Winter in the south is always a challenging time as a surfer. I have certainly learnt to embrace the cold over the years, and strangely come to look forward to the winter months. One frosty morning just after dawn I turned to a friend in the ocean, after having just plunged my bare face into an icy wall of white water, “I see why people who don’t surf think we’re insane!”
What a way to start a journey, talking about the weather, but that’s just it; surfing is based around it. A carload of us set off for warmer waters. An eight-hour journey to where the rocky shores just about meet the snow-laden mountains towered in the distance. With every good road trip, the estimated time of departure draws out an extra couple.
6am and it was time to peel back the duvet, reluctantly my bare legs emerged out onto the cold wood underfoot. Coffee and toast warmed the belly in between strapping a double stack of boards to the roof. As the light rose from the horizon we were setting off north.
Just after lunch we rolled into Sadhana Surfboards to pick up a log-a-lish delight, a custom made “cheater” the colour of butterscotch good enough to eat. There it lay, freshly crafted and ready for action. A quick catch up and we were back on the road to make the 6pm road closure. There was no way we were sleeping on the side of the road with six grown adults plus a baby, because I think It’s always nice if you still like each other by the end of a roadie.
Our abode awaited us, a small beach shack tucked away near the rocky shoreline warmed by the wood burner kindly lit prior to our arrival. It was perfect, time for a gin. The next morning a fiery pink sky painted the waves rolling into the bay, groomed by a stiff offshore wind. On went the wetsuits, boots and hoods. Yet another icy plunge into the ocean. I was on my Sadhana log, feeling slightly smug having not got my hair wet until two or three long waves down the point. Everyone had some magic rides. Gliding along, elegant cross steps and a few piggies peeking over the nose made for hoots and grins to warm the bones.
We were set for the weekend, waves, fire, nourishing kai and a lot of laughter. It’s always good to get out of a routine, refresh the mindset and spend good quality time with good quality humans in our very own backyard. Here’s to Sadhana for the beautifully crafted craft and the locals for sharing some grins and hoots. Happy sliding x