The surf in Sligo has been pumping over the last two weeks. You just have to check out Nathan Florence's Instagram account to see how good conditions have been. These last two weeks have also seen a drop in temperatures and with that an increase in wetsuit gloves being worn in the line up.
I normally try to hold off on wearing gloves until after Christmas but I am not religious about that. If things get really cold between now and the 25th I will definitely throw on a pair. In a cold climate surfing attire is always a trade off between warmth and flexibility and this applies to the hands too.
Manual dexterity is probably not top of your list of important physical attributes when you think of surfing, but surfing with hands numbed from the cold is never much fun. Your paddling suffers, your pop up gets slower and even your manuevering on a wave goes down hill if you have mini ice blocks at the end of your arms.
For most of us the ideal is not to wear gloves at all. That way our hands and fingers have maximum range of movement, but if that means losing feeling below the wrist line due to cold, then slipping into a pair of neoprene gloves can make a world of difference. At Surfdock we stock a huge range of gloves, many of them road tested by yours truly.
These are my favourite gloves of all time. They are incredibly warm and flexible using the same cutting edge Technobutter neoprene technology found in O’Neill's top of the range wetsuits. My go to pair is the 3mm. I wear these from January through to usually the end of March. With these gloves I never experience cold hands. For those who do really feel the cold then the 5mm are incredible but they will limit hand movement a little. I know many surfers who are hardier than me and find the 1.5mm are all they need with the bonus of added flexibility
The O’Neill Epic glove is amazing value and probably our biggest seller. This glove is made from conventional neoprene with a rubberised outer skin. This outer skin keeps the wind off your hands and the heat in. If you are looking for a pair of gloves that will keep you warm through the whole winter at a great price then I highly recommend these.
The high-end glove in the Rip Curl range offers everything you are looking for in a premium glove from sealed seams to palm grip and the Rip Curl signature lining that makes their Flashbomb range of neoprene accessories and wetsuits so comfortable and warm.
If you are not familiar with wetsuit gloves and are in Dublin, come into the shop and try on a few different ones to see what they feel like. Pair the gloves with wetsuit boots and a neoprene hood to be ready for the very cold months on the water.