Let's fall head over heels in love with Autumn - Enjoy time afloat, choose the right wetsuit & gear!
Autumn in the UK brings some of the best conditions to get afloat. To make the most of each session, choosing the right personal equipment such as wetsuits, boots and other accessories is essential to enjoyment and makes a real difference. Let's tap into the expertise of the Surf Doctor team for some helpful tips this Autumn.
The energy of Autumn is about creative expression; try some freestyle or learn a new skill, introspection; the benefits to mental health and harvesting; gather the gear you need to successfully navigate the change in season.
Many people have mixed feelings about Autumn because the days get shorter and colder, but this has its place in our busy lives - finding time to get out on the water and reflect. There is no better place to do this than in the waters of The Official Test Centre (OTC), the stunning location of Portland Harbour, has something for everyone!
As the leaves begin to change and we start to feel a definite 'bite' in the air, it's hard to believe the searing September heatwave was less than a fortnight ago. What does this change in season and change in temperature mean for your watersports?
In this weeks blog it is all about being prepared for the change in seasons and making sure you stay safe and stay on the water all year round and let's fall head over heels in love with Autumn!
By Emma Nicholson.
How does The Official Test Centre (OTC) Team Rider, James Hardy (pictured above) prepare for Autumn on the water, he said: "I love Autumn, to me it’s the start of winter storms and more challenging and exciting conditions are on the way. But of course you have to be prepared for this. I tend to make sure I have some spares in the van such as a UJ, harness lines or fin/foil bolts that way I can always get back on the water if things break or are looking worse for wear.
"I will of course dig out a thicker wetsuit and an extra neoprene top to keep me warm so I can stay on the water for longer. They are small things but it means I can make the most of the epic conditions being delivered from Autumn into winter”
Warming up your session
A wetsuit is one of the most important pieces of kit for any watersports enthusiast and especially as the temperature drops. Made of stretchy, insulating neoprene, wetsuits keep you warm thanks to bubbles in the neoprene that trap warm air, and thermal linings then amplify the insulation by creating more trapped air next to the skin.
Knowing how to choose a wetsuit that is right for Autumn, deciding what features are right for your needs, and choosing between so many incredible options can be tricky. Take time to consider what sports you will be doing afloat and the conditions you are most likely to be going out in, this will help ensure you get the right equipment
Luckily, matching people up with the best wetsuit for them is our area of expertise, there are plenty of options to choose from to suit everyones budget, varying materials, thicknesses and zip/non-zip configurations with styles of men, women and children - here at Surf Doctor we would recommend a 4/3 mm wetsuit thickness would be ideal from spring all the way to the beginning of winter. A 4/3 mm is most often classified as an all-season wetsuit rather than a full winter wetsuit.
If you are thinking of staying afloat well into the winter months, then a thicker 5/4/3mm might be a consideration. Click on the link and you will find a comprehensive range of wetsuits to suit your needs..https://www.surfdoctor.com/wetsuits/ call 07944 254561 and our team of experts will help guide you through finding the perfect fit.
Walk this way
Wetsuit boots are also an essential bit of kit as the leaves start to fall. The fit and style of your wetsuit boots will have a real impact on your ability to grip to your board and how warm they will be so it is worth taking the time to speak to the Surf Doctor team to ensure that you get the right pair for you. click on the link and browse the boots...https://www.surfdoctor.com/wetsuits/wetsuit-accessories/
Neoprene top (pictured above)
A wetsuit keeps you warm by trapping a thin layer of water between your skin and the neoprene. Your body heats this water up, and your wetsuit prevents this water from leaving the suit and any more water from entering. Neoprene also does a great job at blocking wind, so any wind chill factor is cut down significantly. We have a selection of Neoprene tops to act as another layer to keep you warm, click here https://www.surfdoctor.com/search/ion+hoody/
OTC Team Rider James Faley (pictured above) talks about how he prepares, he said : "Where it’s getting windy and colder I always check over my ropes and wear points of my kit! You don’t want a long swim as it gets colder!"
Nuts and bolts
Checking kit is ready for the stronger winds is an essential part of preparing for the Autumn and the icing on the cake is having a dry wetsuit in-between sessions, the Surflogic wetsuit dryer is a genius bit of kit that will give you a warm and toasty wetsuit! Click here and discover this magic little product...https://www.surfdoctor.com/surflogic-wetsuit-pro-dryer-uk-plug.html
How does Lilia Yelland (pictured above) OTC Team Rider prepare for Autumn, she said: "I have a wetsuit sort out, checking if my winter needs replacing or I need to buy a new one. And I also check my school timetable to see what days I can make the most of the wind and day light due to the daylight savings!"
How does The OTC Operations Manager, Maurin Rottenwalter prepare for Autumn, he said: "The shorty goes in the cupboard and goes in the wash and we pull out your Autumn wetsuit and booty's and you start looking for your neoprene wetsuit hoody's to stay a little bit warmer on those chilly colder days, if you are lucky enough you can go in your 4:3 wetsuit or otherwise go straight to your 5:4 or 5:3 wetsuit winter wetsuit then you maybe you can hold off on the hoody a little longer and potentially the boots, hat and only use these on those chilly days and before you need, the winter kit.
"You get all the small stuff out, the smaller wings, the smaller windsurf sails you make sure all the ropes are still ok before you go out into the winter storms. Most likely all the stuff you haven't used all summer. Because it wasn't windy enough, look at your board and make sure it is still watertight and check your wing bags and sail bags and make sure you are all ready to go when you get the forecast, so you are ready to go out and you don't get down to the water and then realise your kit isn't ready."