Every surfer will tell you that surfing is the best sport in the world. No matter the air temperature, weather, or day of the week, on almost every coastline in the world, there is always at least one person sitting out on the break waiting for the next set to roll through.
As a group of swell fanatics, we are out there in almost all conditions. Protecting your body, comfort, and belongings is the utmost priority when chasing the surfing lifestyle.
We’re here to kit you out with all the best surfing gear to make sure your next trip is nothing less than perfect. Here is your list of essentials for surfers, by surfers.
What is a surf suit?
When deciding what to pack for a surf trip, a wetsuit is your most precious piece of gear. Regardless of your preferred cut or style, having the right fit is the number one factor determining how well it will work. A wetsuit is like a second skin. It should fit snugly against the wrists, neck, arms, legs, and ankles to prevent leakage and keep a very thin layer of warm water close to your body. Too much extra room under the arms or over your stomach will flush cool water through the wetsuit, minimising its effectiveness. If unsure, get a retail expert to assist you when purchasing and fitting your suit.
What to wear surfing in warm water:
In warm water, a spring suit (wetsuit with short legs) should suffice in thermoregulation. If you’re in the tropics, a UV rashie and board shorts will still provide the best sun protection while keeping you cool.
Equatorial zones can be very unpredictable in their weather systems. Sudden rain and wind can push cold upwellings into otherwise warm water. Keeping a wetsuit top in the back of your car will help to combat sudden weather changes like these.
What to wear surfing in cold water:
Do surf suits keep you properly warm? Most definitely. For cold water, the thicker the wetsuit, the better. Except for a few gung-ho locals, most surfers will opt for a 3/2mm steamer during the colder months of the year, when the water and wind have extra bite. For water below 12-15°C, consider a 4/3mm suit. Note that front zip steamers provide an extra flap of material that prevents colder water from sneaking through zips, allowing you to get the most out of your session.
6 essential items to pack for a surfing trip:
1. Surf boots and gloves:
For countries with colder swell patterns, surf boots and gloves can add extra protection for the extremities, ensuring that your digits don’t go completely numb while paddling out. Neoprene socks can add further insulation and comfort, for those who get cold easily.
2. Sunglasses for the surf
Polarized surf sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from glare and ultraviolet rays. Living next to the beach increases the amount of light, increasing the chances of irreversible sun damage. Keep them close by for both travelling to and scouting the best breaks.
3. Surf Leash
As surf spots get increasingly crowded, a leash is always a good idea. This will help you stay in control of your board and will minimise the risk of injuring other surfers should a wipeout occur.
4. Surfboard Wax
Don’t get caught out without wax! The last thing you want is to be sliding about when a big set rolls in. Cool water and warm water waxes have different melting points for optimum performance. If you’re unsure about the conditions of where you are surfing, always opt for warm water wax, as it has the highest melting point, and this won’t hugely affect its use in cold water.
5. Duffle or dry bag
Having a surf duffle bag in the back of your car or van will help keep all your kit together in one convenient location. They can double as a travel bag if you’re jumping on a road trip and usually have waterproof linings to prevent leakages.
6. Key lock box
Lastly, a key lock is an excellent extra item to have on your list. Maintain your peace of mind by safely securing your keys to your car instead of leaving them hidden in the wheel hub or on the beach. The ultra-secure Vaikobi keylock box is designed with corrosion-resistant elements and a hard weather cover to keep your valuables safe while you’re out on the waves.
Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@sachaverheij?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Sacha Verheij</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/surfing?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>