28th May 2018

Make sure you've got the essentials for your next surf trip. Our list gives you a guide to what our team checks & packs for a trip. Depending on where you are going & the swell forecast will determine what you need. If you're heading to a more remote destination you will need to be self-sufficient & if your going to a more populated location (Bali etc) you can travel lighter & grab any extras if required over there.


Example Used - 10 Day Surf Trip to Indo

  • Surfboards - 1 to 3 boards
  • Surfboard Fins - 2 to 3 Sets
    • Performer (FCS2) or F6 (Futures Fins)
    • Carver (FCS2) or Jordy Smith (Futures Fins)
    • Fin Wallet to keep your fins organised & to take in your Day Backpack
    • Fin Keys
      • I take two sets that are similar in case you lose a fin or damage a set you have back up. I also like to take a fin set with more sweep/rake for larger waves to draw my turns out, holding big bottom turns or in the barrel. Note: a stiffer fin construction works well in tropical water.
  • Surfboard Travel Cover + Day Backpack
    • Triple Coffin Travel Cover (Ocean and Earth are excellent travel covers) 
    • Surf Day Backpack
      • Fits 3 boards with a bit of room for your other gear + a Day Cover for day trips on the bike or small boat. Ocean and Earth multi travel covers come with a day cover included free (see product what's included).
      • Surf Day Backpack to take on day trips with your surf gear
      • Bubble wrap for extra airline protection, you can never be too careful.
  • Leash x 3
    • 2 x 6ft Regular Surf Leash
    • 1 x 8ft big Wave Leash
      • I take two regular everyday leggys one for back up & a big wave leash for those bigger days when the last thing you want is losing your board into the cliffs.
  • Repair Kit & Board Patches
    • 2oz Epoxy or Polyester repair kit
      • I take a small repair kit so I can fix small/medium dings easily or I use the board patches if the damage isn't crucial (stop water entering) & I can wait until I'm home for a proper repair.
  • Wax
    • Sex Wax Tropical
    • Mrs Palmer Bali Brew
      • I usually prepare all my boards with a fresh new wax job before a trip. I use Sex Wax tropical for my base coat as it's a harder wax formula and it creates a good base. I use Palmers for my top coat before each surf, nice and tacky. Note: I put a base coat on before a trip, so I get a nice thick base coat by doing it in a colder climate (goes on better). It also means when I arrive I can surf straight away & not be waxing up while others are surfing if it's pumping.
  • Sun Protection
    • Sunscreen
    • Zinc
    • 2 x Sunglasses - Polarised - One cheap for backup & one premium
    • Surf Tee - Designated Tee to surf in which has good sun protection & drys quick
    • Wetsuit Vest Optional - Wind & reef protection
    • Surf Hat Optional
      • I always make sure I've got enough sun protection & if you want to surf through the middle of the day in the tropics a Surf Hat is a good idea. Stop sunstroke & frying the knogin. I take two pairs of sunnies in case I lose one, no sunglasses in the tropics is not good, especially with all the sun your getting when surfing, your eyes need a break out of the water.
  • Reef Booties
    • FCS Split Toe Reef booties or Xcel Reef Booties
      • These are always a good idea but not essential. I always take a pair in case I surf somewhere new & don't know what the bottom is like (sharp/shallow) or if a long walk on the reef is needed. Also if you do cut your feet you can patch it up & put your booties on, limiting your time out of the water.
  • Ear Plugs
    • Surf Ears or Blue Tack
      • Surf ear plugs are optional depending on if you need them. I pack ear plugs (Surf Ears 2.0) just in case I'm surfing for long hour. I find in the tropical waters my ears get water logged easier.
  • Other
    • 2 x Towels - One freshwater & one for saltwater (good for boat trips) - Also wrap your boards in the towels
    • First Aid Kit - Normally when your prepare nothing happens but if it does a few things will keep you in the water & infection free. 
    • Waterproof Bag - Store wet
    • Travel insurance - You never know when surfing & there's a lot that can go wrong. Avoid paying some ridiculous emergency costs

The list includes the equipment essentials you need to be comfortable on a surf trip & to travel as light as possible. I only take what I need & nothing more. I want to travel around without the hassle of extra weight as it adds up quick. Any really important equipment I make sure I have an alternative back up option, things you can't replace or get over there.

Everything else you need is up to you & your personal preference. Money, Travel Docs, Medical, Entertainment etc.

Important Surfboard Prep: Make sure you have your quiver sorted early with enough time to order or buy the right board or boards before your trip if necessary. You want to be comfortable when heading on a surf trip & potentially getting the best waves you've had. So knowing your are boards go well is a huge advantage & will give you confidence when the surfs pumping. 

Usually when going on a surf trip your hunting bigger & better waves with more power. Therefore more Hi Performance / Step Up surfboards are suited & needed. These surfboard types are harder to find on the board shop racks especially Step Ups & might need to be ordered which can take 4 to 6 weeks. Even if you're, not needing this type of surfboard you still need to make sure the board you want is available in time for your trip. 

Ideally, you want to surf all the boards your taking before a trip if possible. Making sure your surfboards work & cover the conditions you will be surfing. 

Tying into board prep is checking the swell forecast before you go, confirming the swell forecast & what equipment you will need. It can also give you an good idea of what might be coming beyond the immediate forecast. You should change your quiver depending on the surf forecast to avoid carrying around boards that aren't needed. However, this isn't always possible if you're going on a longer surf trip & the longer range forecast isn't reliable. In that case you need to be ready for all conditions you want to surf. I've done week long surf trips to Indo where I've just taken one board because conditions are 2ft to 4ft the whole time & one board will do with a few different fin sets (fingers crossed no snap). 

You might get the best waves you've ever had so some prep is well worth it & your surfboards are priority.

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