The Cold North East
When we say to people we surf in the North East the normal reaction is, ''are you mad?!''
The dark, cold waters don't appeal to everyone at first. Even writing this blog about it actually feels weird because to us...it's just normal. We have grown accustom to these cold and wild conditions that the elements just become part of the experience and part of our lifestyle.
It can be difficult to find the motivation to get ready in sleet and 40mph freezing cold winds but when you see the wave breaking in front of you something just takes over. Your mind just shuts these elements off and you feel the adrenaline and excitement rushing through you as you know you in for a good time.
There's been times walking down onto the beach that the sand is as hard as concrete as it is frozen solid. Or icicles handing off an overhang from a cliff when timing a jump into a reef break.
Taking shelter behind your mates van to get changed out the wind or keeping a flask of hot coffee in the car ready for you getting out is all something we take as part of it. Our 5mm hooded winter suits can put some resistance on our paddling but I know we would rather have the resistance than an ice cream head ache and cold bodies.
There is something exciting about running down the beach in the snow though. You know you're a little bonkers but the draw the surf has on you and the joy one wave can bring is unimaginable and until you've experienced it you can't really describe it. One wave can change the whole experience and will 100% make it worth that freezing cold car park change to get out and drive home.
One tip I can give people visiting the North East in winter though is...don't leave your wetsuit out to dry over night...you may find it a tad chilly to put on in the morning.