Surf Report

(Dec . 20, 2019) Winter surfing is a theme that can be almost endlessly discussed and so we’ll continue in that vein.

I’ve always been a fan despite its difficulties because, I think, winter surfing is so counter intuitive.

It can also be rather equipment intensive especially when considering wetsuit gear. But how about the surfboard?

There was a time when a winter board was quite the consideration. It’s not an absolute, but certainly can have a place and I would argue is as valid today as it was back in the day.

It’s typical in the winter to not surf as much as you’d like even though it would probably be better to surf more if only to stay in good surfing shape.

Shorter days and harsher conditions are just a few of the possible drawbacks.

More gear, as in wetsuits, is obvious in colder conditions.

More surfboard, as in wider, thicker, or longer or a combination of any or all of the above seems to be a no brainer.

With having to haul more weight around in the water and probably not surfing as much, the extra float that this “more of” surfboard would provide would, ostensibly be a welcome addition to any surfer’s equipment set-up.

The more floaty board should translate into faster paddling to get out in the line-up and to more easily paddle into waves.

Hopefully, this winter board would also be more stable, and have more projection through turns and more successfully be able to make some of those long sections that long period winter swells can produce.

Another factor to consider, regarding a winter board, is that the surf can often be larger and more powerful in the winter. Larger winter surf can typically become more intimidating and the winter “more of” surfboard can help to mitigate this intimidation.

There are other plusses to a board of this type. It can be a good traveler if one is fortunate enough to get off on a surf trip to break up the long cold winter. It can also act as a bigger wave gun for those hurricane swells of late summer and fall.

On the down side, a board such as this might not be as maneuverable, harder to turn, and not as easy to push around as the smaller board that one might be use to.

But consider for a minute, if this smaller board is more of a chore to paddle out to the lineup and paddle into waves what good is the factor of prime maneuverability?

At times, surfing is inherently tough enough. The basics need to be considered and covered. Being able to walk before running is usually a pretty good idea.

And so, for your consideration: Wearing more winter wetsuit gear? Surfing less than desired? Traveling to distant shores? Does it seem to be tougher to paddle out and/or catch waves?

Think a board for bigger, more powerful waves might be a good idea? Maybe a “winter surfboard” is something to look into.

– Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop

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