Winter Surf Lessons for Brave Wave Surfers

Something we are often asked is ‘what do you do in the winter?’, which is always followed by us saying ‘well we surf!’.

A common misconception about surfing is that it’s only enjoyable in the spring and summer, which couldn’t be more wrong. As our Watergate Bay surf school stays open until early January, our goal is to equip surf enthusiasts with the knowledge and skills needed to make the most of their winter suffering adventures under the guidance of our experienced instructors. 


The biggest challenge to winter surfing is the stormy weather that in turn, brings us some rather tough conditions. For those who are new to the surfing world it can be incredibly intimidating to surf in the winter, but guided by our highly experienced instructors, you could not be in safer hands. Our instructors will monitor conditions before and throughout the lesson, ensuring they are always aware of the swell, wind strength, rip currents and even the temperature and how cold you are getting. Our instructors are dedicated to providing a fun, safe lesson no matter the conditions ensuring you will have a rewarding winter surf. 

How To Stay Comfortable

The key to an enjoyable surf is staying warm, and here at Wavehunters we have that covered. The most important piece of gear is your wetsuit, at this time of year all our suits are 5/4mm thick to keep your core and body warm. Next is the extremities, feet and hands! With our brand new winter neoprene boots and gloves, you can guarantee the cold won’t affect you. A little instructor tip from one of our seasoned coaches: ‘have the wetsuit tucked over the boots and gloves, that way it stops water pooling in and keeps you that little bit extra warm’. On top of that, we recommend a rash vest underneath the wetsuit (we don’t hire these out but they are easy to source and not expensive). 

Qualified Lifeguards

During the winter, the lifeguards have packed away for the season and no longer patrol our beaches. However, for the Wavehunters team this is not an issue, with all our instructors’ lifeguards qualified, should anything happen, they are fully equipped to help. With simple hand gestures and whistles, following the safety guidelines of our lessons have never been simpler. With every lesson comes a safety talk that helps educate you through rip currents and how to get out of one, and even how to fall off a board in a safe way ensuring no bumps to the head. 

Top Tips for Winter Surfing

There are many different techniques for winter surfing but we have summarised two key points depending on whether you are a beginner or intermediate surfer. A small top tip before we get into the details, is to ensure you begin with a dynamic warm up. Loosening the tight muscles will offer a wider range of movement which in turn will help paddling and your ‘pop-up’. As the wind swell picks up and creates powerful waves, the colder water becomes a much harder beast to navigate especially for beginners.

A good technique to help maintain balance while surfing broken waves (also known as white water), is to shift your weight further back on the board before catching a wave. This will allow more control and stop the board nose diving. For the experienced surfers, we recommend using predictable rip currents to make paddling out easier. This tip is for intermediate surfers, this is not to be used lightly and should first be practised with an instructor and never when surfing alone. As well as that, the focus on board selection is more important than ever. Ensuring on those choppy, lumpy days you are using a board with higher volume which will increase your chance of a fun, successful surf. 

A Rejuvenating Experience

While the safety aspect of surfing sounds daunting, a winter surf can be a rejuvenating fun experience. Fresh cold water, beautiful moving waves and the peace of being away from day to day troubles can be a great way to escape for a few hours. Especially with the supportive learning environment created by our team

By providing valuable insights and first hand tips from our qualified instructors, in our lessons we aim to help empower surf enthusiasts to embrace the thrill of winter surf lessons with confidence and enthusiasm. As a surf school with 20 years of experience we are committed to ensuring that all participants can safely and joyfully experience the magic of winter surfing under the expert guidance of qualified instructors.

If you’re looking for surf lessons or surf hire, book now!