Cold water winter kitesurfing sessions can be fantastic but firstly remember if in doubt – Don’t go out!
Although we get fantastic conditions in summer here in the UK when it is warm, some of the best conditions we can get are usually when it is colder or even in the depths of winter. In order to kitesurf comfortably all year around at spots like Greatstone Beach, it’s good to be mindful of the changing seasons and the challenges they bring when you’re out riding the wind and waves.
Perform a proper aerobic warm-up
Warmups and cool-downs generally involve doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity, although that is difficult to achieve in kitesurfing terms. We would recommend some jogging on the spot or squats to get the blood pumping! It’s easy to roll out of bed and into your wetsuit but warming up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity. A warmup gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles.
Ride the distance you can swim back
Think to yourself, can i swim in that? Can i swim back? In cold temperatures if you need to swim a long distance it will be even harder.
Know the symptoms of hypothermia
Hypothermia is where your body temperature gets dangerously low (below 35C).
What are the signs and symptoms of hypothermia?
- Exhaustion or feeling very tired.
- Fumbling hands.
- Memory loss.
- Slurred speech.
Get used to the cold by means of other activities
Every thought about a cold water dip in the sea?
The stress reaction caused by cold water immersion is suspected to trigger an increase in white blood cell production, providing a natural boost to your immune system. When you add together the physical and mental benefits of swimming then it is certainly plausible that there is a positive impact on the immune system.
A hot drink wont suffice (Although it’s nice!)
As nice as it might be a warm drink won’t cut it if you get too cold or hypothermic. Make sure you are appropriately prepared for cold weather kitesurfing by assessing the conditions, wearing a thick 5 or 6mm wetsuit, wetsuit boots 5 or 6mm and wetsuit gloves. A good changing robe will help keep the wind off your wet wetsuit when you get out of the water too!
Know your limits
Even the best riders in the world have limits. Our limits may be altered when the weather is extreme and temperatures are very cold. Cold weather can provide good conditions for learning to kitesurf but if it is to cold then it is time to step back and enjoy watching more experienced riders doing their thing.
If in doubt – Don’t go out!
Spend the rest of the day on a high
After a cold water winter kitesurfing session the feeling is superb. There are many health benefits to winter kitesurfing if done safely. Enjoy a warm shower and some hot food as you contemplate the elements you have just enjoyed.