you know, i was thinking about this post-surf while struggling out of my wetsuit today. it's not the frigid air & water temps, or the shortened daylight hours, the crippling wind, or the ice & snow that make me rethink winter surfing every so often. it's dealing w/ the goddamn outfit required to surf in it! nothing sucks more after surfing for a few hours than trying to finagle a 7mil boot off your foot w/ numb hands, or get a 5mil claw off one hand while the other still shrouded in rubber, when all you want is to be warm again. or trying to get that first part of the suit off your shoulder so you can get your hands free again. i'm always half convinced that yes, THIS is the time i'm going to accidentally shred my suit.
but, as my wife says whenever i ***** about any of this to her, "i don't feel bad for you."
I couldn't agree more. When the waves are good it's a no brainer, you go. It's the times when the surf looks OK, and you just feel like getting wet. The risk/reward thought process never really involves the water/air temp, it always "Do I really feel like getting in and out of the wetsuit."