold.

4.  Stay Sealed

Winter brings colder water, consistent swells, and severe struggles with our wetsuits in the local parking lot. Your go-to 3/2 or 4/3 wetsuit is the key to comfortable and consistent water time this winter.  Anyone tried that Japanese neoprene yet?  

We don't have a sustainable winter option for you quite yet but keep an eye for our next drop of Yulex for the best sustainable 2mm wetsuits this spring!

Santa Cruz-ing Last Fall With Chelsea Woody In Our Long Jane + Rincon Jacket

One sure-fire way to zap that heat fast is struggling between car doors and gripping a tiny towel around your waist in howling wind.  May we present our Seea changing capes!  The warm, no-hassle, calm, covered, and cozy costume change.  Seriously, these are a game-changer, and once they're gone...they're gone.

Our Changing Cape in - Blue Venice.  Limited Run, Grab your's before they're gone :)

5.  Stretch It out

Essential for cold water surfing.  Even some minor muscle movements during your surf check can make a difference! The basics? Ankle rolls, arm circles, shoulder stretches, and a range of motion in your neck to start.

While we'd love to say we get full sun salutations in pre session (and encourage you to do so) more often than not, we've rolled straight out of bed into our morning surf, and have learned this lesson the hard way.  Queuing blood flow before you paddle out helps you stay limber and have fun in cooler temps!

6. Stay Active In The Water

Hallie keeping it moving at the Queen Of The Coast.

Stay moving post stretch!  Surfing in cold water in the Pacific often brings big WNW swells.  This paddle practice will pay you back in dividends come packed summer sessions, plus increased heart rate = body, generated heat. Challenge yourself to test that second peak, race over the cleanup set, catch a quick one on the inside... Basically, don't sit still in the lineup shivering.

7 . Dry Pre + Post Outfits

Those wool socks your mum gave you... bring em!   She was right, layers are warm.  The space between your shirt, sweater, and jacket will collect air and heat it faster.  

Hallie + Makala on that post surf roundup in the Central CA wearing Seea Apparel
Your pre-surf goal : Stay as warm as possible!

The post-surf goal : Collect all available heat!

 Our favorite Reversible Dead-Stock Jamiero Patch Bucket Hat features coral cord on one side, and a fuzzy terry lining on the other!  Perfect for post sun sitting!

We recommend covering your feet with fuzzy socks, getting a beanie or bucket hat on, and wrapping your hands around that warm beverage you left in the car.  Other essentials for cold water surf?  A good collection of thrift sweaters, down jackets, and comfy Seea pants that live in our cars all winter long for just the occasion.

While most of us prefer warm water, it only takes a little determination to enjoy waves year-round! With countless perfect cold-water peaks and a temperature-imposed crowd check, this could be the ideal season to take your surfing relationship to the next level.

Conquer the cold, and stay salty friends!

Xo - Seea

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1 comment

  • Something else I do is fill an insulated growler with hot water before leaving the house for a steamy rinse after surfing! I stand in my bucket to use it, so my feet end up in a shallow ‘hot tub.’ Helps to thaw out the hands and get the salt out of my hair!

    Chelsea Moore on

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