C-Skins Wetsuits Cold Water Review 2016
C-Skins took there best riders and hit the waves in some of the coldest waters to see how there wetsuits would last in these extreme conditions.
Some words from Oli:
So what was the forecast looking like coming into the trip and how did you feel about it?
We didn't go on a chart at all so we were really worried that we wouldn't find much and the forecast was for blizzards with travel warnings and airport closures so there was no guarantee the plane would even land let alone be able to access the waves by car. Luckily our plane did land but either side of the runway the snow was packed as high as the plane. While we were there a plane actually crashed trying to land so we were counting our lucky stars that it wasn't us.
How did you figure out where to be with limited intel?
I sent an email to a local guy who my friend in New York knew and he kindly gave me a couple of spots to check but apart from that we had no idea. It was basically find the coast and see what we find. The first day we went searching and found the coast it was one foot onshore and nearly frozen over. At that point it was declared that if we could find a two foot wave and score a little air shot with snow the trip would be a success haha.
Tell us about the blizzard day?
That was the next day and everything seemed the same as the day before but when we got out to one of the spots we had been told about the swell had jumped in a major way. We were staring at a right point which was 5 ft and cross shore, I was frothing to get it but we decided to use the morning to check down the coast first just in case and lucky we did as we came across that left point absolutely firing! I don't think i've ever got changed so fast in my life. The cold was the last thing on my mind as we were watching left after left barrel and reel off down this perfect point. It was more than we could of ever hoped for and I'm sure we were extremely lucky to score it like this on a random hit and hope mission in one of the most inconsistent places in the atlantic. I had undergone life saving surgery 3 months prior to the trip and had only been surfing again for a few weeks so during these sessions I was in a state of euphoria just be able to surf again in these amazing waves. I was surfing so stiff and weird and these were the first turns I had done since the operation but I was just so happy to be in those freezing but amazing waves! We surfed there for two days and it was some of the funnest lefts i've ever had.
Cold water surf is the buzz words of the moment. What makes this so special for you?
For me there is something so different and special about surfing in the cold. There's a crispness and magic to it that you just can't get in the tropics. Don't get me wrong I love to surf in boardies too but there is nothing better for me than getting barrelled in the middle of winter somewhere cold and then coming and getting warmed up in the pub with a pint of guinness. Also it has to be said the cold keeps the crowds to a minimum, I've been to Mentawais twice this year and both times it's been cool but it's so crowded and I could of got better waves at home with no one out. Not everyone is a fan of the cold but for those that are the rewards are empty waves which for me is the best feeling in the world.
Is this the coldest place you’ve surfed?
For sure! It was crazy cold!
How did your equipment perform?
So good! The new suits were insane and there really was no point where I was cold. The Dryknit lining that C-Skins have developed definitely makes the suits feel warmer. We were having 3 to 4 hour sessions no problem and the 6/5/4 suits feel as flexible as a 4/3 now. People are always dubious when a sponsored surfer gives props to products but I wouldn't use these suits if they weren't incredible because I'm surfing in them all year round.