Winter riding is haaaaard in the UK, and in many other cold places. Sorry, not sorry, but I don’t feel bad for anyone who has to succumb to a 3.2mm wetsuit to get on the water because it cools down to 16c or something. Try passing the handle in 5.4mm of rubber with cold muscles. Not easy.
However, I do ride throughout the winter on our little grey covered island. If I didn’t man up and ride, it would be six months off the water for sure. And to top it off, I don’t even like the cold. I hate it in-fact, (unless its in the mountains). Along with wind and rain. I can deal by wearing good clothing, base layers and of course, great wetsuits.
As well as riding/coaching at my local lakes, I tend to ride at a few different cable parks to keep it interesting, just as you would surf at different surf spots or snowboard on different runs/resorts. Obviously with this, comes some road time. I recently got my paws on a couple of Dry Bags (the Pro and the Elite). What are these I hear you ask? They are specifically designed bags to store your wetsuit in so they can dry. They work by hanging your wetsuit in half over a huge hanger (so you don’t stretch out the shoulders), allowing your wetsuit to drip dry. When I heard about these bags, I was immediately on board. So now, when I’m leaving a lake in my car, instead of putting my wetsuit in a giant plastic bag that has seen better days, I hang it in my new Dry Bag, and attached it to one of the handles in the back seat. This means my wettie starts drying before I even get home and its such an easy way to store my wetsuit in the car without getting it even dirtier than it already is! Genius.
They come in pretty handy over the winter for storing your wetsuit (or wetsuits, these bad boys can hold two suits at a time) as well. Like if you hang it up in the garage, you could protect it from dust, dirt and spiders (yes, that is defo a legit reason for zipping you wettie away! Who wants to put their hand in a wetsuit leg to turn it round the right way and grab a tarantula? No one.). Its ventilated as well so it won’t be festering or growing a colony.
Or if you love your wetsuit and don’t have a shed or a garage, and you store it indoors (the Dry Bag Elite is better for this), this will separate it from your towels, clothes etc so you don’t get that lovable wetsuit smell rubbing off on them.
The other thing I’m pretty excited about is when I’m staying over night somewhere, whether it be in a hotel or camping, I can hang my wetsuit in my car over night and know its stored away and drying ready for the next day! How many times have you had to put on wet wetsuit the second or third day because you couldn’t dry it over night…. too many. Actually, I usually take a second wetsuit. But if you don’t have the monies for a second wettie, the Dry Bag is a cheaper option so you don’t have to put on a wet wettie the next day.
So I might see you at the lake over these freezing months, but I might not be recognisable under 1000’s of mm of neoprene!
What wetsuit drying / travel issues or hacks do you have? Get in touch!