Although surfing is a very simple sport–a board is all you technically really need–let’s face it, there are still a few things that surfers definitely need to have in their trunks or the back of their trucks. Here’s a list of some indispensable items that every surfer should have on hand.
Ding All Sun Cure Ding Repair Kit
Nothing is worse than heading for a surf when you either knock your board on an object or notice a ding that has gone unnoticed before. On the one hand you know it’s terrible to put a board with an open ding in the water (that water will get into the foam and cause all sorts of problems, not to mention add weight to the board), but on the other hand the surf is firing and you only have the one board.
Putting a sticker or shoving wax in the hole is something we’ve all done, but the BEST thing you can do is have some Ding-All Sun Cure in your trunk for emergency ding situations. It takes a bit of practice, but even a messy ding repair job will harden within minutes and prevent water from getting into your board. You can always sand it out and do a more professional job later.
Extra Fin Key / Screwdriver
Having a few fin keys hanging around in your car is a great way to save sessions and make friends. It’s always nice to be the one who actually has a fin key somewhere for someone who needs to make a fin change or just needs to tighten a loose fin. Not only that, but a flathead screwdriver is also helpful for longboard fin screws. Cor Surf used to make a great surfing multitool called “The Tool” but it’s not sold anymore. The Leatherman Thruster has taken its place as one of the best surfing gadgets to have in the car and in your travel bag – it has everything you need for a quick fin or wax adjustment, or even to open a beer.
Extra Leash Strings
This one has gotten me a few times. It usually happens when I’m swapping equipment between boards – you have a leash but no leash string. Hairties do NOT work, nor do rubber bands. And if the surf is anything of consequence you’re not going to be wanting to use things like paper clips and shoestrings. Get a few extra leash strings to keep in your car so you’ll never have this problem.
This goes without saying, and most people probably already have this covered. I like to use Headhunter sunblock and I use two layers: I put the lotion type all over and rub it in well, then I double up with the opaque face stick and use it to completely cover my nose and cheeks. Skin cancer sucks and even the least deadly ones like basal cell will leave a scar on your face and your wallet. Anyway, make sure you always have sunblock and double up! Use products that contain Zinc for best performance.
This brings me to my next recommendation:
Sunblock Remover Wipes
If you’re using heavy sunblock that sticks to your face, removing it can be messy. Having a stash of Neutrogena makeup remover wipes makes cleaning up your face after a surf quick and easy.
Other options to remove sunblock are Tapareef Sunscreen Remover Wipes which are biodegradable and compostable as well as Vertra Sunscreen Remover. The Vertra wipes are individually packaged – perhaps a little wasteful on packaging but these might be convenient if you’re on a day trip or surf trip and don’t want to bring an entire package of wipes with you.
Plastic Tote / Bin
This is a staple for most surfers I know – a plastic bin to stash dripping wet wetsuits, leashes, extra fins and tools, and bathing suits. This will keep your car clean and free of saltwater and keep all of your stuff in one spot. I stickered up my bin and use the lid to keep wax and sunblock. Whenever I need to clear my car of surf gear I just have to grab the bin.
Do I even have to write this one down? Obviously having an extra bar or two of wax in your kit will be a lifesaver on days where you forget to reload. I have personally been a user of Sticky Bumps for my entire surfing life, but many people I know swear by Sex Wax. If you want to keep your wax supply off your other stuff, you can get a nifty little wax box and comb combo to keep everything neat and tidy. However, now Sticky Bumps comes in cardboard boxes so it’s a bit more neat to begin with.