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From Sea to Frozen Sea

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Earlier this year C-Skins and team riders Oli Adams & Vincent Duvignac ventured across the Atlantic to the East Coast of Canada. The goal was to test new suits where the sea came as close to frozen as possible.

 

Kitted out in C-Skins Winter 15 suits and accessories like the new Dryknit lining, they braved blizzards, minus degrees and a frozen sea.

 

Read on for the interview.

 

 

Either side of the runway the snow was packed as high as the plane. Another plane actually crashed trying to land.

 

So what was the forecast looking like coming into the trip?

We didn't go on a chart at all so we were really worried we wouldn't find much. The forecast was for blizzards and there were travel warnings and airport closures all over the place. So there was no guarantee the plane would even land, let alone if we’d be able to drive to the waves. Luckily we did land but either side of the runway the snow was packed as high as the plane. Another plane actually crashed trying to land, so we were counting our lucky stars it wasn't us.

 

How did you figure out where to be with limited intel?

I sent an email to a local guy who my friend in New York knew and he kindly gave me a couple of spots to check but apart from that we had no idea. On the first day we went searching and found the coast, it was one foot onshore and nearly frozen over. We decided that if we could find a two foot wave and score a little air shot with some snow the trip would be a success!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_1_sm_20151203-171606_1.jpg

 

 

I don't think I've ever got changed so fast in my life.

 

Tell us about the blizzard day.

That was the next day and everything seemed the same. But when we got out to one of the spots we’d been told about the swell had jumped in a major way. We were staring at a right point that was 5ft and cross shore, I was frothing to get in but we checked down the coast first just in case. And lucky we did because we came across that left point absolutely firing! I don't think I've ever got changed so fast in my life. The cold was the last thing on my mind as we were watching left after left barrel and reel off down this perfect point. I'm sure we were extremely lucky to score it like that on a random hit and hope mission in one of the most inconsistent places in the Atlantic.

 

I’d undergone lifesaving surgery three months before the trip and had only been surfing again for a few weeks. So during these sessions I was in a state of euphoria just be able to surf in these amazing waves. I was surfing so stiff and weird and making my first turns since the operation, but I was just so happy to be in those freezing but incredible waves! We surfed there for two days and it was some of the funnest lefts I've ever had.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_2_sm_20151203-171602_1.jpg 

There’s nothing better than getting barrelled in the middle of winter somewhere cold and then coming and getting warmed up in the pub with a pint of Guinness.

 

Cold water surf is the buzzword of the moment. What makes it so special for you?

For me there's something so different and special about surfing in the cold. There's a crispness and magic to it that you just can't get in the tropics. Don't get me wrong I love to surf in boardies too, but for me there’s nothing better than getting barrelled in the middle of winter somewhere cold and then coming and getting warmed up in the pub with a pint of Guinness. And it has to be said, the cold keeps the crowds to a minimum. I've been to Mentawais twice this year and both times it's been great but so crowded. I could have got better waves at home with no one out. Not everyone is a fan of the cold but for those who are the rewards are empty waves and, for me, the best feeling in the world.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_3_sm_20151203-172704_1.jpg

 

I was in a state of euphoria just be able to surf in these amazing waves.

 

Is this the coldest place you’ve surfed?

For sure! It was crazy cold!

 

How did your equipment perform?

So good! The new suits were insane and there really was no point where I was cold.The Dryknit lining C-Skins have developed definitely makes the suits feel warmer. We were having 3 to 4 hour sessions no problem and the 6/5/4 suits feel as flexible as a 4/3. People are always dubious when a sponsored surfer gives props to products but I wouldn't use these suits if they weren't incredible, I'm surfing in them all year round.

 

Photos by Sharpy.

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