Winter is once again lurching into view, a season that presents the hardy year-round surfer with all sorts of hazards. Your most immediate concern will be the plummeting water temperatures, of course. But having equipped yourself with a suitable array of winter rubber, you’d be a fool to neglect the potential for heat loss during the inevitable pre – and post- shred rituals.
The half-hour period before and after is where core warmth is so easy to lose and so difficult, several hours later, to recover. Motivation and enthusiasm, likewise. The getting out of heated cars into icy carparks, the checking of spots, the waxing up of boards, the obligatory post-surf thaw-out… a good surf jacket is non-negotiable.
“In days of yore, when winter was in the air, one simply stalked some unsuspecting ungulate and fashioned out of its carcass a free-range fur coat to hunker down in”
But what jacket, and where to find it? In days of yore, when winter was in the air, one simply stalked some unsuspecting ungulate and fashioned out of its carcass a free-range fur coat to hunker down in.
If you think you’ve got that in your locker, well, good luck to you. For most of us, though, things are more complicated. Nowadays there are brands and capsule collections, product developers and marketing teams. Which fleece lining will keep you warmest as you scale the dunes in the half-light of dawn? Which logo will mark you out as a good sort, and not as a fraud who can be dropped-in-on with impunity?
We have traipsed through the undergrowth of the surfing industry’s winter product, and can now recommend the following.
Vissla Telente Jacket
The Telente jacket is a simple design to suit any surf occasion but still serves as a key piece for everyday wear. The elasticated cuffs on this jacket seal the fit around your wrists, preventing a draft entering up the sleeves and helping you retain warmth pre and post surf. Synthetic lining in the body is lightweight and will retain its warmth if it gets wet – unlike natural down insulation. To give you that extra cosy feel, the hood features smpherpa lining.
Volcom Lidward 5k Jacket
This camo parka jacket oozes comfort and warmth, perfect for retaining body heat before heading out into the sea. The Lidward has a 5k waterproof rating; meanwhile sherpa lining through the body traps air to generate warmth and wicks moisture away to help regulate your temperature. Use the drawcord on the hem, hood and cuff fastenings to close the jacket around your body and prevent heat loss.
Rip Curl Salt Water Culture Anti Series Overtime Jacket
As part of the Anti-Series, this jacket is designed to protect you from the wind, rain and cold, so you can enjoy being outside and in the elements with the right gear. A water-repellent coating on the face fabric, 5,000 hydrostatic head rating and critically taped seams keep the water out and you dry. Synthetic insulation in the body and hood uses a baffled construction to keep it evenly spread out, plus it retains warmth and doesn’t collapse when wet.