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What Does a Surfer Need? 11 Supplies to Get Started with Surfing

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Perhaps you’re new to this thrilling sport and don’t know where to start. Surfing is an exciting sport, though it can also be expensive. The good news is, if you’re just starting out, you can rent, borrow, or buy second-hand equipment listed here!

two surfers are walking together on the beach

What gears do you need to start, anyway? Don’t worry, we’re going to tackle them in this article. These items will help make your surfing journey much easier.

Here is the list of surfing equipment you’ll need before going in the water and hitting the waves:

1. Surfboard

Wavestorm 8ft Surfboard | Foam Wax Free Soft Top Longboard for Adults and Kids
  • Soft Foam Construction Classic Surfboard, strong EPS core with 3 stringer system
  • Soft WBS-IXL ( Water Barrier Skin ) crosslink top deck and rails High Density (HDPE) Polyethylene slick bottom skin Exclusive New Color Graphic art deck
  • Included removable bolt thru fins ankle leash traction pad
  • Dimensions 8′ x 22 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ Weight 11.5 lbs
  • Volume 86 liters

Obviously, you can’t surf without a surfboard. Longboard, shortboard, gun, funboard, fish – there are lots of surfboard types out there and you need to find out which one is the best for you. If you’re unsure, then might as well read the different types of surfboards.

As a beginner, choosing one might be overwhelming, so it’s best to seek advice from a professional, a surfer buddy, or someone at the surf shop to know which one is suited for you. 

Generally, the bigger the board, the better. Using foam board to start is also suggested because it won’t hit hard when you fall. To maximize the performance of your board, ask someone at the surf shop about the installation of surf fins.

2. Wetsuit / Surfwear

Lemorecn (16 Sizes) Mens Wetsuits Jumpsuit Neoprene
  • MULTI SPORT WETSUIT: Wetsuit designed for all water sports like diving, scuba, paddle boarding, surfing, or kayaking.
  • DURABILITY: Spot taped at stress points and flatlock seams provide a smooth interior and exterior surface to ensure maximum comfort and durability.

Surfwear are life savers – it protects you from the harsh UV rays, the salt, the board, and the impact of falling from your ride.

May it be a wetsuit, bathing suit, board shorts, or rash guards, make sure that it is of good-quality in order for them to serve their purposes. Invest in a good one since it will greatly save your precious body from the dangerous elements in the water.

When deciding for a wetsuit, make sure to choose the one that’s tight, but not too tight to the point that it’s uncomfortable.

3. Leash

BPS New Zealand ‘Storm’ Premium Surfboard Leash
  • THE COMPANY – Helping everyone to ‘get out and do’ is the reason Barrel Point Surf exists. Created by a Kiwi surfer and caring Dad who loves helping others get out onto and into the water, we’re a Mom & Pop business that began with us building surfboards in our garage. Now we are all about helping make water sports accessible, wherever you are in the world. Say yes to barrels, not barriers.
  • THE PRODUCT – BPS ‘Storm’ Surf or SUP Leash is constructed with max-strength double stainless swivels, triple-wrap rail saver, and precision molded fittings. It’s also designed with a super comfy embroidered collar and old-school key pocket. Select from 5 to 10 feet and 7.2mm or 8mm urethane cord. This premium leash is trialed, tested, and thrashed by BPS to make sure it’s got what it takes and is built to last with its quality structure and features.

A leash, also known as a leg rope, is a safety equipment that will help you and your surfboard stay connected at all times. Even if you wiped out and fell from your board, you wouldn’t need to worry about chasing after it.

The length of the leash will always depend on your board. Basically, the longer the board, the longer the leash, and the thicker the waves, the thicker the leash.

However, there are still other factors that you need to consider when choosing the leash for you, so make sure to do your research first before deciding on one.

4. Surf Wax or Traction Pad

Outdoor Wax Works Eco-Friendly Surf Board Wax
  • Wax like a pro with this 3-pack for surfing, skimboarding, whitewater kayaking, and paddle gripping to help prevent your hands from slipping; keeping you on our board, wax is one of the most essential surfing accessories aside from a board and fins
  • All-natural, surfboard wax is environmentally friendly, protecting ocean reefs and marine life; Made of 100% organic substances like beeswax and coconut oil, our formula is a safe alternative to other waxes
  • Indicated for water temperatures of 50°F to 90°F, accommodating tropical, warm, cool, and cold water temperatures, so you will always have the perfect wax available

As a beginner, the ride won’t be easy. It will be slippery, and that’s where the surf wax or traction pad comes in. These items will add texture to your surfboard, thus will keep you from falling.

Whichever you choose, they should be placed on the area where your feet are positioned during the ride.

A traction pad is a good investment when maintained well, usually lasting for years. But if you want that classic surfer image, then opt for the surf wax. Who doesn’t look cool when applying wax on the surfboard, anyway?

5. Surf Earplugs

Creatures of Leisure SurfEars Water Out Sound in Ear Plugs
  • PROTECT YOUR EARS – Keep water out with our cutting edge design double curved wing and tilted core for a secure fit, helps prevent surfer & swimmers ear
  • COMFORTABLE FIT – The silicone surfer earplug tips are thinner, softer, and have a customizable ergonomic design developed to suit a wide variety of ear canal sizes
  • LET SOUND IN KEEP WATER OUT – The worlds only surfer ear plugs that helps protect your ears without affecting your hearing. Our new plugs are designed to let sound in so you can engage with the lineup

If you don’t want to experience ear infections, clogged ear canals, and the terrifying surfer’s ear, then you need to wear an earplug.

The surfer’s ear is a painful condition in which a bone grows in your ear canal. This bone growth, called exostosis, can cause infection, discomfort, and even loss of hearing.

This occurrence that may lead to serious medical attention can be prevented by using a good-quality earplug, especially when you surf in cold water, so make sure to invest in a good one.

6. Sunscreen

Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray, Broad Spectrum, SPF 50
  • SUPERIOR ENDURANCE VS. SWEAT & WATER — From family fun to hardcore competition, Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen provides strong sun protection that stays on so you can play on
  • CLINICALLY PROVEN UVA/UVB PROTECTION — This SPF 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen spray protects skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, BREATHABLE FORMULA — Non-greasy feel won’t weigh you down
  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE SUNSCREEN — Water & sweat resistant up to 80 minutes
  • FREE FROM oxybenzone and octinoxate

You think you’re already protected with your wetsuit, however, there’s one more thing you’re missing – the sunscreen. 

Applying sunscreen has more benefits than you think of. It will protect you from the harmful sun rays. If you don’t know yet, prolonged exposure to the sun without protection such as sunscreen, will increase the formation of wrinkles, skin discoloration, dark spots, or worse, skin cancer.

The best way to use sunscreen is to apply it generously, and re-apply it every hour. However, the level of sun protection varies for every individual, so make sure to test which one is most applicable for you.

7. Surf watch

Rip Curl Men’s Quartz Sport Watch with Silicone Strap
  • Features include versatile graph and detailed tide displays, EL backlight, LCD screen display and heat countdown timer with 5 minute and 1 minute warnings
  • Includes ability to set Spot X averaging tide for 1000’s of tide locations and future tide functions
  • Quartz Movement
  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): in general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving

Regardless if you’re a novice or an expert, using a surf watch will greatly help you stay safe wherever you surf.

Some of the features of surf watches include the ability to track tides on specific surf spots, monitor the current weather, and even check water temperatures.

Any surf watch has its pros and cons, so make sure that you know what you’re buying. Some of the factors that you may need to consider are its features, durability, and water resistance.

8. Surf Travel Bag

Dakine World Traveler Quad Surfboard Bag
  • Fits up to four boards
  • New streamlined fit to reduce weight
  • 600D diamond ripstop for lightweight durability
  • 3/8″ (10MM) Closed cell foam (top and bottom)
  • 3/4″ (20MM) Closed cell foam (Sidewalls)

If you are planning to travel locally or internationally because you want to try out different surfing spots, then a surf travel bag is your best friend. Choose one that is handy, and can endure long hours of travel.

It can be quite expensive, yes, but it will be extremely beneficial for travelling surfers. If you really don’t have the budget to buy a brand-new surf travel bag, there exists some online sellers who sell used bags.

9. Wetsuit accessories

Neo Sport Premium Neoprene Men & Women Wetsuit Boots
  • Premium neoprene material
  • Durable traction sole
  • Glued & sewn seams
  • Heavy duty abrasion resistant thread. Puncture resistant sole
  • #10 heavy duty zipper. WEB – “Water Entry Barrier”

Wetsuit won’t be enough if you’re surfing in a very cold climate, or when the winter comes in your area. Wetsuit accessories, such as boots, gloves, or surf cap can help your head and body stay warm when surfing in icy conditions.

10. Portable Surfing Shower

Advanced Elements Summer Shower
  • Construction – 4-ply construction with reflector panel and insulator panel for optimized heat retention and performance
  • Capacity – This summer shower has a large 5-gallon capacity and is designed to heat water fast in the warm sun
  • Temperature guage- Easy-to-read temperature gauge to know when your shower is warm. The shower can heat up to 110 degrees in under 3 hours in direct sunlight
  • Convenience- Integrated toiletry pouch can hold a razor, mirror or travel shampoo bottles and Velcro straps for wash cloth

Aside from being inexpensive, a portable surfing shower has many benefits.

For cold water surfers, this item can provide you with warm water, giving you a pleasurable feeling after getting your head and body cold from surfing.

Another one is when you have important plans after a quick surf, a portable surfing shower will keep you clean and fresh, keeping that salt-water off from your body.

It has more benefits than you think of, so make sure to invest on one if you can.

11. Surf Poncho

COR Surf Poncho Changing Towel Robe with Hood and Front Pocket
  • Versatile and Essential: Cor Surf adult and kids beach towel poncho is your changing robe and beach towel all rolled into one. It’s one of the most versatile essentials when you head for the beach, pool and even camping. Don’t worry about your towel flying away while you are changing in the parking lot. Change discretely in public!
  • Soft, Fast Drying and Fade Resistant: these adult boy and girls surf poncho are made of soft microfiber material that’s quick-drying for the ultimate convenience, it’s also super soft and color resistant to balance functionality and style. Check-out our NEW Medium Size that is perfect for bigger kids and petite adults. For smaller kids size, please see our other page

Instead of the usual beach towels, surf poncho is a robe-like item that helps surfers easily dry-off themselves and change their outfit after surfing. It’s convenient, so consider having one.

Now that you have the list of 11 supplies to get you started with surfing, go ahead and visit your nearest surf shop and start your surfing journey now!

But of course, if you don’t want to break your bank, try borrowing some of these items to your friends, or consider renting one. 

As always, if you find this video helpful, don’t forget to share it with your family and friends!