Newcastle beach, Australia

Surfing in Changing Seasons

A Guide To Braving All Weather Conditions

Australia is a surfer's paradise, with its stunning coastline and a variety of waves to choose from. However, the one thing you can't escape when hitting the waves Down Under is the ever-changing weather conditions. Whether it's the scorching heat of summer or the chilly winds of winter, surfers need to be prepared to tackle all types of weather. In this guide, we'll take you through the art of surfing in changing seasons, helping you stay stoked no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.


crowds at Bondi Beach, NSW


Summer Surfing: Embrace the Heat

In Australia, summer is synonymous with surfing, and it's easy to see why. As the temperature rises, so do the waves, offering surfers the perfect combination of warm waters and consistent swells. To make the most of this prime surfing season, here's a more detailed look at how to embrace the heat:

Hydration is Key

Australian summers can be blisteringly hot, and when you're out on the waves, the sun can be relentless. Staying hydrated is not just essential; it's a survival tactic. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased performance, something no surfer wants to experience in the lineup. So, remember to carry a reusable water bottle with you. It's not only eco-friendly but also ensures you have easy access to refreshing hydration between surf sessions. Keep it in the shade to prevent your water from turning into a hot beverage.

Sun Protection

The Australian sun can be unforgiving, and it's essential to protect yourself from its harmful effects while you're out there on your board. Here are some tips for effective sun protection:

  • Slather on Sunscreen: A high SPF sunscreen is your best friend. Apply it generously to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, and the back of your ears. Reapply it every couple of hours, especially after a surf session. Look for reef-safe sunscreens to protect the ocean as well.
  • Rash Guard: Wearing a rash guard not only shields your skin from the sun but also prevents painful skin rashes caused by rubbing against your surfboard or wetsuit. Choose a long-sleeved one for maximum protection.
  • Wide-Brimmed Hat: A wide-brimmed hat not only adds a touch of style but also provides extra protection for your face and eyes. It keeps the sun off your head and face, helping to prevent heatstroke and sunburn.
  • Sunglasses: Invest in a good pair of polarised sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce glare from the water. This not only enhances your vision on the waves but also protects your eyes from damage.

With these precautions in place, you can make the most of the Australian summer surfing season. Enjoy the warm water, catch some fantastic waves, and bask in the beauty of the ocean while staying safe and comfortable under the scorching sun.

Full body wetsuit, hood, booties and gloves, cold water surfing. Snow on the hills and still surfing. Technology in equipment has made seasons and temperature changes irrelevant.


Winter Waves: Embracing the Chill

As the Australian winter descends upon the coastline, you might think that the surfing scene would hibernate, but that's far from the truth. In fact, it's during this season that more experienced surfers truly shine. To make the most of the winter waves and embrace the chill, here's a closer look at what you need to know:

Wetsuits Are Your Best Friend

When the temperature drops, the key to comfort and safety in the water is a high-quality wetsuit. A wetsuit not only keeps you warm but also provides buoyancy and flexibility. Here's what you should consider when choosing a wetsuit:

  • Thickness Matters: Winter wetsuits are typically thicker, with 4/3mm or 5/4mm neoprene to keep you warm. The first number refers to the thickness of the material around the torso, while the second is the thickness in the limbs. A thicker wetsuit provides better insulation in colder waters.
  • Booties and Gloves: Don't forget to invest in booties and gloves. These accessories are essential to protect your extremities from frostbite. Cold feet and hands can quickly ruin your surf session, so choose high-quality, well-fitting accessories.

Dawn Patrol

The early morning sessions during winter are the golden hours for surfers. This is when the waves are often at their best, with clean sets rolling in and less wind. To make the most of the dawn patrol, here are some tips:

  • Layer Up: While the waves are epic, the air can be chilly. Layering is key to staying warm. Wear thermal undergarments beneath your wetsuit, and consider a beanie to keep your head warm.
  • Preparation is Key: Be ready to brave the early chill by having your gear packed and ready the night before. This way, you can head straight to the beach when you wake up, maximising your time in the water.
  • Stay Safe: Winter can bring larger swells and stronger currents, so make sure your skills are up to par. If you're not an experienced surfer, consider taking lessons or going with a buddy to ensure safety.

Winter surfing in Australia can be a truly rewarding experience. The thrill of catching waves in colder conditions and witnessing stunning sunrises is something that dedicated surfers cherish. With the right wetsuit and a willingness to embrace the chill, you'll be well-equipped to conquer the waves during the Australian winter.

Spring and Autumn: The Ideal Transition

Spring and autumn in Australia are magical seasons for surfers. They offer the perfect balance between the scorching heat of summer and the chilly conditions of winter. During these transitional periods, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Here's how to make the most of spring and autumn:

Allergy Alert

While the weather in spring and autumn is generally mild and pleasant, there's one factor that surfers need to be aware of - pollen allergies. Spring, in particular, can bring an abundance of pollen from blooming flowers and trees. If you're prone to allergies, it's essential to be prepared. Here's how:

  • Antihistamines: Keep antihistamines on hand. These over-the-counter medications can provide relief from common allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, and congestion. Taking an antihistamine before your surf session can help ensure you're not distracted by allergies while in the water.
  • Time Your Sessions: Consider scheduling your surf sessions during times when pollen levels are lower, which is typically early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This can reduce your exposure to allergens.

Crowd Control

One of the significant advantages of surfing during the spring and autumn seasons is that the beaches are generally less crowded compared to the peak summer months. Here's how to take full advantage of this:

  • Peaceful Surfing: Enjoy a more peaceful and less crowded surfing experience. Fewer surfers in the water mean less competition for waves and a greater opportunity to catch those perfect rides.
  • Improved Safety: With fewer people in the water, safety concerns are reduced. It's easier to keep track of fellow surfers, and there's less risk of collisions, making it an ideal time for beginners to hone their skills.

Spring and autumn offer surfers a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Australia's coastlines without the extremes of summer or winter. By being aware of potential allergies and taking advantage of the less crowded beaches, you can make the most of these transitional seasons and have memorable surf sessions in ideal conditions.

A woman enjoys the view of Bar beach - Merewether in Newcastle Australia.

Catch the Perfect Wave, Whatever the Weather

No matter the season, Australia's coastline offers incredible surfing experiences. By following the tips mentioned in this guide, you can brave all weather conditions and enjoy your time in the water to the fullest.

Ride the Waves with Slimes Newcastle

For all your surfing needs, consider Slimes Newcastle as your go-to surf shop. We provide top-quality gear, including wetsuits, surfboards, and accessories to make your surfing experience even better. Visit Slimes Newcastle for a wide range of products and expert advice on how to stay prepared for all the weather conditions Australia has to offer. Get ready to ride the waves with Slimes Newcastle and conquer the changing seasons!


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