Photo: Pat Nolan

How to Survive and Surf an East Coast Winter

Ten tips for staying stoked where the windows are slim and the water is freezing

Winter surfing on the East Coast is not for the faint of heart. From near-freezing water temps to beyond-freezing air temps to howling winds, you’re never far from an excuse to not paddle out. So in the spirit of maintaining a healthy amount of water time, we turned to longtime Surfline writer Matt Pruett for some tips on how to survive a winter season on the East Coast.

1. Over-mil.

A well-sealed 7mm full-suit with (attached) 4mm hood, 7mm boots and 5mm lobster claws will protect you from hypothermia… pretty much anywhere on Earth. That setup will allow you to patiently surf a full tide cycle and and wait for the best sets, instead of catching little ones just to stay warm. And for those really brutal, subzero-windchill days, you may wanna consider wearing a neoprene ski mask underneath your hood to protect that last vulnerable part of your face.

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