Some tips to wakeboard in the winter!

Winter has clearly kicked in but this doesn’t mean it is too cold to wakeboard! Except for the very south of Europe, in the Winter the water gets really cold all over the continent, under 10C in many locations. Indeed the water is cold but there are ways to enjoy your wakeboard under your feet in cold weather!

GEAR UP WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT:

Being well equipped is a must if you want to carry on your passion in the cold months! Over the years it has become more and more enjoyable to go out and spend time in the water in the winter, and this is mostly because of the evolution of the products most brands are pushing every year!

Here are 5 tips to beat the cold and ride in the winter:

1. Wear a thick wetsuit ( at least 4/3 mm ).
Wetsuit brands usually have different thicknesses in their wetsuit’s range. from 1.5 mm to 6+ mm which will make a huge difference in different water temperatures. ( see graphic below ) A wetsuit has the ability to keep you warm because it is made of a kind of rubber called neoprene. The suit traps a thin layer of water between the neoprene and your skin. So, you are always wet ( the reason why it’s called a wetsuit ). You Body heat warms the layer of trapped water and helps keep you warm. Brands such as Follow, Mystic, Oneill, Rip Curl have amazing expertise in how to make a wetsuit comfortable and warm enough to keep you out in the cold for hours. Of course, the thicker the wetsuit is, the warmer you will be but the less flexibility you will have in your movement and this is why you see different kinds of models and prices for the same thickness. The main reason a wetsuit will be more expensive than another with the same thickness is found in its details, flexibility, durability, and comfortability.

A good piece of advice that makes a big difference: in the beginning of your session, have your wetsuit dry and to a mild temperature when you are about to put it on.
A luxury is to have 2 wetsuits so you never have to put on a wet one.


MYSTIC THE ONE FULLSUIT 5/3 mm

2. Wear gloves & hood 
When a part of your body starts to get cold, usually the rest will follow, so it is important to keep warm as many parts of your body as you can.
When wet and exposed to the air, your hands or head can get really cold due to the friction that your body generates with the air while moving to a certain speed and the lack of movement of these body parts. ( similar than when riding a bike ) To avoid these cold body parts, there are very good neoprene accessories available. Depending on the sport you do, they can vary for different conditions. To wakeboard: fingered gloves and a classic hood should do the job just fine. Gloves and a hood are only used when its really cold, as much as they are efficient, they still are a little hassle in your wakeboard session as a layer between your handle and hand can sometimes give you cramps and covering your ears can disturb your balance.

RIP CURL FLASHBOMB GLOVE 3/2mm

RIP CURL FLASHBOMB HOOD 3mm

 

3. Wear bindings with removal boots
Today, pretty much every wakeboard brands have at least one model of binding that has removal boots on the inside.
Slingshot: Spacemobs
Ronix: Kinetik
Hyperlite: System: bindings / boots
This will keep your feet warm if you have to walk on a cold ground before and after the session and while swimming as well.

RONIX KINETIK BINDINGS

4. Use a poncho when changing.
A poncho is very convenient to avoid to find yourself naked in the parking but also to keep you in a warm, cosy atmosphere before and after the session.

OUR PONCHO SELECTION

5. Make sure to have warm clothes to wear after or in between your sessions. 
If you start your session cold, there is a big chance that you’ll never warm-up and feel cold the entire session. If you have a break, it is important to stay warm at all time because once you lose your heat, it’s very hard to get it back. This is why having warm clothes is very helpful. If you don’t feel like changing, there are a few solutions to stay warm in between 2 sessions: the vests, hoodies are very effective in this case. Those
jackets, wind breakers are mostly use to keep you warm outside the water. The impact on your heat is more significant from the wind and cold air temperature than the water temperature.

FOLLOW OUTER JACKET 3mm

There are plenty more accessories that are made to keep you away from the cold, obviously, the more equipped you are, the less chance you have to stop riding because you are too cold: feel free to have a look in our accessories sections to see them all. Some parks close in the winter, some stay open or open on some week ends. Make sure to ask your local shop for the accessibility to ride over the winter. Another good solution to ride in the winter is to invest in a winch. the fun is guaranteed with a machine like this!

TRAVEL TO A SUNNY LOCATION:

For those that have more time, can’t stand the cold or have no will to ride in a wetsuits. The solution is to escape the cold and travel to a sunny location.

Here are 5 locations we recommend you to avoid the European winter:

  1. Philippines:
    The Philippines has been known to be one of the finest destinations when it comes to wakeboarding. For more than 10 years, this small country has one of the biggest wakeboard scene on earth.
    Started with the Famous park CWC, more than 10 parks have been built around the country and offer a large wakeboarding playground.– Air temp. : warm all year long
    – Wetsuit: no
    – Budget: cheap
    – Level of wakeboarding: Amateur to expert 

    CWC wakepark
  2. Argentina:
    Argentina’s summer is when the winter is in Europe. If you land around Buenos Aires, you will find a few awesome wakeparks in the 200km round from the city. Bairex, Pampa, Renton are 3 awesome parks to ride and amazing location to be at. We strongly recommend this destination to go wakeboard and visit some new things. You will need to rent a car thought because without your own mobility you will have problems to reach some location and will miss many other things than wakeboarding to do.
    Air temp. : warm from October to April
    – Wetsuit: none or a small one, a jacket for the windy days
    – Budget: Average
    – Level of wakeboarding: Amateur to expert 

     

    Renton Wakepark
  3. Brazil:
    Brazil is sunny, tropical, beautiful and an amazing place to travel to weather it is to wakeboard or do some sightseeing. Home of Pedro Caldas, you can only imagine this place is good to wakeboard! 
    Wakeparks such as Sunset Wakepark and Naga Wakepark will welcome you to have the time of your life! Locals over there are very helpful and will make sure you have the best time you can have in their countries, and trust us, its a lot of fun!!
    – Air temp. : warm all year long
    – Wetsuit: none, a jacket for the windy days.
    – budget: Average to cheap
    – Level of wakeboarding: Amateur to expert

    Sunset Wakepark

     

  4. Spain:
    Recently, Lunar Wakepark has opened its door in a European location that stays warm longer then most of the European places. The park is incredibly fun to ride and is near the Mediteranean sea.
    – Air temp. : warm to chili at night
    – Wetsuit: none to fullsuit
    – budget: cheap
    – Level of wakeboarding: Amateur to expert
  5. Turkey:
    Hip Notics in Turkey is a great solution to train and find some sun to ride in the winter without having to fly too far. There is not much to do besides riding but the location offers an amazing wakeboard playground: 2 lakes, full of Unit rails, bungalow by the water, its a little dream location for wakeboarders.
    – Air temp. : warm to chili at night
    – Wetsuit: none to thin fullsuit
    – budget: cheap
    – Level of wakeboarding: Amateur to expert

Thank you for reading us. 
We hope this was helpful to your reasearch.

The Wakeshop.be Team. 

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