Coldwater Surfing in the Snow
By Corinne Evans. Photos by Aaron Parsons
As a cold water enthusiast, it’s been a dream of mine to go surf in the snow
and whilst narrowly missing out on surfing in the snow whilst in Norway last year I was determined not to miss out again. With the imminent snow forecast looming on Sunday afternoon I waxed up my board dug out my warmest neoprene – which I actually put on in the comfort of my warm cozy home, chucked a beanie on and winter coat over my wetsuit (as you can imagine I looked like quite the trendsetter) and jumped in my husbands van. He wasn’t overly keen to get in the surf, it looked fun but was it worth him getting cold for. I, on the other hand, was all ready to go so jumped straight in.
The walk down to the surf was actually the worst bit, as the wind blew stronger and the snow got heavier I did have a moment where I questioned what the hell I was doing and why wasn’t I at home with a mug of tea watching a movie…but after living in Cornwall for 18 years and never getting to surfing snow before (because it very rarely snows here) I wasn’t going to let the chance pass me by. With all the right kit, a 6mm Hooded Wetsuit, 5mm boots and gloves on the only area I had to worry about getting cold were my cheeks – which in fact did get pretty cold but I love this feeling, it makes you feel alive.
As I paddled out duck diving the waves the cold water did take my breath away, but this is something that you get used to in the winter here and but as the snow got heavier the temperature dropped even more, meaning there wasn’t much time to sit around and wait for the waves, I had to get busy to keep warm. Ben (my husband) came in for a few waves and we both couldn’t believe how amazing it felt to surf as the snow fell, in Newquay of all places! I honestly thought the first time I would surf in snow would be in Scandinavia, not at my local break on a random Sunday in March but I loved it.
Aaron was religiously checking the forecasts to see when the snow was coming and had this to say about our rare snowy day, “I always love photographing the Cornish coast and weather that changes it’s appearance in an instance. To see it covered in snow was just incredible and very alien as it was like nothing I have seen before. I am regularly back and fourth from London on wedding shoots or storm chases and my first snow chase was well worth the effort. You can’t beat photographing this beautiful county and I will never get tired of it. I had an image in my head of the snowy Cornish landscape I wanted to get and I was so chuffed to see it come to life.”