After a week’s worth of debating over whether we could handle the cold, and carefully watching the charts, Deano and I decided we’d make the trip up to Norfolk for what will probably be the last surf of the year.
We set the alarm for 6am and got the quiver ready and then packed up the car and hit the road for East Runton. We were treated to an amazing sunrise, which the photos don’t really do justice to, but anyway. We reached Runton about 9.15 and we treated with a brisk offshore breeze and an air temperature of about 4 degrees. Yep, we were venturing into new territory, the coldest surf of our lives.
Runton had quite a bit of form to it today, but due to the high tide being at 5.30am, and it not getting light until 7.30, we reached the beach at mid-tide, so the waves probably had dropped off a little. As the tide went out, the swell would drop off again.
We suited up, me wearing a rash vest, a 2/2, a 3/2, gloves and booties, Deano in his 5/3 and booties (but no gloves). There were a few other guys around, all fully suited with hoods, gloves and booties. I am not that keen on a hood, as 1. they look a bit gay and 2. they impair your peripheral vision, so we went in without them. Mistake! After getting a few on the head, the pain from the cold was so intense that you felt as if you brain was actually aching, this is probably a little dangerous, but whatever.
We surfed for about an hour, then Deano had to get out due to the fact that his hands were completely numb (they must have been numb when he entered the water, so god knows how they felt after). I proceeded to get a few waves on the 6’4 and then a couple of nice ones on the 8’2.
Afterwards we cruised up to Cromer and had a little fish and chips to stoke up the boiler and then made the drive back to Essex. All in all a cold but rewarding morning.
Are we mad, I’d like to think so. When you look at it, everyone else was probably tucked up in bed, all cozy and warm and relaxed on a Saturday morning. Us two, we left perfectly warm beds and then scraped the ice off my car, and then plunged our bodies into water that can give you hypothermia if you don’t have enough neoprene around your body!
As they say, to get the ultimate thrill you gotta pay the ultimate price! Come on…