You're welcome. Good to hear you're enjoying yourself so much out there. The hood doesn't have to be SUPER tight. Some water will get in no matter what. It's just about reducing the amount. Also, wind blowing onto your cold ears without a hood also causes damage. Wear earplugs and a hood if you're worried. But a hood is a must. Also, if you can't feel your feet, you're running the risk of frostbite. That can mean amputation of a foot. The tipping point between nothing happening and feeling coming back and getting gangrene is like flipping a coin. If your friend was that stoked to surf for his second sesh, go to a local surf shop and have him invest in boots.