A Crisp Cornish Winter

Let's face it, surfing in the British winter (pretty much the whole of the Northern Hemisphere's winter) can be a bit much at times...

But then again, when it looks like this...

Fighting your way out of your cold wet 5mm thick layer of neoprene blubber whilst it sucks on for dear life as a bitter northerly refuses to let you warm up, not even just the tiniest bit. It relentlessly bites at your poor little ankles, it numbs your toes and deadens your fingertips making the fight with the 5mm thick blubbery beast clinging onto your body harder than ever. 

That same howling gale successfully morphs your dripping shnozz into the biggest, baddest beetroot ever seen whilst simultaneously numbing your lips making it feel (unfortunately not look) like you've been injected with all the botox. It chills you right down to the bone... until that heaven-sent car heater finally starts doing its thing, and you're all good to go (to the pub to sit by/on the fire).

Getting Cosy In The Sheltered Safety Of The Car

All this does make you question why you're here... And why the hell we continue to put ourselves through these traumatic ordeals. Especially when standing on the side of the road with your towel just about covering your chilly nips, feeling as though your poor beaten body is on the verge of giving up as you quickly become a shaking mess. 

In the end it all boils down to the fact that we are addicted to the water and the waves, and the feeling of said water and waves both physically and mentally. The blast of fresh, icy salt water on your face (that tiny bit of exposed skin left) and the sensation of that drop in on every wave, no matter what size. That whole ordeal is completely worth it (majority of the time) just to get in that vast expanse of fresh, icy blue and catch a load of super fun waves!

That incredible rush pulsing through you after each ride; where everything just clicks into place as you glide along that most beautiful of glassy walls will always make all the chaos soon to ensue (the car-park-wetsuit-fiasco-thing) completely worth it!

Despite my relentless moaning... I love it, I actually love every single bit of it, because it makes me feel alive. It gets my endorphins pumping. It gets my blood flowing (not always to my frozen toes mind) and it just generally makes me feel ALIVE in these dark and dreary winter months where sunlight is hard to come by. If there's no sun at the weekend then you're doomed until the next weekend.

What makes it even better is that this is all happening where I live and with the people I love. This January has seen some incredible adventures unfold. January not only graced us with fun swells, but also new adventures, new faces, new surfs, new experiences; and they were all amazing! I think I managed to escape the January blues because there wasn't a moment to get downhearted when you have this... 

... Just a short drive away from your home... 

This was a special day down on the south coast! Ahh I remember it well... It was one icy January Saturday morning as we ventured away from the howling shores of the north coast with promises of waves and offshore winds down on the south coast and when we arrived we weren't disappointed in the slightest. 

We were greeted with calm, clear waters luring us in with its Caribbean blues and fun peeling rides. It almost looked warm enough to pop your cozzie on and go for a cheeky snorkel... 

Almost, but not quite, eh Meli...

"Mmm nahhh, think I'll stay in this nice toasty car and be petted by this lovely human, thanks!"

We ventured round to a breathtaking spot where the sand sparkled in the bright January sun, the water  shone a crystalline blue and the waves rumpy pumped... 

"Waaaaaaaaaaves!!!!!"

We photographed the guys practising their best wipeouts and barrels in the heavy beach break as the sun shone through the clouds and the strong offshore blew spray off the back of the waves. After capturing enough shots of the guys we backed up our bags and moved round to the next beach round to catch some waves for ourselves. Not before taking in some more stunning shots...

After hiking our way back up to the car we made tracks round to the next spot where peeling right handers welcomed us with arms wide open. The water kept its crystal clear hues for the remainder of the afternoon and we stayed in until the tide grew too high and the icy offshore seeped through our wetsuits and into our bones. 

We changed into our thermal layers as quickly as possible as the wind continued to hurl its abuse at us. We all bundled into cars and made speedy tracks for the closest pub where we found a large enough table to seat us all; which was fortunately situated right next to a roaring fire. We nestled by the fire with pints and countless packets of scampi fries as our wind burnt faces slowly began to warm up, unfortunately not losing the burnt-redness!

This is the main reason I love being in Cornwall in the winter; scenic surfs in new places, meeting new faces and chatting in small, cosy pubs by the fireside with your best mate as you slowly start to regain the feeling in your fingers and toes. It's not all doom and gloom in the winter, you just have to go out and seek your own adventures to make it the best it can be!

Until the next adventure...

Lorra Love,

Ems

xxx

All photos by the very talented bean that is 

Clare James Photography