GET THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL PACKING LIST! (Yes. It's editable, printable & FREE)

Support TFG by using the links in our articles to shop. We receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) so we can continue to create helpful free content. We earn from qualifying purchases made to the featured retailers. Thank you, we appreciate your support!


Traveling abroad to attend surf camp? These are the five surf trip essentials not to forget before your first lesson!


Surf Trip Essentials

Written By: Annie Jarvis


Last year I had my first ever surfing experience and although it was one of the highlights of my trip, there are definitely some things I wish I have known before I started.

While surfing tends to look unbelievably cool in photos, it is an unbelievably exhausting sport that can lead to even some of the most glamorous women looking somewhat disheveled.  Below is a list of five surf trip essentials that I think are absolutely crucial if you’re trying surfing for the first time!


Hair brush and Conditioner


Sun Bum Beach Formula / Briogeo Hair Mask / Tangle Teezer Brush / Ribbon Ties


If I could recommend one thing to any woman with medium to long hair, it’s to take a hair brush and LOTS of conditioner or detangler. While I don’t always use my hair brush on the go, it was definitely my best friend on this trip.

As a first time surfer I found myself under the water most of the time, constantly being knocked off my board and tumbled around by the waves.

I started off with a hair tie, soon to realize this did not last under the pressure of the sea, and found my hair flying all over the place. When I returned to the camp I noticed my hair had the biggest knots in it, which took hours and hours to detangle.

Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, a tangle-free comb or brush plus conditioner and post-water detangler should top the list of your surf trip essentials. 


We recommend using ribbon, not regular, hair ties because they help alleviate knots from water activities (even swimming) and they also prevent hair breakage!


Rash Guard



O’Neill Print Rash Guard / Roxy Rashguard / Seafolly Sunvest Rashguard


One of the surf trip essentials I never thought to take was a rash guard – I ended up borrowing one from a friend the entire week.

If you’re taking a few lessons with a school they may well lend you this along with a helmet, however if you’re going it alone I would recommend buying or renting one, even for a day.

Yes it does look really cool being able to stand on a surfboard in a bikini or bathing suit, but when your chest and stomach is red raw that image you were hoping for doesn’t quite look the same.

As a first time surfer you’ll spend a lot of time lying down on your board (as well as under it) and as beginner boards are made from foam this can be really uncomfortable on bare skin. Wear a rash vest while surfing and you’ll enjoy the experience a lot more.


As a bonus you can also wear a rash guard for other water activities like snorkeling, too! Here are a few athletic bikini styles to match.


Fresh Water


Rehydration Salts


Surfing can be a really physical and exhausting sport, especially for a beginner. Not only do you exert a lot of energy by paddling out, you also get tossed and turned by the sea, draining your body of energy and sometimes forcing you to take a gulp of salty sea water.

Take a large bottle of fresh water on any surf trip so you can rehydrate and re-energize in between sessions. This will also allow you to last a bit longer and take away the horrible taste of unwanted salt water in your mouth!


Some countries have bottled water without minerals so add electrolytes or rehydration salts to help quench your thirst!


Dry Bag


Dry Bag


Whether you’re going to a surf camp or spending a day at the beach a dry bag is a great accessory for anyone interested in water sports.

While you won’t take it in the water with you, some surf trips include a boat ride out to the perfect surf spot, which means you may need to take valuables or money with you.

Dry bags come in a variety of sizes and fold down to keep all of your belongings completely dry, even if you are being splashed by waves. They are also great for storing things like sunblock, fresh water and a spare towel for when you come out of the sea!


A dry bag is a must for scuba diving, too. Find out what else you need!


Reef friendly Sunblock




Sunblock is another really important surf trip essentials that will protect you while you’re surfing. One thing I learned from my first experience is that you can spend a long time sitting or lying on your board waiting for the next wave.

While this is a really relaxing and therapeutic part of the sport it can also be the most dangerous and damaging to your skin as you are literally just sitting directly under the sun.

Find a reef friendly sunblock that protects your skin from the sun and protects the reef from harsh chemicals. As the majority of normal sunblocks contain chemicals harmful to the reef, have a look at eco-friendly biodegradable creams that won’t damage the reef beneath your board.


Take a look at more eco-friendly, biodegradable soap and other toiletries!


What are your surf trip essentials? Comment below!


For even more beach tips, please read:





Hope you liked this post on five surf trip essentials. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

 photo 12016489_10156097335005252_2100024296_n_zpsayngpnvo.jpegAuthor Bio: Annie Jarvis is relatively new to the traveling world and has just completed a five month journey around South East Asia, India and the US. She loves diving, skiing, cooking and hiking and in particular she loves to write about her adventures on her Refreshing the Page blog.