Things to Pack When You Go on a Surf Trip

person holding passports

It is not easy to learn how to surf and it takes a lot of patience and confidence especially if you have just started. But as you progress, surfing can be fun, exciting, and worthwhile. The best way to start is to take a surf trip. Surfing destinations or surf camps are the ideal places to visit to develop your skills and advance your learning. There, you can find professional surfing instructors to teach you the important points about surfing.

Whether you are professional or just a beginner, it is important to be prepared when going on a surf trip. Ideally, a week or two is allotted for a beginner surfing camp. Depending on your surfing destination, you may need to travel far by car or plane. Forgetting to pack a thing or two might ruin the overall experience. In addition, carrying too much for the journey can be too bothersome. This is why it is important to plan properly ahead of time so that you can determine the right kind and amount of clothes, gear, and other necessary items to bring.

The things to pack when you go on a surf trip also depend on different factors including your destination and how long will you be staying. Making a list helps a lot to be organized during your journey. Here are the surfing trip essentials to include in your list.


person holding surfboard standing on seashore in front of wave near wooden dock

Surfboards are necessary on a surfing trip but you do not have to always bring your own as surf camps can provide them. Renting a surfboard is cheaper and convenient, especially when you have to travel by plane. Most surfing destinations offer rentals from surfboards to wetsuits. Nevertheless, not all of them can provide this service. If you do not have a choice but to bring your own, bring the board that is most appropriate.

Here are the most common types of surfboards:

Longboard – longboards are up to 11 feet long and are suitable for beginners. This is perfect if you are looking for an easy-going small surf during the summer.

Shortboard – this is the most popular board used by surfers all around the world. Compared with longboards, a shortboard is easier to maneuver as you ride the waves. These boards are up to 6 feet long.

Funboard/Malibu – this is a combination of the longboard and shortboard. Funboards are popular for beginners and experienced surfers alike. They are 6 to 8 feet long and are great for waist-high waves.

Stand-Up Paddleboard – these wide and thick boards which are up to 12 feet long, are excellent if you want to surf medium waves, though stand-up paddleboards can also be used on lakes and rivers. This comes with a paddle.

Gun – this is the type of large shortboards used for surfing extreme and big waves. A gun’s length ranges from 7 to 12 feet.

Surfboard Travel Bag

surfboard travel bag

Surfboard travel bags with at least 10mm thick of foam padding are significant to protect your board as you travel. This will prevent minor damages like dings and small cracks.

Surfboard Fin Setup

surfboard fin setup

A fin setup is a must if you want to make the most of your surfing trip. Just like surfboards, they have different sizes, dimensions, and benefits. Fin setups provide control and stability when riding the waves.

Single fin – This is a common setup in longboards and is used for small to medium surf.

Twin fin – Like single fins, a twin fin is used for small to medium surf but they are more stable. Bring them if you want extra speed and control.

Thruster fin – This set up is widely used by beginners and expert surfers. Thruster fins are efficient in all types of surfing conditions. Bring these with you if you are planning to do surfing tricks as you ride the waves.

Quad fin – quad fins are excellent for small surf and other conditions.

When choosing your fin setup, you need to consider the type of surf that you want to do. It should also be compatible with your surfboard. Remember to bring an extra set in case you lose or break one.

Ding Repair Kit

ding repair kit

Damages on your surfboard should always be expected during a surf trip. Surfing destinations offer repair service but you can bring your own ding repair kit for minor dents or scrapes.


surf Leash

Always bring an extra new leash especially if you are going for extreme surfing conditions. Make sure that they are in a good condition to avoid breaks during surfing if you do not want to lose your surfboard.

Wax and Comb

surf wax

Do not depend on your friends’ supply of wax and bring your own. A wax comb is also needed to remove the wax before you reapply them. In addition, ensure that you pack the type of wax fitting for your surf destination—may it be for tropical places or surfing on cold waters.



You need to take into account the surfing conditions and destination when choosing the right surfwear to bring. For instance, wetsuits are appropriate if you are planning to surf in colder temperatures. Boardshorts and swimsuits are good enough for tropical surfing destinations. However, if you want more protection from minor cuts and sunburn, you can bring a rashguard. Booties are also a must particularly if you are surfing reef breaks and cold waters.



This small item should always be on your list. Protect your ears against exostosis.

First Aid Kit

first aid kit

Your bag should have a first aid kit when traveling. Bring antiseptics, pain relievers, insect repellent, bandages, plasters, and medications to treat diarrhea and indigestion.

Other Items

person holding passports

Always pack a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated.

Depending on how long you are staying away from home, bring the right amount of clothes and toiletries.

A surf trip also requires travel documents such as identification cards, visa, passport, and travel insurance.

Lastly, put your items in a water-resistant travel bag in case the weather gets bad or you need to travel by boat.

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