Winter for a surfer in the U.K is an exciting time. Storm fronts, created by areas of low pressure out in the middle of the Atlantic are driven towards our shoreline and batter our coast for months on end. All around the British Isles swell that has crossed the ocean, travelling thousands of miles, is meeting rock and sand; creating waves the likes of haven’t been seen since last winter.
During winter the water temperature drops to below 10˚C and the wind can reach upwards of 50mph. In the depths of winter surfing is not the trivial bit of fun that it is in the summer. Body and mind must be prepared to put on your 5mm wetsuit, hood, boots and gloves to throw yourself into the ocean amongst the fierce winter waves.
Many waves in the U.K only come to life during winter. Like sleeping dragons they remain dormant during the summer then awaken during autumn as the hurricanes begin to sweep across us. There are waves that last 2 minutes, barrels that look like Indonesia and perfect empty point breaks to be scored. All if you know where they are that is. Many spectacular waves are kept as closely guarded secrets, but explore and you will be rewarded. Big swells from the south west wrap round headlands, creating waves in the most sheltered of harbours.
Winter is all about short windows of opportunity, numb bodies and undeniable stoke; happy surfers clutching steaming cups of tea on the shore reliving the session of the season. There are so many possibilities for waves, so the next time you see a big winter swell light up the forecast, go explore.