The Benefits of Cold WaterShould surfing be reclassified as a Winter sport? T
For starters, the article I’m referencing defines cold water as anything below 70 F (21.1 C). So nearly all the surfing I do during the year takes place in qualifying “cold” water.
Granted, getting into the water in the dead of winter requires very good, and expensive gear. However, here is a list of benefits of cold water noted in a recent Healthline article about cold showers–we just it applied directly to surfing in cold water.
The stated benefits to taking cold showers 2-3 times per week are:
- Increases endorphins
- Improved metabolism
- Improved circulation
- Helps fight off common illnesses
Most surfers will tell you they feel better when surfing 2-3 times a week. So this list is seems legit.
The Healthline author also goes on to say that cold water is not a cure-all and should not replace other healthy lifestyle choices and medical treatments. Duh.
We have all experienced feeling really good after a morning surf, and now there’s some evidence to suggest you should continue surfing 2-3 times per week in perpetuity.
Keep in mind water temperature is typically about two months behind air temperature. Winter surfing is generally done in water below 50°F. When it dips into the 30s, that’s a new level of commitment. And while salt water freezes around 28.5°F.
In the winter, your wetsuit is more important than your board. Wetsuits are measured in millimeters of thickness, so winter will require a 4mm or 5mm—plus boots, gloves, and a hood. Most companies make 6mm suits, but they’re pretty cumbersome, so opt for the 5mm.
Hydration is also key. Drink a couple glasses of water and save the hot coffee for later. Proper hydration is key to improving blood flow.