8 degree water, 8 degree air. Light offshores, good solid, cold south coast. 6 people out, its dark, cold, winter...its austere. To my great surprise there were two people without hoods on who were smiling like maniacs and looked a bit.....like they weren't from round these parts types. I ended up having a shouting match with the outsiders. I say shouting match and it probably sounds like it was unamicable, but it was anything but, only with the wind, big swell and a skin tight hood on, its rather hard to "talk". Turns out the two guys were on surf trip from Norway. They said they'd had an awful winter of surf and had had only a couple of days waves all winter and fancied getting some waves in Cornwall. I was gob smacked, Morocco, the Canaries, Portugal, Spain, France, Senegal....anywhere would be warmer, more consistent, cheaper were my knee jerk reactions.
I guess warmth was probably at the front of my mind. Golden Balls summed it up well the other day. After seeing one to many surf articles on surfing Iceland, Canada, Norway etc place....he said " I can understand this looks really f +++$%ing cool and out there to some South Californian or Ozzie,but we know Ed don't we! We know what wet 5mil booties are like to pull on, we know what its like to surf when your too cold to bend, when your fingers can't grip the car key to take shelter......F*&*k that".
But I've had time to reflect on my Nordic meeting. The last month the waves have been pumping, my new 6mm Boz wetty has definitely taken the sting out of the winter, the back drop is ruggedly romatic, these guys are cold water specialists who are probably allergic to sunlight and heat anyway, and they just looked so stoked to be scoring celtic waves and then it all became so perfectly clear...so am I.
A couple of piccies of the perils of shedding your 6mm and stepping out into the caustic sun indecently clad in your loin cloth:
It looks great fun Chicama, but walking for 25 minutes up the point again in wet boardies is not good for your skin.
You don't get fin cuts wearing 5mil of foot love.
No need for arm vaginas in a full suit, unlike an ill fitting short john.