It's cold, very cold outside, yet peculiarly you find yourself gravitating towards the surf.  Its siren call has convinced you against all better judgement, and preservation of limbs, to go for a cold water surf.  So the question is: how do you survive the experience?

The key to all good surf sessions of the cold water variety, is excellent equipment and planning.  As much as you may want to run out the door, grabbing some extra layers and a hot beverage will be greatly appreciated aprés surf.

Step 1- Take a moment in the kitchen and make yourself a thermos of something warming, or even at a push- a hotwater bottle to help you defrost.

Step 2- As part of your prep, make sure that you remember your wetsuit boots, gloves, hood, rashvest... and if you're lucky enough to have them: your kidney warming wetsuit heating belt.  You may feel more like a seal than a superhero, but still being able to work your car keys when you've come out of the water is a real bonus.

Step 3- Before you hit the surf, warm yourself up.  If this means jogging up and down the beach, or simply star jumps, it will be worth it.  You never know, that extra sprint could help you last an extra minute where you get your best wave.

Step 4- Now comes for the post surf cheesy item: your Ugg boots or equivalent.  Yes, we know that everyone has them, or a cheap knockoff, but they will save a pinky or two from frostbite.  So if you've not got something sheepskin/fake-fur lined for your feet, make it your next priority purchase... or at the very least your next wish list item.

MOST important of all: Step 5- So after all that hard work, you deserve a reward.  Get yourself to a computer fast, and book yourself a surfing holiday in the sun!