Ocean City Today
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Surfing more than summertime and warm water fun

Surf Report
By Dave Dalkiewicz | Nov 02, 2017

(Nov. 3, 2017) Continuing with the theme of the heralded fall season, as nice as it may be, there is the harsh reality of what comes next.

Roughly figured as December through March, the winter will actually extend through April in these parts due to lagging water temperature at that time of year.

So in one fell swoop we’re talking about five months. That’s nearly half of the calendar year and a time that a lot of people put surfing on the back burner if they even consider it at all.

Surfing is more, way more, than just summertime, warm water fun. It’s a year-round activity if one chooses to approach it in that way and can be just as fun if not more so on a year-round basis.

The surf through this period has as much potential as any other, and arguably more, due to generally harsher winter weather.

All of this conversation leads to particular, necessary equipment. Thicker wetsuit gear is pretty obvious and fodder for future discussions. The emphasis here though is what used to be referred to and hopefully still regarded as a winter surfboard.

Loosely put, if one surfs a minimum of only once in each month through the winter and the rest of the year of course; the claim can be made, “I surfed all winter.” “I surf year-round.”

Now admittedly this is pretty liberal thinking but we’re talking a glass half full not one that’s half empty.

Truth is one gets a lot more selective during the winter. It’s obviously colder days are shorter and conditions seem to have to be at least a little bit better to get one out in the water.

Consequently one ends up surfing less and therein lies the notion of a winter surfboard – a board that’s going to paddle a bit faster, catch waves a bit earlier and generally be a bit easier to ride.

In theory, one should surf more in the winter to maintain conditioning for the more demanding conditions of cold, usually more size, and added weight and “clumsiness” that any wetsuit can cause.  But just the opposite tends to happen.

So a winter board is one that will be at least a little “more” than what one is use to riding in less demanding conditions – more length, width, thickness, or any combination of all of the above.  Anything that can compensate for the greater demands that the winter can put on us.

This notion is not one that is necessarily accepted across the spectrum of thought. A lot of us get attracted to surfing to get away from all the ins, outs, ups and downs of our everyday lives and live in the moment, taking advantage of nature’s free rides. The less to think about the better.

Ever see dolphins ride waves? Bet they’re not thinking about different “bodies” to put on to ride particular breaks or thicker wetsuit “skins” to deal with colder water. They just seem to migrate to wherever their fancy takes them and carry on in their most graceful manner. Guess we humans should be so lucky.

Indeed, maybe we can be. Taking a break/vacation in these colder months is often more available than in the busy resort hecticness where most of us make our living. Kind of go where the weather suits our clothes and equipment rather than the other way around. Of course, a new climate may dictate different equipment and present a whole other scenario, but that’s another story.

Is it time to start making plans?

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