What with the second lockdown coinciding with shorter days, colder weather and the season when many surfers like to jet off to warmer shores, some of us might be feeling as gloomy as the long, dark nights. So here are some of our top tips for feeling great, and staying fit and focussed for family surfing life.
1: INVEST IN WINTER SURFING GEAR
Buy a decent wetsuit and, if you can, go surfing. We love the less crowded winter waves, with the spray in your face and duck dives that take your breath away. Faster take offs, more power in every peak and more speed for manoeuvres, takes your surfing to another level and leaves you feeling invigorated. With winter wetsuits being so advanced these days you’ll hardly feel the cold if you have the right gear. And with fewer surfers in the line-up, you’re guaranteed to catch more waves.
2: STAY SURF FIT
Whether it’s surf specific HIIT workouts, daily pop-ups, yoga, running or the new craze of Ginastica Natural, try workouts that will build your strength and stamina for surfing. Then, once the surf’s up and you can hit the beach, you’ll be ready to paddle out and make the most of the waves. We love the workouts on the Vitamin Sea Collective, or if you want a written manual try the Advanced Guide to Surf Fitness book. For more ideas checkout our blog about getting fit for your family surf trip.
3: GO COLDWATER SWIMMING
Take a deep breath and take the plunge for a wild winter dip in the ocean, lake or any body of water that you can get to. You can even stand under a cold shower! Coldwater swimming has all sorts of benefits, including boosting your immune system and mental health. It also gives you a natural high and works wonders for your skin. So ditch the wetsuit and try a two-minute immersion. Please remember to enter the water in safe conditions, go with a friend and be aware of hypothermia and rip currents.
The beauty of long, dark nights is that they offer much more time to wonder at the incredible spectacle of the stars. So switch your focus from the screen to the stars, as you grab a blanket, get outside and look up. In these crazy times it’s even more important to focus on the amazing things the world has to offer instead of being fixated on all the negative stuff.
5: Beach picnics around the fire
It’s not always practical to take the whole family surfing on freezing cold winter’s days when the waves are pumping. But that doesn’t mean we have to turn our backs on beach life. We love heading to the beach with a little stash of firewood, to sizzle sausages on sticks, toast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate or soup as we warm our cockles by the fire.
6: Fuel Up
Don’t binge on carbs and chocolate; enjoy healthy recipes that fuel your body and mind. Whether we’re making nutritious soups, zingy curries, freshly-baked loaves and muffins, or pies stacked with winter veg, our top ingredients for winter include ginger, turmeric and butternut. Why not try a carrot, apple, turmeric and ginger loaf for a pre- or post-surf snack?
7: DING REPAIR
Lockdown is a great time to give all your surfing equipment some TLC. It’s pretty simple to fix any minor dings with a sunlight sensitive resin. Make sure the affected area is completely dry, clean and sand the affected area and carefully apply the resin and cover with a plastic sheet (such as cling film or a small patch of plastic bag). Expose the area to sunlight, and once it’s completely hardened, sand off the excess resin with a light sandpaper until smooth.
8: MIND SURF
If you can’t go surfing, instead of binging on Netflix, mind-surf and dream of your next surf trip as you watch back-to-back surf movies. There are so many classics to choose from; here’s our top five from 11 year-old surfer Oli Lawrence: Momentum Generation, Chasing Mavericks, Unstoppable, Endless Summer (1 & 2) and Surf’s Up.
9: MAKE MEMORIES
No doubt your computer’s chocked with images of summer surf days on the beach and your last family surfing holiday. But you just haven’t had the time to look at the pictures. So this is the perfect time to edit your images into a stunning photo-book that you’ll actually take the time to look at.
10: PLAN AHEAD
It’s been a diabolical year for travel plans, and we’re all aching to get away for some sun, sand and surf. So use this time to dream up your next family surfing holiday. Where do you want to go? How long for? What do you want to do as well as surf? We love planning family surfing holidays and have some brand new retreats and destinations for 2021, so contact us now for inspiration, advice and information.