5 reasons to try winter surfing in the UK

by Teshani Nanayakkara

Winter surfing is something everyone should tick off their bucket list. The rush of adrenaline and a unique sense of adventure offers a whole new depth to surfing, and you’ll still feel snug and warm in your wetsuit once you hit the winter waves. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should give winter surfing a go.

Surf crowd-less waves

Every surfer dreams of finding that sweet spot where they can surf endless waves without the hassle of dealing with other surfers. This dream becomes a reality in the winter, with many surfers opting out of winter surfing, meaning more waves for you! Some of the most crowded beaches in the UK in the summertime such as Watergate Beach and St Ives Bay become empty havens to surf uncrowded waves. 

The UK coastline is also one of the most diverse and longest coastlines in Europe. Although not every inch of the coastline is surfable, the lack of crowds in the winter grants you the perfect time to explore the UK's best beaches and locate the best surf spots to suit you. If you’re inexperienced, make sure to do it with a surf school so you gain an understanding of techniques and safety procedures. Or, if you’re a seasoned pro, don’t forget to let others know where you’ll be surfing, make sure you never go alone, and always be sure you can get rapid emergency assistance if needed as a precaution.

cliff overlooking surfer

Bigger swell = better surfer

Bigger swells are more commonplace in the winter as opposed to the summer. In fact, the UK offers some of the largest and cleanest swells in Europe. Between the large swells and the lack of crowds, you’re spoilt for choice as to which wave you want to surf, enabling you to become a better surfer. Cornwall and Scotland provide some of the biggest winter swells in the UK and if you’re a big wave hunter, carefully research the area where you’ll be surfing and check Magic Seaweed to find the best conditions to suit your needs.

surfing big wave

You’ll improve as a surfer

Big swells are perfect for practising your paddling - a workout you’d be unable to replicate in the gym due to being in a confined space. Paddling in winter waves enables you to work all the muscles of your upper body and although you’ll be tired at first, you’ll start to notice a difference in your fitness and surfing within weeks. 

Winter surfing will also make you a stronger and more proficient surfer as you’ll have more space to experiment with waves.

You’ll reap the benefits come the summer time as you’ll be one step ahead of everyone who avoided the winter surf!

surfer observing surf

Beat the winter blues

The winter season sees a shortage of sunlight, resulting in a lack of vitamin D which can lead to a low immune system, joint problems and depression. Being active and exposing yourself to any sunlight by surfing in the winter helps combat this as exercise stimulates blood circulation and releases endorphins - plus, you won’t even feel the cold with a good wetsuit, a hat and booties which are available to hire from all the surf schools on the eola marketplace and you also have the option to rent equipment.

surfing as sun sets

Added Accessibility

As fewer people choose to hit the surf during the winter in comparison to the summer season, you’ll find that it’s more feasible to book lessons around your schedule. You’ll also have more attention paid to you, and your lessons will be tailored made to suit your needs due to the reduced number of surfers defying the winter surf. Plus, it gives you the perfect excuse to plan a road trip to beat the winter blues!

surfer walking out of surf

You can find inspiration for your next winter surfing adventure by searching the eola marketplace. You can also read our post about dispelling common misconceptions of UK surfing, so you’ll be prepped to hit the winter surf.

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