Feb. 12, 2014 - Winter surfing has its ups and downs. The crowds are usually slimmer, it can be very peaceful, and you get some reliable ground swells... But on the negative side, it can be incredibly cold. Seriously. Sometimes it can be intensely, disturbingly, "Why the hell am I even out here?" cold.
I know I've missed out on a couple of good east coast swells over the years because I couldn't maintain my stoke after shoveling my car out of the snow on a few miserable February days.
However, good equipment can make a huge difference, and recently, TheSurfersView got to try out the Heated Wetsuit Top from HeatedWetsuits.com and Thermalution.
The two battery packs sit in the shirt at about your kidneys and have a detectable amount of weight to them, but are quickly forgotten once you start paddling.
Once activated, the heat turns on almost instantaneously and is extremely warm. In only about four or five seconds it makes your entire back super toasty. If you turn the heat on with your wetsuit sealed up, and stretch for a couple of minutes before you paddle out, you'll be sweating before you hit the water on even the coldest days.
Wearing the heated top under your wetsuit feels a lot less awkward than I would have expected. It was totally comfortable and never restricted my movement at all. No one was able to tell I was wearing it, even after I asked.
At about 2 and a half hours, the battery packs in the suit ran out of juice and stopped emanating heat, but my core had been more than adequately warmed up by then, and the heat lingered for a long time under my neoprene. I rarely do more than a 2 hour session in the winter, but with the heated top I could easily go 3 hours without ever feeling cold.
The Heated Wetsuit Top from HeatedWetsuits.com/Thermalution is sort of an east coast/winter surfer's dream come true. Having this in my arsenal removes any reluctance I might have getting into the water, in even the dead of winter. It works incredibly well.
Wires connected and heat activated by controller. Photo: TSV
Worth every penny if you're getting out in icy winter waves. The Heated Wetsuit Top from HeatedWetsuits.com and Thermalution.
Find out more on their webite and FB page: