New Year New Waves Tips

January 30th, 2024

Its 2024 and we have a whole new year of waves and fun on the cards. The water is still cold but we have had some really nice warm air temps over the last few days. Surfing in January and Feburary in Tofino is super rewarding but can take a little bit more work. We are gaining daylight and soon those post work sunset sessions will be back on the cards.

How to make the most of your sessions at this time of year? We have a few tips at Swell!

Firstly check your gear. Our protection from the cold is our wetsuit and accessories so we want to make sure they fit correctly, no holes or torn seams and preferrably dry. Always rinse your wetsuit with fresh water and hang dry if possible, this will keep it in better condition for longer.

Checking the forecast. In the winter it is critical to dodge storms, high winds and big tide changes. Checking the Tofino airport for their live wind update alongside sites like windy will help you to avoid those gale force winds. Forcasting can be hard with so many different information streams so feel free to come into the shop or give us a call for our daily surf report and recommendations.

Watch the waves. We are all guilty at times of frothing to get surfing and not really watching what the waves are doing before we enter the water. Ideally we should watch for 2-4 minutes per foot of wave height before we paddle out. This longer time for bigger waves helps to identify the sets as bigger waves usually come with longer periods. Assess the best location for makeable waves on the beach. (Not just the biggest). Trying to also find the best paddle out location, and see if there are any currents that may help us or hinder us in positioning. Sometimes a smaller inside wave will give much more opportunity than the biggest set wave that comes through.

Advanced warm up. Stretching and warming up before you even get in your suit is a great way to stay toasty for longer. Doing some functional movements like squats, lunges, push ups and arm swings will engage your muscles to keep them ready for when you hit the water. This activity heats up your body which in turn warms your wetsuit. Continue some form of movement/stretching while in your suit watching the waves to maintain that high body temp and pop up readiness.

Have Fun. Surfing is abouty having fun and if you’re in the North Pacific this time of year that is an achievement in itself. Live in the moment, smile through the brainfreeze and make sure you enjoy what you have achieved by just getting in the water. Regardless of the session, you are one of only a handful who are tackling this enviroment, enjoy it!

Aran & The Swell Team