Surf Therapy

Eskimo Surfer
Eskimo Surfer

I’ve had a cold all week. It was brewing last weekend while kayaking and walking in the hills but it got a little worse after that. I’ve been good, putting all ‘training’ on hold and have done nothing other than sit at my computer working. It never got really bad so no time off was needed.

The weather forecast for today was wet and windy, so I was a little surprised to see light offshored winds this morning. With a low-pressure system about to hit us from the Atlantic, that could mean that there would be some good surf. Sure enough, after a quick stroll to the beach to check, the surf was indeed looking good. Decent 3-4 foot waves rolling in and breaking nicely on the sandbank here at Ynyslas. All held up but a light offshore breeze. Perfect!

Cold or no cold, it was time to get wet, and a good opportunity to share a photo of me from many years ago (2010) where I went surfing after sleeping in an igloo in the back garden overnight. At least it wasn’t that cold today!

Surf Therapy

Suitably attired with a winter wetsuit, gloves, boots and a hood I was soon paddling out. It didn’t take many duck dives on the way out for the salt water to start clearing my sinuses. I have a feeling that I must be an anatomical anomaly with sinuses that extend all the way to my feet as there’s no way that much snot could fit into my head!!!

The salt-water may have cleared my sinuses out but it didn’t necessarily help with my energy levels. A few nice waves soon perked me up though. My new board performed well and all in all it was a good hour or so in the sea and the perfect way to start the day.

I always like getting something done before work – it makes me feel as if I have one up on everyone before the day has even begun. More therapy from the surf.

Is it Safe to Surf with a Cold?

As something of a disclaimer I thought I’d discuss whether it is safe to surf with a cold and the precautions you should take.

When you have a cold, your body is fighting a viral infection, and it is important to rest and allow your immune system to do its job. Exercising when you are sick can put a strain on your body and make it harder to recover. In addition, surfing with a cold can increase your risk of getting an ear infection or sinusitis.

However, if you have a mild cold with no fever or severe symptoms, surfing can be fine. As my post above shows, it will definitely help clear your sinuses. It is important to listen to your body and only participate in the activity if you feel up to it. If you have a fever, body aches, or other severe symptoms, it is best to rest and avoid surfing until you have recovered.

Precautions to Take When Surfing with a Cold

If you decide to surf with a cold, there are precautions you can take to minimise the risk of complications. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep Yourself Warm: Surfing in cold water can make your symptoms worse. Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and water conditions. Wearing a wetsuit, booties, and gloves can help you stay warm and prevent hypothermia. I was quite toasty except for the occasional ice cream headache.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help you stay hydrated and flush out the virus from your system. Make sure to drink water and electrolyte drinks before and after your surfing session.
  3. Avoid Crowded Areas: When you are sick, your immune system is compromised, and you are more susceptible to infections. Avoid surfing in crowded areas where there is a higher risk of getting infected with a cold or flu. I didn’t see a single person while I was out today.
  4. Don’t Overexert Yourself: Surfing can be physically demanding, and when you are sick, you may not have the energy to perform at your usual level. Take it easy and don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and stop surfing if you start feeling tired or dizzy.
  5. Take Medications: Over-the-counter medications like decongestants and pain relievers can help alleviate your symptoms and make it easier to surf. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any medications. There were none of these for me – I don’t think I’m allowed them thanks to the other meds that I’m on.


Surf therapy can be a great way to boost your mood and improve your overall well-being. However, when you are sick, it is important to prioritize your health and listen to your body. If you have a mild cold, surfing may be safe for you, but make sure to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of complications. Always consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about your health. Stay safe and have fun!

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:

    I dont think I’ve ever seen that photo!
    Hope you take notice of the precautions every time you surf etc !
    Stay safe , stay happy x

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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