It’s time to make it back to your car.
With whatever feeling is left in your fingers, start the car. Turn the heat on high – you’ll need it.
Hopefully, you scored some great waves. It’s time to warm up – easier said than done.
Like every surfer on the planet, you probably had a couple “last waves.” At this point, your hands & feet are probably numb.
The warm car is only a few hundred feet away, but it might as well be a few miles. Your feet will be tender as you walk across hard ground. And if you paddled out during a blizzard, you might have to hike through deep snow to get back to your car.
We won’t lie. Taking off your wetsuit after a session is the worst part of cold water surfing. Your entire body is numb and all you want to do is warm up.
You have two options: take it off at the beach or take it off when you get home.
If you don’t live too far away, throw on your Waterparka and take it off when you get home. Your fingers should be thawed out by the time you’re back which will make it much easier.
Still cold when you get home? Take it off in the hot shower. You can even clean the wetsuit while you’re at it.
For longer drives, you might have to suck it up and take the suit off in the cold. This won’t be a pleasant experience. But a few extra minutes in the cold is better than an hour-long car ride in a damp wetsuit. Here’s how to do it:
Grab your Thermos of warm water and pour it over your hands & feet. If the water is too hot, you’ll damage your nerves – so be careful. Pour what’s left of the water into your wetsuit to quickly heat the rest of your body.
If you have a truck or van, you can probably change in your car without too much hassle.
For everyone else, throw on your Waterparka and quickly strip down. Or you can strip down in the freezing air – your choice. Put on some heavy layers once the suit is down to your waist.
Now, the booties have to come off. There really isn’t a great way to do this but it’s common to kneel down or elevate one foot on the trunk of your car. Place your sandals or a mat down so there’s a layer of insulation between your skin and the snow.
Quickly step out of the rest of the neoprene and put dry pants and socks on immediately.
One last thing – don’t forget to secure your board to the roof rack! Your fingers are going to be in pain by now, but it’s better than forgetting your board.