Staying Warm in the Water

While we are lucky to live in a place that rarely drops below 50 degrees on the land, the water temperature in San Diego is known to get a little chilly around this time of year, only to decrease in temperature in the upcoming months. This is not to say that you have to take a break from surfing or postpone learning until you can comfortably wade in just a bathing suit. Luckily, the surf industry is well versed in keeping you warm in the water and has designed materials that can withstand much colder temperatures than the ones we face in Southern California. There are also tricks that the surf instructors at San Diego Surf School have learned to keep warm. Here are some tips and tricks to staying warm in the water during the winter months.   


Wetsuits are a must during these colder months. Many surfers would swear that investing in a good wetsuit is well worth it because many are made with technology to keep you very warm in the water. If you don’t want to go shopping though, a good trick is to double up on wetsuits. If you have a spring suit and a full, put both on to thicken the amount of coverage you have. Doubling up on two full suits also adds a lot of extra warmth in the water. 


If there can only be one thing that is deemed a game changer on this list, its booties. It is a well known fact that if your feet are warm, it will be more difficult for the rest of your body to get cold. Booties make a huge difference in the water because they act as really thick and protective socks that keep your feet out of the chilly water. Instead of walking in barefoot and immediately feeling the icy ocean, booties offer a coating that protects from the cold during your whole surf sesh. 

 If you don’t want to buy any more surfing accessories, that ‘s okay because we have some tricks that we use at the San Diego Surf School to help us keep warm on the coldest days!

Bundle Up

Make sure that you pack for your surfing excursion. Wear warm clothes before you get in the water, especially a beanie and socks. This will keep you cozy before you decide to paddle out and will also be waiting for you when you return. After you get out of the water, change out of your wetsuit as soon as possible and put on your beanie and socks. This will help you warm us faster once you are out of the water. 

Warm Water 

Warm up water before you head out to surf and put it in a container that will be able to keep the liquid warm. If you are taking a break from surfing or simply done for the day, this warm water will offer relief after getting out of the ocean. While you are wearing your wetsuit pour the warm water in to enjoy instant warmth. 

Make Sure You Move 

When you’re in the water waiting for another set, make sure you are moving around to keep your body warm. There are some days when sets are few and far between and while a lot of wetsuits are designed to retain your body warmth, it’s important that you also work to keep yourself warm. Just by paddling around a little helps to make sure your body doesn’t cool down in the water. 

While it may be more tempting to take a board out in the middle of summer with warm water and warmer weather, winter in San Diego is when the best surfing of the year rolls around. If you don’t want to miss the waves but are dreading getting in the cold water, make sure to use these tips and tricks to keep yourself as comfortable as possible so you can stay stoked while you paddle out.