ok first of all wcec- dont do it! you are probally going to end up skiing/snowboarding more than surfing in the winter but then again maybe not. Born in jersey and live in san diego last 5 years. Lets paint the picture it is Febuary, it is 18 degrees outside with the wind chill, the water is 37, the waves are chest to head high from a solid nor'easter. Yes you need a 6/5/4, yes you need 7 mil booties yes get the mitten 6 mils, not the 5 mil gloves. Yes you need to grow your chest hair and beard out. Hair is 4x more insulating than fat. 5 mil gloves are fine when it is not 18 degrees outside with 20 mile an hour offshore winds and no sun. Yes your face will be numb and yes your hands and feet will start to get colder after an hour or so. Yes there will be about 6 other guys out and you will have one of the best sessions of your life. Yes there will not be waves again until March. Good luck!