You’re going to need two or three costume changes.

Ellen 600x600The first you’ll need whilst driving to surfing. I have thought about driving to the beach in my wetsuit before, only to be put off by the thought of a moist gusset and thrush… In my opinion it is best to wear, unless you are coming from work; posh lounge pants, aka tracky bottoms, with a Tshirt and sweatshirt, or of if you are under the age of 20 a “hoody”. Age appropriate clothes definately apply to surfing as one can look like “an American teenage boy from the 70’s”. (That is in quotation marks as a male friend of mine actually said that to me recently).

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You will also need gold accessories, hoop earrings and chains to give you that LA beach vibe and full make up also that looks totally and completely natural. You need to be able to get out of your loose fitting clothes easily, usually in a rainy car park or public toilet. So the faster you take everything off and put your wetsuit on, the better 🙂

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The second outfit is the bikini/swimming costume, wetsuit, gloves, hood and “booties”. You usually need to wear something under your wetsuit because “everyone else does”. I find that if you wear a bikini under your wet suit you will get VPL (visible panty line), which is not very pleasant for other people to look at and makes the length of your leg appear shorter. “Going commando” urban dic (short for dictionary), says (not wearing any underwear) is most appropriate. Your wetsuit must be a tight fit. In Irish waters I wear my winter wetsuit all year round. This is made from 5, 4 and 3 millimetres of neoprene. The thinnest portion of 3 mill is on the knees and elbow joints making them easier to move.

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Summer wetsuits are made from even thinner neoprene. You WILL need to double check all measurements when buying on line. Make sure you take time to find the right fitting if buying from a shop. You will be spending a considerable amount of money on your wetsuit (€250 upwards for a decent one). So make sure it fits! Different brands have different sizing! You might be an 8 in an Excel and a 10 in an O’Neil.

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The staff at The Surf Shop Lahinch are amazing, and they have great first hand knowledge of brands and their unique sizing. You can buy second hand suits on the internet. My first wetsuit I bought from a very helpful store on the phone for very cheap. Unfortunately, it was a size 14 (I am a size 8 Excel). The gusset used to fill up with water and sag down to my knees, it was that long I could keep my sandwiches and a small boy in it! This also made me cold so I was not able to stay in the water long.

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Gloves and boots are essential in the winter months to protect you from the colder sea conditions. Some people who are pussies choose to wear a hood. This apparently keeps one warmer. It also makes you look like a person who has one side of their face squashed into the other side of their face. It also makes you unable to hear as there are flaps and straps that go over the ears. The neck strap can make you feel very claustrophobic and not very Fifty Shades at all! It also can make ones head sea fleas itchy. Basically it is NOT attractive item of clothing.

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After surfing you will have: a freezing white face, running nose, streaming eyes and bad hair. So really, it will really not matter what you will wear post surf. There ain’t no amount of accessorising that will save you….

Ellen’s insider guide to great surf products:

For bling that won’t break the bank, head to River Island
For Sun block – try Riemann P20. It’s amazing. It stays on all day, in and out of the water.
For post surf body moisturiser – raw coconut oil. Warning, stray dogs will like you as you will smell irrisitible.

Useful links

Guide to buying a wetsuit: http://360guide.info/wetsuits/complete-wetsuit-guide.html#axzz3mPg3hS2t
Detailed surf reports for Lahinch: http://magicseaweed.com/Lahinch-Beach-Surf-Report/52/

Notes from the Ed

When she’s not on the beach looking damn hot, Ellen is a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher with regular classes running in all over Munster. Like her on Facebook for great yoga posts. Warning, she is rude, cool and very awesome 🙂