Spring is around the corner but winter keeps us longing for the warm summer. Lina Erpenstein has survived winter in northern germany with plenty of sailing between her studies in Kiel. These are some of her tips to beat the cold temperatures!
1) get a good wetsuit! - This is so essential! The wetsuits have become really good within the last years and the new versions of 6/5mm wetsuits let hardly any water in and are still very comfortable to wear. Even though they're thick, their flexibility is high, so you won't have any problems moving. Also, some warm boots and a hood are really important
2) Find your glove/boom combination. - The gloves and power in your forearms are probably the most crucial points about winter windsurfing. That's why, especially in winter, I love having a super thin boom, as every millimeter less in diameter decreases the power you'll need to hold onto it. A thin boom in combination with suitable gloves will give you a lot more strength for maneuvers and turns.
3) Wear warm clothes while checking the conditions and rigging. This might sound a bit minor, but being warm and cozy before going in the water, will get you way more motivated to actually go sailing.
4) Concentrate on what's fun and what's possible. - Due to all the neoprene you're wearing, you won't be able to train the same moves as in summer. I usually do more waveriding than jumping in winter, because your arms won't get tired so quickly. Also it´s more fun to try to improve moves you can already do than starting with completely new ones. You'll stay warmer while sailing then falling into the water all the time.
5) Refuel. Both in water and food - Due to the cold your body will lose a lot of power, just by keeping up your body temperature. That's why you won't have as much power as in summer and you should keep an eye on drinking enough water. In case your low on energy you can refuel, for example with a piece of fruit, to give you power for another session.
6) Don´t go alone! - Especially in cold water, for safety reasons it´s very important to have people around you. If you break something you'll need someone to help you because you don't want to be swimming any longer then needed. But also for motivation, it´s really good to sail with a group of people.
7) Don't stay at the beach in a wet wetsuit. - That's probably the only moment you would really get cold. The wind chill in winter is a big factor. So, as soon as you get out of the water change into your warm clothes.
8) Don´t stop windsurfing. - Of course you should never stop windsurfing :) But also heading into winter, just keep on going. Every session will just be a tiny bit colder than the one before but you won't really notice any difference.
9) Bring some hot tea. - This will keep you warm in short breaks and also after the session.
10) Take some pictures. - In winter, if there's enough sun, you'll have the perfect light all day long. The sun isn´t going up as far as in summer. The famous ´golden hour´ you usually have during sunsets, can last in whole golden days in winter and will provide perfect conditions for taking nice pictures!
P.s. don't forget to get some extra tea for the photographer, they usually get the most cold during these days.
Phote credits: Bulgenslag