Surfing in Alaska: icecream mountains below | Still: SurfAlaska.net

As winter approaches for surfers of the Northern Hemisphere, some safety procedures should be taken into consideration. It's cold, windy, rainy and snowy so you should protect your body for the physical exercise in extreme conditions.

The Irish Surfing Association has published a very clear and useful guide for the winter surfing sessions. Wave fans should have in mind that their health is first and that doesn't mean they cannot enjoy the quality ocean moments.

Here are the main guidelines for winter time surfing:

a) Do not surf alone or enter the water as dusk is approaching or if you have been drinking alcohol.
b) Warm your body before and after surfing. A good hot chocolate or a tea is perfect.
c) Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates. Fruits, breads and energy bars are a good choice.
d) Always let somebody on land know where you have gone and when you will return. Avoid surfing alone.
e) Check the weather and tides before you paddle out. Learn to observe the ocean so you can identify rips, wind changes and other hazards.
f) If you are unfamiliar with a break check with local surfers or other water users before paddling out.
g) Ensure the waves you are surfing are of a size and power suitable to your ability. Do not get too confident. Stick to beaches until you become experienced.
g) Make sure your equipment, especially your leash is in good order. Remember it is much easier to spot a brightly colored surfboard or wetsuit at sea in the event of you requiring rescuing. Consider other safety equipment_ nose guard and helmet.
i) When you “wipeout” do not come to the surface too soon and when you do come to the surface protect your head with your arms.
j) If you get caught in a rip do not try to paddle against it, paddle across it.
k) If you find yourself in difficulty stay calm, do not discard your board, wave one are in the air and shout to attract attention. Do not panic, help will come.

Nazare: a big wave event would fit nicely

Garrett McNamara, the waterman and big wave rider, has decided to stay more days in Portugal, after four huge swells and three tow-in surfing sessions. The 43-year-old surfer will only return to Hawaii on November 30th.

"The hospitality that I felt, the waves that I caught, the excellent food and the intense training, made me delay my return to Hawaii, without regrets", said McNamara to "The North Canyon Show" blog.

McNamara feels Nazaré deserves a big wave event. He is getting back to Hawaii to participate in opening ceremony of Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, on December 2nd.

Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal, has delivered 7-to-9 meter waves to the local team led by José Gregório, a former triple Portuguese champion, and Garrett McNamara.

In the last days, the Portuguese WQS surfer Ruben Gonzalez, the Irish Alistair Mennie and the English Andrew Cotton joined the combat team.

O’Neill World Cup of Surfing: underdog time

In the first day of competition in O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, the greatest surprise came from South Africa.

Rudy Palmboom, 22, got the highest wave heat total (15.34) of the day and secured a place in the next round, here in Hawaii.

“It’s pretty fun out there and a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” said Palmboom. “I got an 8.67, a nice little barrel. I lucked into a good wave straight after the siren. It’s more spread out and there’s a lot of waves coming through, which makes it a lot more fair".

Will the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing be the event of the underdogs? The crew from California experienced mixed feelings. San Clemente’s Chris Ward and San Diego’s Austin Ware progressed through the round while Tim Reyes (Huntington Beach) and Chris Waring (Seal Beach) were eliminated.

That's life out there in the lineup. “Being off the (elite World Tour) I get a lot of open time to surf different waves year round. But to be back here at Sunset and the Triple Crown feels good. I’m happy to be here", said Ward.

The Hawaiian keeps delivering solid performances. Joel Centeio, Sunny Garcia, Myles Padaca and Pancho Sullivan are through to the next stage and proved their intimate knowledge of positioning and wave selection in one of the gnarliest surf spots in the world.

“I was actually a little nervous,” said Centeio. “You come off such a big result like Haleiwa and you want to follow up with another big one.