Someone earlier mentioned ear plugs. Plus one to that. The only long term issues I have experienced with year-round surfing in NJ for over 15 years are with my ears. Not just infections but cartilage issues as well.
Plus there's nothing better than a post COLD water session boner to bring the one-eyed monster back to life. Get that turtle head out as soon as you can!!!!
Get a big terry cloth robe with a hood. Easy to change under and takes a little bite out of the chilly air. Plus no embarrassing dropped towels exposing the post cold water dunking of the private bits. I think there are surfing specific products out there but probably cost a few more $$'s
On occasion, Ive stayed out too long and gotten the shakes. This is anoying and can last up to 1 hr even with the heater full blast. The only thing that shortens the shaking spell for me is jogging or exercise to bring up the body temp faster. Best to avoid the shivering. The longest I've been able to stay out in winter MA is 1.5-2 hrs comfortably.
Then I bit the bullet and spent the cash. The Drylock design keeps so much water out...I usually have sweaty hands now! (I have 5mm gloves and a pair of mitts for when the water gets <40). And I have the round-toe 5mm Drylock boots. The split-toe design didn't work for me (cold big toe). I have a backup pair of 7mm Drylock boots that I pair with the mitts on those brutal days when you just have to get in the water.
I know some guys have had issues with Xcel durability, and also Xcel "funk." Mine have been as durable as any other brands I've used. And I use a boot dryer which dries things out in 3-4 hours. No funk.
il give u a little advice.first buy 2 suits.that is a must if u plan to surf a few times a day.u dont want to put an icey suit on after ur warmed up.2nd the first thing u do when u get in the water is piss in your suit.trust me,it helps a lot!guys been surfing in the winter since the 50s,this is nothing new.i need a new suit myself,if anyone is selling a medium,send me a message.i personally hate surfing in the winter,due to the cold,but the beaches are great!alotta people dont know this,but john john florence is originally from ocean grove,nj.his mom hated surfing cold shytty waves so they packed up and moved to oahu..and look at him now!!!!!once again kiddies,travel,travel,travel!!pro surfing isnt for everyone,and definitly not for me.surfing is only a hobby,some its a way of life..not for me..and i surf better than half u kooks on here
I am pretty stoked I just ordered the XCEL 6/5/4 Infiniti X-Zip 2 hooded wetsuit from WM. I have been working out and tried on my hyperflex flow 6/5/4 and it was tight and decided to go for the new XCEL in a size up. WM is nuts I got the suit for $199 and regular price is $350, some sites $400+. Does anyone have experience with the thick infiniti xzip 2 that could post a review? I am going to try selling my hyperflex for around $125 it has only been used twice last winter and worked well just too small for me now.
I've been surfing winters in NJ for 20 plus years now and I disagree with some of the points above about peeing in the suit and pouring warm water in the suit etc. I could be wrong and this is a good point of discussion, but here's my reasoning.
Back when suits were really much leakier and seams weren't sealed as well, you regularly got flushed and you relied on having a layer of water (either pee or ocean water than eventually got warmed by your body heat) to keep you warm. You were going to get water in there anyway, so it made sense to have warm water or pee in there.
In the past ten years or so, however, suits have advanced so much (no back zippers, sealed seams, etc) that you can actually stay almost dry. I find I stay warmer longer by having a really well sealed suit and avoiding getting flushed, along with a polypro layer underneath to insulate. When I do pee in the suit, it feels warm for about 5 mins, but then the pee cools down and I'm colder than if I had not allowed any water in the suit. Also, the pee doesn't leak out of the new sealed suits, so it's way grosser than it used to be.
At any rate, I am able to surf waaaay longer and stay warm waaay longer than I could back in the day so I know something's working.
Curious as to what people think
Heres something no one else has mentioned. If you can steal one of those trays from a fast food place(taco bell, etc). Its way more enjoyable to stand on that tray as opposed to the cold ground when your changing.
Def bring hot water jugs for post session changing too. If you have one of those trays it fills the tray to keep your toes warm too :D
Do they say what temperature will destroy the glue? It sounds like a valid point but I've always showered with my wetsuits, 3/2 and 5/4 (both excels), and never had any issues with the glue deteriorating. My 3/2 actually lasted the better part of 7 years, and if it wasn't for the fact that it's a small and I'm not, it would probably still be alive. I could see how a hot tub, with water temps over 100F, could damage the glue. A hot shower I guess could potentially too, so it's probably good advice to keep the water a little cooler when washing off the suit. However, I don't see many alternatives to rinsing off a wetsuit in the middle of winter. Do people really hose them off outside? Before they've showered and are still freezing? Or after a warm shower when feeling is just returning to your toes and the idea of anything wet or cold is miserable? Personally, I've found this method works best...