Winnie the Poo that is…in the shape of a hot water bottle…yes, I’ve rediscovered the good old hot water bottle to unfreeze my gidget toes after a surf. Especially helpful, if your shower, like mine, decides to run out of hot water before your toes have reached normal temperature again.
We are lucky the water is still warm. I think it must be still around the 20 degree mark which is quite unusual for this time of the year. Unlike the ground you have to cover barefoot from the water’s edge to your car or your home. Sand, grass, concrete… whatever you have to conquer to reach your destination…they tend to be quite cold. Add a bit of wind chill…say 20 knots winds from the SW fresh from the snowy mountains and you’ll be a shivering mess by the time you reach your car after your winter surf session.
Here are a few handy hints to minimise the shivering time and get you back to your cosy warm self as quickly as possible:
When getting changed in the carpark
Be prepared for your return from the water. I know you want to get into the water as fast as possible and folding your clothes neatly is the last thing on your mind when you get changed into your wettie. But believe me it’s worth it. After my surf in Maroubra yesterday, I returned to the car to find all my clothes muddled up in a ball on the backseat turned inside out and it was a rather tough exercise to try to unravel that ball with clammy cold fingers.
When you get back to the car, take one of your car mats out to stand on while getting changed. Your feet are still exposed to the cold air but at least they are kept away from the cold ground.
Hooded towels…I don’t have one yet but this will be my next surf related investment. It saves you fiddling around with a normal towel. Not only does it minimise mooning and accidental boob exposure, but keeps the majority of your body out of the wind and hence, warm.
It might be a no-brainer but make sure you have soft and wideish clothes to get changed into after your surf if you can. You don’t want to have to squeeze into skinny jeans or put on a cold shirt (probably does not apply to those poor buggers who have to go straight to work from the surf).
Also can only recommend to have Ugg boots on hand aeh feet. But be aware don’t step into uggies with wet, sandy feet. It takes ages to dry them and they are likely to get smelly. So make sure to dry your feet thoroughly before you have them surrounded by the wooly warmth of your Uggies. If you are not an Ugg type of person, don’t despair, you don’t have to trade off warmth with style. Just get Austrian ski socks. They are the warmest ever to wear under your normal shoe wear…ok maybe not so hot with heels but definitely works under boots and sneakers.
Have a beanie on hand. I take it you won’t have a blow dryer in your car and wet hair especially long wet hair in the wind is no good. Nice side effect that it covers bad surf hair.
At home post surf
Hot shower – needs no explanation
Hot water bottle – a mate reminded me of the good old hot water bottle when I bumped into him shivering after a surf. Mine happens to have a Winnie the Poo cover but you get them in all shapes and forms starting from a few bucks.
Hot drink – My favourite winter warmer: A combo of a bit of ginger, one lemon, some honey and hot water which makes for a wicked and simple tea full of vitamin C to keep you warm and flu less through the winter season…
and if you are a lucky gidget like me you will have another hottie in the shape of a good looking man to keep you warm at home too. Maybe winter is not so bad after all.
Stay warm, gidgets and friends of gidgets.