Winter not only graces us with snow on the mountain, but with big waves on the beach. I remember surfing with my friend Arsenio at Shortys in late November. Both of us had lips that had turned blue and we were shivering. We kept looking over at each other saying, “One more wave”. Then a nice overhead wave came towards me. I turned, paddle, paddle, paddle. I felt a sudden rush of speed, the wave picked me up, I popped up and turned left, my hand dragging on the wave. It was awesome. Actually, I “pearled” and ate it hard. Pearling is a surf term where the nose of the board goes under the water when you are trying to catch a wave. it sucks. When I got back outside to Arse in the lineup he looked at me smiling and asked, “One more wave”.
If you plan on hitting some big surf this winter these are some things you might consider. First you need a pack. The Creatures Of Leisure Dry Lite Voyager 2.0 Pack is a good one. It’s got a compartment to keep your wetsuit from getting everything else in you pack wet. The Dakine Cinch Mat Bag is another good idea. You can change on it, keeping sand out of your wetsuit and booties, and if you don’t have a pack with a waterproof compartment the Cinch Mat Bag doubles as one. The average temperature of the ocean off the Oregon coast in winter is 45 degrees fahrenheit so you will definitely need some booties and gloves.
Of course you need a good beanie for when you get out of the water. A warm noggin is alway a great comfort. Always have extra fin keys on you. You need them for your fins of course, but you will find it’s a nice little tool to have with you in a pinch. An extra leash is a must. If you snap one, it does happen, then your day of fun is over. Wax is very important. Traction on your board is imperative. Michael, one of our surfers, likes Sticky Bumps. I grew up on Mr. Zogs Sex Wax. My favorite is strawberry then the grape. I just love the way they smell. Willy, one of our surfers, taught me a great trick. He puts a bar of his favorite wax under his seat in the summer. It melts and his truck smells great all year. And last, but definitely not least, you need a good water bottle. You get mighty thirsty after tasting the sea all day long. Sol, another one of our surfers, told me he likes to drink ice cold chocolate milk after a surf session. A great idea. I’ll have to try it.