With the nights drawing in and the winter breezes blowing we cannot escape the fact christmas is just around the corner. Our top tip? Take advantage of the holiday period by sneaking a couple of these must winter must haves onto your christmas list.
But what does make the ultimate gift for a windsurfer? Over the coming weeks we will talk through a variety of gift ideas; first up are our favourite Winter Warmers - every image is clickable, so click the pic for more information on the item.
Keeping warm on the water is pretty tricky as temperatures plummet, but there are a few items which will really make a difference and mean you can stay on the water even longer. Gloves are definitely one of these items, but which style of glove would suit you?
There are two main types to look at: closed and open palm.
Closed palm, traditional gloves no doubt give the best protection from the elements. ION produce a pre curved version called the Claw (£23.95) which gives optimum warmth with comfort, and O'Neill also make a version called the FLX (£18.00) with a slightly tacky grip to help keep hold of the boom!
Whilst traditional gloves offer the most warmth and protection, some windsurfers prefer the feel of an open palm glove.
With the palm part of the glove cut away it means that there is a little more flexibility and movement for the hand. This also enables you to get a better feel for the boom, whilst still protecting the outer part of the hand from the elements.
Again there are various options of open palmed gloves on the market; our top picks are from ION (£19.99) and Spartan (£17.50). Both provide warmth, flexibility and a great all round fit.
Moving from hands to feet, there are again various options for keeping your toes warm over the cold spell.
O'Neill offer a traditional style boot, called Heat (£34.95) which more than lives up to it's name and offers optimal warmth with 5mm fluid foam neoprene. Another fantastic boot comes from Atan, who offer two versions: the Mistral 3mm (£39.95) and the Hot Mistral 6mm! (£42.95). Designed by windsurfers, for windsurfers the Atan boots again offer warmth and a comfortable feeling in the straps.
A different option for boots is to go split toes; some prefer this feel as it offers a little more movement for the feet. If you are looking at this type of boot our top pick is the Billabong 3mm Revolution boot (£29.95).
The ION Ballistic Socks 6/5mm (£64.95) are also adding to the variety of footwear on the market. With no seams these socks offer an internal split toe plus an even more flexibility for the foot.
We all know keeping our heads warm, both on and off the water, makes a massive difference. Again with headwear, there are a few options to look at. O'Neill offer the fantastic Gooru Hood (£19.95) which gives complete coverage for head, neck and ears.
Relatively new onto the market are a new way of keeping your head warm; the neoprene beanie. Offering almost the same warmth as a full hood, the beanie will keep your head warm but with your ears free you can hear at full capacity! Spartan (£15) offer the beanie shown below and ION offer an incredible 10 different designs from £19.99. Beanies also come with straps/strings so don't worry, they won't be lost at sea!
Our final must have winter warmer is a thermal rash vest. These offer another extra warm barrier against the cold; O'Neill's Thermo X is fleece 8oz lined providing great insulation and comes in long (£34.95) or short sleeved (£39.95) . ION's Hooded Neo vest (£64.95) is fully made of neoprene and can be worn under or over a wetsuit, where of course the attached hood gives you the best of both worlds!
Where to buy?
The following retailers stock items in this week's Christmas wish list.
Andy Biggs - ION, Spartan, O'Neill and Atan.
Boardwise - ION Beanies, Spartan, O'Neill, Billabong boots and Atan.
Robin Hood Watersports - ION open palm mitts and O'Neill.
Quayside Windsurfers - ION and Atan.
Juice Boardsports - Spartan and Atan.
4Boards - ION and Billabong.
Bray Lake - ION and O'Neill.
L.A.R. Watersports - all ION Products
Puravida Boardriders - ION, O'Neill and Atan.
Wet n Dry Boardsports - ION and O'Neill.