Surfing Montauk with Debra Rose

November 2020

The Ultimate Winter Workout


Debra Rose

Would you take a surf trip to a destination that is crowded, inconsistent, competitive, cold, and only offers a handful of breaks that are working on any given day?

Welcome to east coast surfing in the off-season. Many surfers here escape to locales that are completely opposite of what we have on the east end in a continuous search of the endless summer. Challenges aside, off-season surfing is also spectacular, requiring grit and passion to earn the rewards of paddling out on a winter day.

Summer surfing is easy. How inspired are you to jump out of bed and head to the beach when it is cold and grey outside? And that is exactly why you should do it.

Playing outdoors is always important, this year more than ever. The greatest gym in the world is outside, and what is better than playing in the ocean for a few hours no matter what season? Harness the freedom to enjoy our sea and stunning beaches even when we are restricted in many other ways. You get to participate in an activity in nature with friends, that also cultivates joy along with a workout.
Winter surfing is heavy on rewards for your effort. Having paddled in that heavy 5/4, with hands, head and feet boxed in, and your exposed face chilled from water and wind on it, catching a wave is quite the accomplishment! Once you remove that gear, the feeling stays with you for the rest of the day.

Off-season surfing makes you stronger, a better paddler, and an overall better surfer since your practicing more in less-than-pleasant conditions. You stay connected to nature, exposed to more sunlight to elevate your mood, Vitamin D levels, memory, productivity and metabolism. Being outside specifically in nature can also help alleviate anxiety, lessening focus on negative thoughts and emotions. We can all use more mindfulness these days to stay in the present moment, more mental space for our thoughts to creatively problem solve and to appreciate the physical world around us (not our technology).

At the end of that short winter day after reaping all of the benefits of catching waves and having fun with your friends in the water, you will smile knowing you took some precious time to surf.