Cold but Stoked | The ordeal of a surfer in Winter
My body is shaking because of the cold. The sand is frozen, but I am stoked. My wintersuit is still wet from a couple of days ago. I desperately need a new one. Hopeful, I look at the ocean and guess where I should go in. First light isn’t enough to make an educated decision. I go in feeling a little bit reluctant. A flock of birds silently float around me. Slowly, a creepy feeling emerges. Surely not? Yes, it’s that time again! As it gets light, it’s clear to me that I got up for nothing.
Cold but Stoked
I see a handful of equally disappointed surfers. We greet each other. “Hey man, how’s it going? At least we got up and look at that beautiful sunrise”, I say to my neighbour. Although it’s true, I don’t feel like that at all. It’s going to be one of those sessions. Still, I stay another two hours and hope it gets better. But it doesn’t. I manage to get a few small rides that end with my fin in the sand and even more cold water down my neck.
By the end, I can’t even talk normal anymore because of my frozen lips. My fingers are starting to die, and I lost feeling in my feet an hour ago. To make things even worse, a couple of ‘Wim Hof Fanatics‘ show up wearing nothing but their swimsuits. Not only do they lie in the way when that one and only good one comes through, but they also take away my final bit of manly hood. I am not tough at all with my thick wetsuit. I wonder how this happened to me AGAIN as I take the walk of shame back home.
Things could be worse
As warm water runs over my half frozen body, I realise that the Dutch surf stoke is pretty unique. Our blood starts pumping with a six second swell period. And when it finally is epic we cherish it for years. Just enough so we don’t go crazy in between surftrips. The Dutch are praised for this stoke around Europe. Perhaps hated for it as well here and there. Sometimes we take our surf a bit too serious, but it could always be worse. You could also drive all the way from Germany for our shitty waves.
At least I already look forward to my next ‘epic’ session in my worn out wetstuit. Stoked!