Everyone remembers their first surf trip abroad. It’s usually been dreamt of for years. For those of you reading this who grew up surfing in warm conditions, you probably haven’t had the same kind of dreams. In fact, you don’t know how lucky you’ve had it! The thought of being able to surf in shorts or just a rash vest brings a mixture of emotions to me–joy from having experienced it and deep sadness from not having experienced it enough. Ten years ago, I left the cold shores of Ireland to get my first experience of surfing in warm conditions, via a road trip down through Portugal, and I couldn’t get over how different an experience it was.
Now don’t get me wrong, I will be out surfing in Ireland tomorrow and will love it. It will be 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit) and the water will be about 10C (50F). The cold weather will mean there will be a lot fewer people in the water, and the conditions are looking perfect. I will have a smile on my face as wide as The Joker’s, but instead of red face paint, it will be frosted stubble. I will still come out of the water and say, “wouldn’t it be nice not to have to get out of this 6mm wetsuit with hail stones beating down on me.”