In over ten years of surfing, I’ve tried a lot of atypical accessories myself, including a Shark Camo decal that has worked (so far) to deter toothy attacks on my fish surfboard.
"These things will make the whole surf experience easier and more fun!"
So here’s a list of useful gear that you might not know about, things that make the whole surf experience easier or more fun and let you focus on riding the waves.
N.B. Most of these products are available from the USA, but we've included some European equivalents where possible.
[part title="Trunq Surf Utility Box"]
You need a big plastic box to hold your surf gear, right? Especially if you want to keep the sandy and sodden stuff confined in you car post-surf.
The cheap plastic bins I bought at Target never lasted long, but I found a sturdier solution: the Trunq Surf Utility Box.
It stood the test of time and only my 2009 SurfAid sticker gives away its age. It’s also got a changing mat and a tray for organizing little stuff.
[part title="Surf Lock Car Key Security Padlock"]
I shudder when I see other surfers “hiding" their keys above their car’s tire. Yeah, I saw that, and maybe a thief did too.
A better solution is the Surf Lock Car Key Security Padlock. The padlock fits over a car door handle or through a wheel rim, and your car key – or a set of keys; it’s roomy – fits inside.
The box locks up tight with a combination you set yourself. This won’t work with those convenience keys that operate near the car, but it’s great if you have an ordinary electronic fob you can’t get wet.
[part title="Changing Towel"]
On a rainy day, I watched my surf buddy change into his wetsuit while simultaneously holding a towel around his waist and an umbrella. I’m not that coordinated, and as a woman, I’ve got more to cover up.
Fortunately, I’ve also got a Changing Towel, like this one from Robie Robe. It’s basically two thick towels sewn together but with reinforced openings for your arms and head, plus a small pocket.
There’s plenty of room to change underneath, with no more worries about flashing the parking lot. And in a pinch, it can do double-duty as a board sock on short trips.
Buy the Robie Robe here.
[part title="Surf-Fur Waterproof Parka"]
If you surf in colder climes, it’s worth investing in a Surf-Fur Waterproof Parka.
On cold days, my Surf-Fur kept me warm while I checked the waves, and after getting out of the water, I’d wrap it around my shivering self and instantly feel much warmer.
Now that I’m living near the beach, I put it on over my dripping wetsuit and drive home without getting my cloth car seats wet and salty.
The parka also has through-slits in the large side pockets, if you want to change underneath while staying warm and covered.
[part title="Pro Teck Fins"]
Fins are sharp – arguably the most dangerous part of your surfboard. But they don’t have to be.
SurfCo Hawaii makes Pro Teck fins, “with flexible leading and trailing edges designed to enhance board performance and reduce fin cuts," according to the company’s website.
They’re available with rigid to flexible cores, depending on your ability level. The company says “the flexible edge also creates a ‘rudder action’" for “tighter and more fluid turns, similar to the fins of dolphins and sharks."
These fins have saved me from injury more than once. And who doesn’t want to surf like a dolphin?
[part title="Tangle-Free Leash"]
You paddle into a wave, start to pop up, and – ugh! Your leash is wrapped around your leg.
That hasn’t happened to me in years, since I started using a Surf More XM Tangle Free Surfboard Leash.
It’s just like a regular or comp-lite leash, except for the small sliding weight that holds it under the water and away from your feet.
I’ve used tangle-free leashes in all sorts of conditions and at breaks with heavy seaweed, and it performs like any other – but very rarely ensnares my legs at an inopportune time.
Buy Surf More XM Tangle Free Leash here.
[part title="Hot Jugz Portable Shower"]
Some beaches have showers for a quick rinse after surfing. But if you’re headed off the beaten path, or just want warm water instead of cold, a Hot Jugz Portable Shower can’t be beat.
Just fill it up with 2 gallons of hot water before you leave home, and it’ll stay warm for up to four hours. For a less expensive and lower-tech option, try the Hug-a-Jug.
Either way, you’ll be able to rinse off the salt and sand, peel off your wetsuit more easily, and warm up a little too.
[part title="Rail Grabber"]
When I was still riding a longboard, it was always awkward to carry to and from the beach.
Since the board was too wide to tuck under my arm, I’d have to rest it on a hip or atop my head. If only I’d known about the Rail Grabber.
Designed by surfing legend Linda Benson, it’s a lightweight, cushioned hook with a handle that lets anyone carry a wide surfboard with ease.
Buy Rail Grabber here.
[part title="Wetsuit Hanger"]
Did you know that drying your wetsuit on an ordinary hanger will shorten its life? That’s the quickest way to overstretch the neck and shoulders.
After a freshwater rinse, it’s best to hang your wetsuit by its middle over a wide hanger, and it may even get dry faster.
The HangGoose is a lovely but pricey option that has room for most of your neoprene gear – wetsuit, booties and gloves.
You can also find inexpensive wide plastic hangers made for wetsuits, and others that will drain and dry your booties and other accessories.