Everyday Essential Surf Equipment
Surfing is not a very hard sport to understand the basics of. But before starting out and break down the everyday essential surf equipment, you need to know those basics, making sure you know what is going on when putting your equipment together for your next surf session. It also helps when someone else talks to you about it and you look and sound like a pro. The list of surf equipment depends on your surfing level; a beginner will need less equipment then an advanced surfer depending on what the surfer’s preferences.
Not like a lot of extreme sports, surfing only requires you to have a surfboard and yourself to glide over the water on a wave. The everyday essential surf equipment will be a surfboard, leash, wax, and fins. But like I said before, as you progress you might need more equipment such as surf gadgets, your favorite surfboard, and a backup, a surfboard bag and so on.
Everyday Essential Surf Equipment Breakdown
We are going to start by the order of importance so you can really understand what you need to get right for your next paddle out.
The most important piece of everyday essential surf equipment you will NEED to go surfing. A surfboard. Without a surfboard, you are definitely not surfing or doing anything related to surfing. So before you grab anything else make sure to get yourself a surfboard.
Debating on which kind of surfboard to get? Different types of surfboards depend on your height, weight, level of surfing, and the conditions you are surfing in. But make sure you get the right size surfboard or else your surf session will not be fun at all and you will not be able to get up on that board.
The second most important piece of equipment are the fins. The fins are the wheels of your surfboard, they also provide stability, performance, and drive of the surfboard. They are also all kinds of different fins set-up. The most popular one is the thruster which consists of 3 fins, then there are single-fin, twin-fin, quad, and five-fin setups.
Learning how to setup and remove fins is a little tricky but also depends on which brand of fins setup you have on your surfboard. There are now 3 kinds of setup brands that most shapers use nowadays; FCS, FCII, and future fins.
Surfboard Leash (leg rope)
The leash; the third most important piece of equipment that will keep you and others safe when surfing. A leash is a rope that keeps the surfer connected to the surfboard at all times. A leash is attached to your back foot depending on your surfing stance, and it is also attached to the leash plug in your surfboard.
The leash is all about safety. When you fall off the surfboard, the surfboard will be right next to you since you are connected to it. It also prevents the surfboard to be going down the lineup and hitting other surfers on its way down to the beach.
Surf Wax is a must for your everyday essential surf equipment since it is what will keep you from slipping off the surfboard. Wax gives you the grip that you need throughout the surfboard. Usually, surfers will wax their surfboard from the end of the traction pad to about three-quarters of the surfboard. Some surfers that do airs will usually wax their surfboard all the way to the nose. But if you are doing those crazy moves and you just want to learn how to surf and have fun with it, just wax your surfboard three quarts of the way up the surfboard.
Also wax does require some maintenance throughout the years. You will need to remove the dirty wax and apply new wax to keep the grip going. But that is fairly simple when following the instruction.
Traction Pad (Stomp Pad)
The traction pad. This is the other equipment that will keep your grip steady when surfing. The traction pad is located at the very back of the surfboard. It is only installed on hard surfboards, soft surfboards do not need a traction pad since it already has a foamy grip throughout the whole surfboard, just a little wax will do the trick.
A traction pad, when installed properly will last for years and years. It does not need much maintenance like the surf wax. It is also easy to install, you just need to figure out where you want it exactly and then remove the protection film off the glue and stick it up on there. It takes at least 24 hours to dry so make sure you give it that time or else it won’t last as long. Most surf shops will also put on the traction pad for you when you purchase a surfboard, just ask.
Sunscreen! Since as surfers we are exposed to the sun the whole time we are in and out of the water. We need to apply some sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. The UV light we are exposed to will do serious damage to our skin when no sunscreen is applied. So be precautious and take that second to apply it. I would ALWAYS recommend a stick zinc sunscreen so that the liquid does not get into your eyes when surfing.
Everyday Surf Essential Clothing
Board shorts, Bikini, or wetsuit! Depending on where you are surfing, where you live, and the water temperature; you are going to be wearing different clothing for surfing. In warm waters, you will be wearing board shorts or a bikini if you are a girl. In colder water, you will want to wear a wetsuit. The most popular wetsuit is a 3/2mm wetsuit. This will keep you warm when surfing. If you are in a very cold place you might want to go for a 4/3mm or higher. A surf shop can always help you with that.
If you are lucky, surfing in warm waters, get your board shorts or bikini and make sure to apply sunscreen everywhere that is not covered, or you will get a really bad sunburnt and will not be able to surf the next day. Not fun!
Let’s get into a couple extra surf equipment you may want to get for more protection from the sun and safety.
A rash guard. Instead of putting sunscreen everywhere that is not covered by your bikini or board shorts, you can always wear a rash guard. This is like a shirt that will protect you from the UV lights of the sun. A long sleeve rash guard will probably be better for less sun exposure but that is completely up to you, a short sleeve rash guard will work too. You can also wear the rash guard under a wetsuit for less irritation but it is not necessary at all.
Surf Watch or Shock Resistant Watch
Do you have a time limit for your next surf session? Well getting a surf watch is probably the best idea then. Or any watches that is waterproof and shock resistant. Surf watches tell you the surf forecast, the wave height, wave period, wind speed and direction, and the tides for thousands of surf spots worldwide.
Now that you got your surfboard, you probably want to keep it protected at all times. Especially when traveling or going from beaches to beaches on top of the car. The best way to always keep your surfboard protected and keep your car wax free on the seats is to use a surfboard bag. A board bag size will depend on what you are trying to achieve with it, traveling, long walks on the beach, going in the car, etc.. Check out our recommended surfboard bags and guide to which one to buy for your best interest.
There you have it! A basic list of surf equipment that you need and may need in the future. Make sure to get everything off the right size to enjoy your surf session even more! Also, make sure to keep your wax and sunscreen in closed bags or else they will melt all over the place. Now go out there and have fun!