As with every passing year I try to push the limits of my surfing that little bit further, both in terms of frequency and location, but also in terms of conditions: size and temperature of the water. 2008 was no different. So on a cold winters day back in mid December when the charts were showing a solid 10-15ft swell (it wasn’t actually that big) I made the call to The Dog and we decided to make the trip down to Newquay for a few days of cold water action.

The latest in the year that I have surfed in the UK is 6 December at East Runton back in 2007. This year we managed to push that date back to 13 December (only a week’s difference, but later all the same).

Unknown surfer, Newquay Bay, Dec 2008

For the past few years, when it has got cold I have been doubling up the wetsuits wearing the 2/2 shortie underneath the 3/2 Rip Curl Classic with a few rash vests, plus Xcel 5mm boots and gloves and an O’Neill surf cap (yes they make you look like a knob, but keep you warm). This year I surfed the first day doubled-up, but the next morning I thought it was time to upgrade and get serious. Richie and I headed down to North Shore surf shop and I tried on various wetsuits. I particularly liked the Alder ones: they were in the sale, but also good quality materials. I tried on the Evo 5/4/3, but found the new top entry style too much of a stress to get in and out of, so I opted for the 5/4/3 Plasma Storm. This wetsuit is a cracker, with glide skin lining, liquid seems, super stretchy neoprene and a nice batwing enclosure to stop flushes.

Immediately after buying it, we headed out into the surf. I was toasty, minimal flushes, more flexibility and more time in the water, happy days!

I was also lucky this Christmas to receive an Xcel 2mm hooded polypro rash vest. I haven’t tried this bit of kit out yet, but I am already getting a solid pre-stoke on about our next cold water trip (penned in for sometime in January) as I know I am going to be even warmer (5/4/3 + 2mm hooded rashie is a sure fire recipe for toastyness). Throw in the Rip Curl tidemaster watch and I am set.

All I can say is thanks Santa (Rosana) for treating me well this Christmas 🙂

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