Waves aren’t always needed for a good time (though we’d like it better if we had them!). It’s nice out, so pick up your skate or go for a paddle!

Words and photos by John Streit

Climatologically, January is the coldest month of the year here in Virginia Beach.

You wouldn’t know it if you ventured outside last week, however. Temperatures climbed into 60s with scattered clouds in the sky, making for ideal opportunities to break the normal winter monotony for those who take to the outdoors. Sure, the surf has been flat, but our area — and Surf & Adventure Co. — has many options to maximize the fun factor of being outdoors. As long as the air and water temperature add up to 100 degrees total, and there is a sufficient water level in Back Bay, our boat dock is open for business between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the winter. Standup paddleboarding, canoeing and/or kayaking: a paddle down our waterway takes you into a completely different world of serenity and natural beauty compared to the suburban sprawl most of us call home in Virginia Beach.

The mild temperatures also make winter skateboarding sessions that much better. S&A crewman John Streit took advantage during this run of great weather both on his skate at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and in one of our canoes in our waterway, which is part of the Back National Wildlife Refuge.

Get out there and explore your surroundings. Your hometown may have some surprises in store for you.


The Va. Beach Boardwalk is an empty canvas for drawing skate lines in the winter.


Smooth streets and nearly non-existent traffic. A cruiser’s paradise at the Oceanfront.


The JT Walk sculpture at First Street cuts an iconic figure into the night.


Pushing pavement.


Even in the winter, our boat dock looks inviting for the adventurous.


This day featured some amazing late afternoon light. Looking north in our waterway.


he edge of the waterway produces some breathtaking perspectives.



Life and death in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.



The marsh takes on a sandy color in the winter. In a few months, the reeds will turn green again.


There’s a clearing out back that looks like you’re staring into a different world.


The still, dark water is the perfect mirror for the big skies of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.


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