We’ve all left packing for a trip a little bit too last minute – it happens. But usually, when it’s a city break or a summer holiday, this means a bikini left at home, or maybe having to buy a pair of sunglasses at duty free, nothing too savage, but leaving your gear behind when you’re heading for the waves is a little bit more drastic. Plus, safety is obviously a huge issue when it comes to surfing, and you want to make sure you have everything you need. Don’t worry, we have your ultimate surf trip packing list, so that you know exactly what to pack for your Autumn/Winter surf break.
If you’re attending a surf camp, you can disregard this part – they’ll usually supply everything you need, but it’s always worth checking to see if they can provide you with their own surf trip packing list. If you’re surfing solo, obviously you’ll need to bring your own board, and all the gear required alongside it. Pack one surfboard for shorter trips but perhaps two for longer ones – just check with your airline what you’re allowed to bring before you do. Alongside this, bring all the surfing accoutrements that you’d use at home, just in case. Perhaps a spare surfing fin and fin key, leashes and board wax. Even if you think there may be places to buy surfing supplies, never count on it – if you can’t and something breaks, your whole trip will go awry! It’s just always better to be safe than sorry. Browse Wetsuit Centre’s large selection of surf gear and surf boards to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
Of course, a wetsuit in a must - especially when surfing in the Autumn and Winter. Temperatures can be freezing, and a wetsuit will help you remain warm and dry in the freezing cold. Wetsuits trap a thin layer of water between you and the suit and then your body heat warms it, to keep you warm. A wetsuit can also absorb some impact if you are to fall off the board, adding another layer of protection. Wearing a wet suit to surf is a personal choice, but we would always recommend adding one to your surf trip packing list! Wetsuit Centre carries a huge selection of high-quality wetsuits, so that all surfers and Sheilas are catered to, for every autumn surfing destination.
Of course, as well as travel gear, you’ll need all the personal items you’d pack for a normal trip away; clothing, swimsuits, underwear, toiletries and shoes, hats, sunglasses and the like. For surfing trips, hats and sunglasses are key – we’d recommend bringing two of each (cheap is fine!) in case they’re misplaced, get broken on the beach, or fly away when swimming.
Other beach necessities are sun cream and insect repellent – no matter the time of year. Being in the sea and feeling the cool air will always make you think the sun is less potent than it is – this is why we burn so easily in water, and it’s a myth that you can’t burn in winter. Regardless of how easily you burn, always use factor 50 sun cream so you can reapply it less frequently, and so you can see where you have applied it. Insect repellent is really useful for avoiding bug and mosquito bites, too – you don’t want one of those to get infected when you’re in the sea, ouch!
Medication and First Aid
Of course, always check what injections you may need before travelling to any country, but of course bring any medication you take with you, too. We would always recommend bringing a larger supply than you would usually need, too – as you never know, you might want to extend your trip, or unforeseen circumstances might mean you need more than you think. When travelling by aeroplane always bring your medication in your hand luggage so it can’t get lost in transit – everything else can be replaced, your health cannot!
Always bring a first aid kit when surfing, too. We all know how physical surfing can be, so you’ll need a traditional first aid kit, which you can supplement with healthcare medication too, such as painkillers, digestion tablets etc. Preparation is key for your surf trip packing list!
Camera gear and electrical equipment
While bringing electrical equipment to a water based holiday might seem counter-productive (electrics and water do not mix - eek!), but you definitely need your mobile phone, and it’s a good idea to add a portable charger to your surf trip packing list – just in case you’re in a situation where you need help and have no battery left. Travel adaptors for the country you’re visiting are always useful, and it’s a good idea to bring a camera along too, so that you and your friends can capture all your best surfing moments. You could also invest in a waterproof pouch or dry bag for these items, to ensure they don’t get water damaged.
Insurance and documents
As with any sport, there can always be accidents and injuries. Not good. Travel insurance is non-negotiable when it comes to surfing – always remember to bring your documents with you on your travels so that if you do end up in the hospital, you’re not landed with a nasty bill. Also – it should go without saying, but just in case – triple check you’ve got your passport before you head off!