Coldwater Surfing

Peter Mel was visiting Alaska’s Aleutian Islands last winter when he spotted the perfect wave. So he pulled on his wet suit, waxed his board and went surfing. “It was awesome. Frigid but awesome,” says the professional surfer from Santa Cruz, Calif.

Mel is part of a growing subculture of coldwater surfers who hit the waves when most people dare not leave the house. “There are definitely a lot more people doing it now,” says Peter (Pan) Panagiotis, a Rhode Islander who regularly braves New England’s 32-degree winter waters. They’re drawn by bigger waves, sparser crowds and improved wet-suit technology that makes off-season boarding less bone-chilling.

Courtesy: Paul Tolme, Newsweek