Winter time surfing is only for the most hard core of surfers. This courageous feat involves braving freezing temperatures and hypothermic conditions all for a chance at getting a few nice waves. Those who surf during the winter are often the most dedicated surfers who will do nearly anything to get out on the water. Surfing in cold water comes with many new challenges as surfers must face brutally cold conditions in suppressing gear.
Winter Surf Gear
Proper winter time surf gear is essential when braving cold water waves. Fortunately neoprene wetsuits were introduced to the surfing world by Jack O’Neill in the 1950’s. This new creation was revolutionary in the sense that surfers could now surf in much colder places for longer periods of time. Since then, wetsuit technology has advanced tremendously with thicker wetsuits for colder waters, more flexible and lighter materials, neoprene booties for the feet, neoprene gloves for your hands, and even neoprene hoods to keep your head warm.
Winter In St. Augustine
Winter time in St. Augustine is relatively mellow opposed to colder surf destinations across the globe. While the water does not stay as warm as other surf spots farther south or as cold as spots just north of the Oldest City, Saint Augustine water is the perfect medium when it comes to water temperature. The winter water temps vary from year to year but the water generally drops to the low sixties while occasionally dropping to the upper fifties on the coldest of days. The air temperature each day usually determines how much gear the winter time surfers choose to wear as the water temperature does not fluctuate very quickly.
Florida Winter Swells
Besides the occasional pumping swells during hurricane season, the winter time usually provides some of the better waves throughout most of Florida. The winter season is notorious for low pressure systems that generate large waves out of the North Atlantic. While these systems often send waves, they usually come with howling winds and colder conditions that are not for the faint of heart.
Winter Time Traveling
The winter season in the Oldest City is the most optimal time for surf trips for the traveling surfer. Cold and windy conditions often leave surfers daydreaming of warm tropical waves in distant locations around the globe. While Puerto Rico or even Southern Florida are the closest and most popular locations for traveling surfers from St. Augustine, many brave travelers head to Hawaii in the winter with hopes of warm, large north swells that provide a great escape from the colder conditions on the mainland.