Packing boards, beanies and boots for some frozen shoreline has never been a big draw for most wave chasers. But of course, there are folks who surf on the regular in brain-freeze conditions. They live in icy climates where the 20-minute process of climbing into a rubber straightjacket is just another part of the pre-surf ritual. Chances are they haven’t fully felt their toes since the pre-Kardashian era.
Most who ride waves in surfing’s established warm-to-moderate-temp meccas don’t book trips to icy destinations. Hell, for the same price you could fly to Panama. But there is something to be said for the beauty and solitude of scoring a winter swell on a snow-covered beach with the faint smell of chimney smoke in the stiff offshore winds.
So maybe you’re interested in setting out for waves in the Aleutian Islands or New England, the Canadian Maritimes or Pacific Northwest. Maybe you’re just an ice-bearded local. Even if you’re none of the above, temps are likely to drop over the course of the upcoming winter months, and you’ll likely need more than a 3/2 and flip flops to stay warm. We’ve collected some gear to warm your heart (and everything else) this winter.