To score the best waves in the Northeast it takes three things: dedication, luck and a thick skin. Though the water warms up to a comfortable trunks-only temperature in the summer, the best waves pound the shores of New England, New York and New Jersey in the colder months. Though wetsuit technology continues to improve, the frigid conditions still force even the most committed surfers out of the water after a few hours. To both lengthen their time in the water and also make trips to snowy beaches more pleasurable, a group of New Hampshire surfers and craftsman built the Surf Sauna, a mobile sauna specially designed for winter beachside warmups.
"Surf Sauna has been a topic of conversation for a long time amongst the group that I surf with, and the thing that really inspired us to build it was a community workshop space where we all hang out that has all of the equipment to see this thing through at our disposal," says Ross Beane, Surf Sauna craftsman and co-founder of Port City Makerspace, a cooperative workshop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The sauna includes mounted shovels and a hi-lift to get the warmth as close to the water's edge as possible, making the commute to and from the icy Atlantic as short as possible. A rack alongside the sauna keeps surfboards out of the snow, while a glass door allows users to keep an eye on the waves while they warm up.
Beane and his crew opted for a Swedish design, built with premium materials on the inside. "Western red cedar is a naturally rot-resistant, antimicrobial wood and all of the accents and structure are done in marine grade galvanized and stainless steel to hold up to years of salt water exposure." A propane-fired stainless steel wet/dry stove with rocks piled on top pumps out heat and contributes to the Scandinavian vibe. As such a rare experience, we're sure the clever refuge will adorn snowy beaches for years to come.
Surf Sauna is now taking custom orders to share the steam, with models starting at $16,400 (the model shown goes for $17,950). To make the experience more accessible in the near future, Surf Saunas aim to be available for rent by the day. For more information visit them online.
Images courtesy of Surf Sauna