Going on a surf trip, there are important basics that we all know to take. A wetsuit is handy, as is a board and a tonne of Mr Zog's Sex Wax!
But there are always more things to remember than you think, and some surf essentials that even the most weathered surfers sometimes find themselves without!
The only way to create the definitive list of surf accessories that you need to live in the water, is to live as a surfer, so we've asked Abi Carver, yoga and surf extraordinaire and the creator of the awesome Yoga15, to make us a list of the accessories only a surfer would know about.
"I'm writing from Rapture Surf Camp in Padang Padang, Bali – taking a recovery day to nurse some vicious reef cuts on my toes and an impressive bruise on my inner thigh" says Abi.
"I’ve come with a seasoned surf camp pro so we’ve been pretty well-equipped for the trip but there are definitely a few things that have really come in useful that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. Here are 15 of the most crucial!"
You can follow Abi's adventures on Instagram here, and find her short yoga videos and pose tutorials to refer to when you’re on your own trip a lifetime!
1. Wide-tooth comb.
Salt water makes your hair incredibly knotty, and if it wasn’t for my pink, plastic wide-tooth comb I’d have some pretty gnarly dreadlocks by now.
A lot of campers are getting stinging eyes from the sea, sun and potentially a few too many Bintangs (Bali beer), so eyedrops have been a godsend for reducing pink eye and soreness.
Painkillers are pretty easy to come by wherever you are but the muscular aches and pains you’ll get from upping your exercise intensity can be reduced significantly with anti-inflammatories.
4. Surf/Yoga pants
These have been an absolute revelation this trip. As well as looking super cool, the Okiino mermaid yoga pants I’m wearing in the title pic double up for yoga and for surf. They’ve protected me from burning the back of my legs – a common rookie mistake – and getting a rash on the fronts of my thighs from the board. They’re also quick-dry so you can bust out a few yoga moves on the beach after your surf sesh to stretch out any tight muscles.
5. Yoga 15 For Surfers.
Speaking of tight muscles, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you need to look after your body while you’re doing such intense exercise. Have regular massages, sleep as much as you can, take days off when you need to and try to do some yoga every day. If you don’t fancy going to a class, you can download this series of vids before you leave so that you have them saved for your trip. The series is designed specifically for the aches and pains that surfers experience – whether you’re a beginner or a pro – and they’re just 15 minutes each.
In my defence, this is not a recommendation I came up with myself but my fellow campers assure me that it is essential. It’s generally not going to be hard to meet people when you’re on a surf trip, especially with everyone looking so beautiful in bikinis and boardies, but you can never be too sure with these sorts of things, so why not download a dating app to your phone before you go.
7. Wet wipes
You’re going to need zinc to protect your face from burning when you’re out on the water. The only problem is that it’s tough to get off your skin but wet wipes should do the trick. Also, be careful not to get zinc on your clothes as it can be a nightmare to wash off.
Towels get wet and heavy pretty quickly so pack a sarong for the beach that you can air dry in the sun.
9. Spray-on plasters
This is some seriously cool technology and can be a lifesaver for any cuts and scrapes you pick up during your trip.
Make sure you have everything you need to charge your devices when you’re abroad.
11. Silicon earplugs
Essential for a good night’s sleep, especially if Tinder has proved successful for campers in the room next door.
12. Offline playlists
Back at camp and in the car on the way to the breaks – you’ll need some banging playlists to soundtrack your trip. And I heard some unusual advice from one of the surf instructors here who recommends listening to classical music to calm the nerves and get you in the right frame of mind before heading out into the waves.
I’ve lived in Mexico for 6 years so I’m pretty immune to tummy troubles but nearly everyone I know gets a stomach bug when they travel to exotic places. The last thing you want to experience is a rumbly tummy when you’re out on the water, far from a bathroom. Did I hear someone say ‘aqua dump’?
14. Rehydration salts
Make sure you double the amount of water you usually drink as you're increasing your exercise and most likely out in the heat for several hours in the midday sun. Dehydration can be very dangerous and unpleasant so taking rehydration salts is a smart idea.
15. Go Pro
One guy on our camp brought a drone which was awesome, but people have also got some great footage on their Go Pros. Make sure you pack all the attachments you need to document all the different parts of your trip – the board mount, chest strap, selfie stick etc.