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The east coast is notorious for all of the crazy weather it endures, especially the harsh winters that so many residents dread. Winter time is a very lengthy part of the year, and can be very different every single year. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and it will be quite mild all the way until December. When we first started getting into winter surfing my brother and I jumped into the ocean in April. Now for those who have not surfed in NY, you’ll quickly learn that the ocean water temperatures remain cold for most of the year. It is super important to bring high quality beach towels with you to keep you warm after you surf. It usually starts to warm up at the end of May or early June, but this particular year it was still in the high 40’s during April. The air temp was not too bad, had to be around fifty degrees, but when we jumped in I instantly lost feeling in my feet. I quickly ran to the car to grab some quality beach towels and threw on the heat to place my frozen feet over the vents. We now discovered you need booties, gloves, a hood, and a thicker suit for most of the year in NY. Since we were so determined, the next day we bought brand new gloves and booties. Now this helped tremendously, but it still was not enough. After about thirty minutes to forty minutes my core would begin to cringe and I would gun back to the truck for good quality beach towels to help warm myself up. Now after doing our diligence and the proper research we found that we needed at least a 5/4 mm wetsuit. On top of that, they sell thicker gloves and booties. Ours were sufficient for the time being but during harsh winter months like January or February you’ll wish you had 7mm boots and 5mm gloves.
My first 5/4mm wetsuit was by Billabong, and this thing was great for about one day. The design of the suit was not the best and it caused the suit to flush out with freezing water. The shop we picked up from was in Sayville, it’s one of the more core shops around, Bunger. The owner, Sammy, will hook it up. He carries some good quality beach towels and even has our SLIPPA round towels. You can also find our ponchos, which make high quality beach towels as well. My brother had the Stormtrooper, which was a solid suit. This thing was like walking around in an inflatable costume which made it difficult to surf well. In the beginning we were still fairly new at surfing so we mainly rode our long boards during the winter. This was way easier since it kept your body drier and it made paddling so much easier. Paddling around in suit this thick would make you so tired so fast, it was like hardcore resistance training. The high quality beach towels we had was amazing after the session, we use to even warm them up under the heating vent. Some of the quality beach towels we bring are way thicker than your average towel and it was such a key item to have when winter surfing.