Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cold Water East Coast Wetsuit Product Testing

A great story from Body Glove Wetsuits Surf Brand Manager and all around great guy- Matt Walls.

This morning the stars all aligned and the storm that just blanketed the east coast with snow moved out to sea in the Atlantic. As a going away present the storm sent some shoulder high super clean surf back our way. Just before dawn, my good friend Andrew Funk called to tell me that the surf looked fun and he had a board in his car for me. All the roads were covered by snow and the thermometer was showing 30 degrees. We drove to the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City New Jersey and parked.
Being from California and never having surfed in the snow before, I had so many questions for Andrew. “So Andrew, where the hell are we going to change into our suits? Andrew gave me this look of “you dumb ass”. Andrew quickly informed me that we were changing in the street with a towel just like you do everywhere else in the world. The trick was to stand on your shoes while you took your pants off and put your suit on. In this instance good balance is essential to avoid falling on your naked ass in the snow. Once suited up I realized that changing in the snow was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I soon realized the “not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be” was going to be the theme for the day. We grabbed our boards and headed for the beach. On this occasion walking to the surf closely resembled walking to the mountain to snowboard only with different equipment under my arm. The snow crunched the same under your feet; the ice was just as slippery with booties on as with snowboard boots, the cold air burned the same against the naked skin of your face.

As we walked over the little hill and across the boardwalk we saw this little machine of a left peeling off the south side of the Steel Pier. “Ok”, I thought to myself “it is on.” “We are doing this.” Seeing that little left was all that it took to eradicate any nervousness or doubt that I may have had about surfing in 38 degree water and 30 degree air. I could not wait to get out there.

This little left was so fun. It was just Andrew, myself, the snow and the chilly morning air. We surfed for about an hour and then I rushed off to the Action Expo surf trade show and Andrew rushed off to open up Surfers Supplies Surf Shop. As I recount the session in my head, I am amazed by the power of our own preconceived thought that are manufactured in our minds. Yesterday, I thought surfing in the snow was going to be one of the most painfully grueling things a person could submit themselves to and in reality; it was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

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