WINTERMISSION: 5 Favourite Cold Water Line-Ups With Quiksilver
The rumble of the groundswell, the frigid offshore whistling past the van window, the mug of steaming coffee in your mits – there’s something about the thrill of the cold-water chase that keeps us coming back for more.
Quiksilver’s Technical Products Manager, Chris Branch, is no stranger to the winter mission (see what we did there?). To celebrate the launch of wetsuit season, we caught up with him for his take on the holy grail of cold-water line ups, what makes them so legendary, and the gear you’ll need to survive.
Here’s what he had to say.
I’m a goofy and it has 3 of the longest lefts one after the other! The furthest inside, called Manu Bay has an epic run around and jump rock, so you can skip the paddle after a long one. A good sealed 3/2 will do the trick here most of the year, and upgrade to a 4/3 in the dead of winter. I’d wear a zipperless for easy unrestricted paddling and black so I don’t stand out in the crowd, and always show much respect for the locals.. Go for the Highline Zipperless 3/2, bro!
Always faster, longer and more hittable than Bells….but it’s cold! A good 4/3 is a necessity. I often wear a back zip here, cos if you ever catch a rail while flying down the line, or get taken out by a shoulder hopper, the last thing you want is the chance of a cold flush through the shoulder of your wetty… 4/3 Syncro+ is a great option, as its got a 4mm body for warmth, Warmflight in the core areas, full external sealing (Liquid Flex Seal) and 3mm arms for easy paddling…Yew!
When the sun comes out in Northern Spain, it melts the snow on the mountain straight in front causing the icy river water to flush straight into the line up! It’s so trippy that when the sun’s out, it gets colder. But it’s a goofy footers paradise – the closest thing I have seen to a left Superbank. I go all out with rubber here – Hooded 5/5 Highline 2x Bonded. Keeps me toasty warm and able to surf all day, and earning an appetite for Tapas time… Ola!
The chilly offshore WA mornings remind me of so many road trips when growing up. The main thing you need is wind protection, rather than excess thermal lining. So as long as your wetty has thermal smoothly on the chest & back, you’re sweet because it cuts the wind completely. As I was always travelling rough in the back of my panel van, I always needed the best priced option. The SYNCRO 3/2 GBS in Chest Zip is the warmest/stretchiest and lightest steamer available for under $350 so I’d be grabbing one of those. Joy!
Although not a super cold water spot, the OC does get damn cold in winter.. and when everyone around is wearing flashy suits doing air revs on every wave, you’ve gotta step up your wetty game to match haha. We have a limited, unique Tye Dye Zipperless collection , that goes from summer suits right up to 4/3’s. So I’d run the 4/3 Highline Zipperless. The full thermal lining is warm and light. Dude!
*Imagery by: Van Swae, Corey Wilson, Burkard, Steve Ryan and Unknown.