SANTA and a few helpers swapped their sleighs for surfboards just after dawn yesterday.
The brightly coloured contingent gave early morning beach-goers at The Cliff more than they bargained for as they took to the waves for a bit of pre-Christmas cheer.
Now in its second year, the Santa Surf Off is showing strong signs of becoming a tradition among Newcastle's surfers.
After a night of revelry, some of the 20-strong group struggled in the 1.3-metre conditions.
"Some of the them got flogged on the way out and there was a strong sweep which made it hard to stay together," participant Chris Tola said.
Next year the Santas hope to attempt a world record for the most Santas surfing at once.
"It will probably be a charity event where we can raise a bit of money for something like the Surfrider Foundation," Mr Tola said.
While Santa and his helpers enjoyed pleasant conditions yesterday, the clear skies are not expected to stick around for the busiest night on their calendar, Christmas Eve.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast isolated showers for the next few days including Christmas, with a possible storm this afternoon.