The Ultimate Winter Setup
Winter surfing is the harshest elements for the greatest reward. My current winter setup is the 5.5/4 Flashbomb, 5mm Flashbomb gloves and 5mm Dawn Patrol boots. A warm setup for surfing in the snow is critical to success in surfing. The two things you need most in a winter suit is warmth and flex. Cold muscles have to work twice as hard as warm ones and in a restrictive suit that can mean cutting your session down to one quarter what you can pull off on warm days.
Personally I love winter for many reasons. I feel like there is a calmness in the air. A certain quiet that comes with the snow. The lineups are smaller and there’s lots of time to work on maneuvers over and over again. You can sometimes get four times the amount of attempts on a single trick than you would with a big lineup.
I like the Rip Curl Flashbomb for a number of reasons. The suit has a lot of stretch and doesn’t feel restrictive like other suits I have used over the years. The flashdry lining feels like I’m wearing pajamas, it’s the ultimate in comfort. It’s difficult to find a pair of gloves that don’t tear out when in the river. Not sure what it is exactly that puts holes in the fingers but I’ve given up trying to find the perfect set of gloves and got better at doing repairs. I suggest Aquaseal or Neoprene cement. For boots I like the Dawn Patrol over the Flashbomb because the grip slits in the bottom of the Flashbomb boots tear out very quickly rendering them useless to a river surfer. One trick I have learned is slip something over top of them when going from the car to the wave or wear your hiking boots down and change at the wave.
If you want to charge hard in the winter I would spring for the extra warmth and flex of one of the leading surf brands. The SIMA Image Awards best wetsuit each year, it’s worth checking out if you want the best.