Getting outside is the goal. Staying warm and dry is the challenge. Those with a penchant for the outdoors are particularly critical of winter wear, especially when the East End’s icy shorelines are part of the landscape. Fit, fabric, and, at times, environmental consciousness factor into what an adventurer is looking for in the answer to the big question: how does one stay warm without feeling bulky? With locations on both forks, Mark Zucchero’s Flying Point Surf and Sport outfits summer bodies even in the coolest of months.
One of the key components to dressing for winter weather is the layer that touches your skin. A proper base layer is of the utmost importance, something that is made of merino wool or silk rather than cotton. Most of these layers are fairly thin, often the opposite of what people think of when choosing winter clothing. “It’s not about thickness,” says Daniel DeChiaro, director of operations for Flying Point. “It’s about materials. People think warm clothing for warmth, but when you’re outside for a while it’s best to get moisture off your skin quickly.”
The right socks can make all the difference, too. When spending significant time outdoors, forgo heavy cotton socks, which will make your feet sweat, wet, and then freeze, for a merino wool blend that are warm and wick moisture without sacrificing mobility. Darn Tough socks, manufactured in Vermont, make for a practical product that can be used whether hiking in the fall, running in the summer or skiing in the winter.
Layers can also be important in winter surfing. Just last week, six to seven-foot waves made for one of the best surfing days in the last 12 months, according to DeChiaro. This time of year, is prime time for the hardcore surfers to get out on the water regardless of bone-chilling temperatures. The right wetsuit is key, with proper fit equaling proper function. A wetsuit should feel tight; first timers often mistake uncomfortable tightness for being too small. On the brutally cold days, a base layer of polypropylene serves a surfer well, as do boots, gloves and a hood.
Environmental consciousness in fashion is a growing trend regardless of season. This winter, Flying Point began carrying Save the Duck, a sustainable Italian coat company dedicated to removing animal products from winter wear. Citing a common goal of living in an animal cruelty free world, the company states they have saved more than 3 million ducks in 2017.
“They’re really heavy into removing animal products and the number of ducks they have saved,” DeChiaro says of Save the Duck, which outfits men, women, and children. “It’s been very popular and everyone is very interested in saving animals. Most winter coats are duck filled. Save the Duck uses Plume Tech, which is their own proprietary product. It’s synthetic and breathable, actually more breathable and warmer than traditional down. We even had people coming in and asking for it out of the blue. It was a really great surprise for us.”
Save the Duck has been a top seller for Flying Point, staff included. Bickley + Mitchell accessories are also popular at the shops, including hats, gloves and scarves. Basically, anything that is giant, comfy and cozy has East Enders surviving the winter months. “Bickley + Mitchell makes these cool, giant, oversized hoods that pullover,” DeChiaro shares. “We sell a ton of those.”
Flying Point is owned and operated by Zucchero, who first opened his Southampton store in 1996, and his wife Shannon. Just over two decades later they have expanded to open stores in Sag Harbor, Montauk and Greenport. For more information, visit flyingpointsurf.com.