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  1. #1

    how warm is warm

    So i have a question for all you hardcore easterners... im from san diego born and raised, and im moving to maine next year (portland).
    Im curious, even with a 6/5/4 boots hood gloves and thermals underneath etc.. are you actually ever warm? or is it just a coldness thats tolerable for an hour or so? i know wind chill plays a big part as well as other things but if you could give me some general feedback id appreciate it.
    Im not a fool i know its gonna be freakin cold and ill surely incur a barrage of "cali" jokes but ive surfed for a few decades in both warm and chilly (central cal) water. but im really excited to experience "exotic" albeit fickle Nor Eastern surf.

  2. #2
    don't do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    North Wildwood ,Nj
    I can can stay out for about 3-4 hours in my 5/4/3 with gloves , boots and a longsleeve thermal layer. tolerance to cold does affect how long can one can stay out . Usually 3-4 hours like is said is my limit as thats when I usually start to feel a chill in my suit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    central li, topsail island nc
    in ny i surf with a really good 5/4/3 and 7mm mitts/boots and can stay in as long as my arms warrant.. i think maine is a whole different animal though.. i don't know about wearing thermals underneath. maybe pick up one of those quik cypher heated vests. they look pretty nice to give you an extra boost when you need it.

    but like i said ny can't really be compared to maine imo

    best way to stay warm is stay active. catch as many waves as you can and stay moving.. if you sit you get cold

  5. #5


    cold is all mental ive stayed in 4 hours in november with a 4/3 and no hood or boots or gloves, but after pretty much only surfing in new england you just get used to the temp.

  6. #6
    Ive surfed in ny with a 4/3, thermal layer, hood, 7mm boots and 5mm gloves, and stayed in for 3 hours in 37 degree water. So im guessing that a 6/5/4 should probably enough to keep you warm in maine. When you have good equipment, the limiting factor in cold and windy weather is usually your face, so pack a tube of vaseline when you go to maine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Cape Cod

    Get Acclimated

    It's all about getting acclimated. Just spend a bunch of time in the water and it will happen. A 4/3 with 3 gloves and 5 boots works fine for me in the winter in MA. Most of us around here consider it warm when the water and the air are the same temp, no matter what time of year it is. It's all relative.

  8. #8


    I am also from new york. I know you cant compare it to main, but I think its important to adjust your body to the cold. Start in early november if not sooner, and go in when you can, even if the waves are not amazing. This way, your body will adjust, and once you have made it to winter. If your gunna just go in once, not knowing what to expect, then i think it would be much harder to adjust. Remember, it only gets warmer until summer which is defiantly the easy route.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    It's up to each person individually. Some people's physiology is not cold tolerant. For others, it's no problem. But to answer your question, yea... you're actually warmer than the dude on the beach taking pictures if you wear the right suit. Old wetsuit technology (or lack of it) meant you were cold, but at least you could get out and surf any time of the year. And when I say surf, you were pretty much kooking it straight down the line because the rubber back then was pretty stiff and ill fitting. Today, you can actually be somewhat comfortable, and still be able to MOVE in your suit. My advice is to buy the best suit you can afford - a good 5/4/3 full with 7mm boots and 5mm gloves should be good for a few hours as long as you're fit and don't tire easily. You start to get cold when you get tired, because you start to slow down. Keeping it moving is key.

  10. lets get one thing strait....water in maine is colder than any water on the west coast. by far. as soon as you hit the water you loose your breath...if you pour warm water into your suit pre seshh it could add an extra hour on to your session.. your body is going to be sweating but your face feet and hands are going to be numb within 2 hours