What to take on a surf trip?

Surfing at home is amazing, but we all like to go and do a bit of exploring. In this month’s blog, we give some handy tips & equipment guides for your surf travel. Especially bits & pieces that are extra handy if you’re hiring a car. 

Waxy boards, wet keys and stinky hire cars

From experience of travelling without these things, these would be our three essentials to take if using a hire car for your surf trip.

1 ) Key lock or waterproof bag

These are so handy, especially as the days of non-electronic car keys seem to be long gone! If you really want to take the car key with you in the water, there are waterproof key pouches like this one. Or, even better - a lock box can be fixed to the car door handle, or somewhere more discrete under the car, and the key stays safely inside.

Just don’t forget your code. (also, a tough lesson - if you’re gonna surf til after dark try to park near a street light as trying to put in a lock combination in the dark is not fun!).

2 ) Roof racks

Putting waxy boards in cars never seems to go down that well with the car hire people…what a surprise! To avoid this, you can keep your board in a sock, or in a padded board bag which will also come in handy for protecting your board on the airplane (but more on that later). Or even more handy, are packable surfboard roof racks.

These come in a small enough bag and then wrap around the car roof making temporary roof racks. There are different variants of these depending how many boards need to put go the roof, and whether you have a 3 door (hatchback) car or a 5 door

3 ) Wetsuit bags

Next on the list is…wetsuits, or rather what to do with it while you’re not wearing it. Having a wet wetsuit steaming up your car or van is not ideal, especially if it’s a hire car! Any large plastic bag will help, but if you want something a bit more sturdy there are a range of waterproof bags on the market. Wetsuit bags are extra handy if you are walking some way to a surf break – put your wettie, towel, wax & leash in the handy bag & carry your kit with you. Then, you can change at the beach and leave your dry clothes in the bag – that way if it rains while you’re in the water it’s no worries (although of course it never rains on your holidays).

There are simple, cost effective bags, like this Ocean and Earth Wetsuit Dry Bag Sack that would then fit inside a normal rucksack, or this amazing all in one waterproof backpack/duffel bag that is great for any kind of travel.

Note: Optional extras to put in wetsuit bag: wine, baguette, cheese.

4) Wetsuit glue & ding repair kit (not on planes though!) 

If you only have space for one wetsuit and one board, then having a way to repair them when the inevitable happens is a good plan! For wetsuits, big holes can be sewn up with dental floss and sealed with wetsuit glue (like Black Witch). For boards, small solarez kits are ideal. These are available for both epoxy and poly boards however these kits aren't allowed on airplanes so are only really for those lovely long road trips. 

Tips for packing surfboards for a flight

Going on a surf trip abroad almost always involved the hair raising experience of having to put your boards on an airplane. So often, boards get damaged. Aside from using a well padded board bag, there are a few things that can help add a bit more protection to your board while it’s being manhandled through airport baggage. If your travel bag is big enough, put the board inside a day bag and then inside the travel bag. Double trouble. Towels and wetsuits make good padding - wrap these around your board, especially the nose and tail, which seem to be the most often damaged. (Use bone dry wetsuits though so the board bag won’t weigh a ton!). Also things like bubble wrap are handy for wrapping boards.

The little things that are easy to forget about:

Surf wax
A fin key (or 5 - they seem to have a magic habit of disappearing 
when the waves are pumping)
Sunscreen (try to go for reef safe sunscreen if you’re lucky enough to be heading somewhere tropical!)
Leashes & fins of course, but no one forgets those...oh no wait...remember that time....
and last but not least, enjoy your surf trip! 
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