Snow Iceland Surfers Cold

This would be a good time to know the cure for ice cream headaches. Photo: Lars Jacobsen


The Inertia

Like the departure of the swifts for Africa, the first leaf fall, and the activation of our central heating system at my beloved’s request, there are some clear signs that winter has arrived.

On a dawn patrol in early November, I duck-dived three waves in a row and got the unmistakable dread of my first ice cream headache of the season. It was only a day later when I opened my National Geographic and learned it’s caused by “the direct result of the rapid cooling and rewarming of the capillaries in the sinuses.” The article referred to eating ice cream or drinking cold beverages, rather than immersing oneself in a murky English Channel. To counteract brain-freezes, it recommended sipping the cold beverage more slowly. So I decided to put my mind to solving one of the cold water surfer’s worst ordeals: how to cure an ice cream headache.

Since then I’ve been experimenting when surfing. As the National Geographic article recommended, sipping the ice cream or cold drink more slowly, I experimented by making saliva in my mouth and sloshing it around to warm it up. It worked a bit, except it took some time to get enough liquid. So I then tried sipping a bit of ocean at the end of a duckdive. It actually heated up faster, and the ice cream headache dissipated more quickly. Result!

Unfortunately, I can’t see any way of making money from this unless I start manufacturing wetsuit-friendly thermos flasks to sip from for surfers in cold, polluted oceans who don’t want to sip the s**t of their local town.

So I offer up this method to the greater surfing community gratis. All I want is the glory.

Have any other recommendations on curing ice cream headaches? Leave ‘em below. We’ll send the best one a holiday gift!


  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.baeyens Jose Baeyens

    OK, glory to you sir… however, call me weak, I tend not to surf when the water is freezing…
    Come to think of it, I used to have that a lot when I was little, now I don’t seem to have that any more. So either I’m more patient eating my ice cream, or the effect has decreased because of … growing older or going regularly to the sauna ? Maybe the latter, because my sinuses don’t give me no problems any more since I started doing sauna…. maybe this is another “glorious” solution ?