YOUR ESSENTIALS FOR A PERFECT WINTER SESSION
Do you love surfing but find winter sessions a real challenge? Are you reluctant to face the cold, wind, rain or snow? Well equipped, you'll be able to enjoy the consistent waves that winter swells bring. Here's a list of the accessories you'll need to keep warm and make sure you don't miss a single session. So now, no more excuses!
The wetsuit, an accessory that isn't really an accessory at all!
A full wetsuit is the key to effective protection from the cold while maximising your freedom of movement. We recommend that you opt for Yamamoto neoprene, which is known to be warmer and drier than other thermal insulators.
5/4, 5/3 or 4/3 mm ?
The choice of thickness depends on the temperature of the water, the air and the strength of the wind, how cold you are and how long you plan to be in the water. As you can see, it's all very subjective. As an indication, a 5/4 mm wetsuit will be useful for waters between 5 and 12°C, a 4/3 for those between 10 and 17°C, while a 5/3 mm neoprene wetsuit is a good intermediate for waters between 8 and 15°C.
It's also important to choose your wetsuit size according to your body shape. It needs to fit your body perfectly so that the thin film of water that penetrates inside heats up quickly. Consult our size guide to choose the right size for you!
If you'd like more advice on choosing your next suit, read our blog post on the subject.
Protect your extremities from the cold
Heat loss occurs mainly in the extremities, such as the head, feet and hands. And the body, exposed to the cold, naturally tries to reduce heat loss. How does it do this? Blood vessels in the extremities constrict to concentrate blood flow to the vital organs. This is the phenomenon of vasoconstriction.
That's why it's important to equip yourself effectively so you can make the most of your winter sessions, while adopting good practice.
The right headgear
When it comes to protecting your head when you're out on the slopes, there are three choices with different advantages:
- Opt for the 3mm neoprene cap, fitted with its leash to avoid losing it during your aquatic sessions.
- Choose a chapka hood with warm, comfortable padding, offering complete protection from ear to chin, while maintaining optimum hearing and balance.
- Take advantage of the integrated hooded into your wetsuit for a perfect seal, providing effective protection against wind and exostosis. You can find this type of hood on our yamamoto 5/3 mm convertible model.
We also recommend the use of earplugs to prevent the appearance of exostosis, otherwise known as "surfer's ear".
Choosing the right gloves
It's crucial to protect your hands, as they play a vital role in your winter's sessions. However, make sure you choose the right equipment for your activity:
- Opt for fully closed gloves for surfing, or webbed gloves if you're practising longe côte or water walking, to make your progress easier.
- Open-palmed gloves are suitable for all wind sports. This option will cover most of your hands while giving you a direct grip on your control bar.
Booties for optimum comfort
As with gloves, there are several types, varying in shape and thickness. There are two categories: 'round toes', shaped like shoes, and 'split toes', in which the thumb is separated from the other fingers, offering greater board control and greater comfort. The sole is also a key factor in choosing your booties, as it gives you a good feel for your board. A sole that's too thick or not supple enough will give you less feel.
An ultra-technical base layer
If your wetsuit isn't warm enough or is of poor quality and you're experiencing water ingress, the best thing to do would be to opt for a new quality wetsuit, but you can also choose the thermal top option. Our 2mm neoprene base layer provides warmth and comfort thanks to its internal flash wave lining. The low cut design is essential for optimum shoulder mobility and to prevent chafing.
A functional over-jacket
Add a neoprene over-jacket to your equipment for optimum warmth in the coldest weather or for waiting on the beach. Our model has been developed in collaboration with the French Kite Federation. It's soft and comfortable, and fits directly over your wetsuit, with a hole for the harness hook.
The carseat, the accessory that makes all the difference
To avoid that dreaded moment when you have to change, take off your wet wetsuit and feel the winter chill, we advise you to accessorise your car with neoprene seat covers. No more dreaming about taking off your wetsuit under warm water, now you can do it every session!
Find out all our tips for braving your winter sessions by adopting the good habits detailed in our article "Freezing waves, maximum heat".