Finally the time has come and your surf holiday is just around the corner – flights and surf camp are booked, your countdown on your desk is ready and your anticipation of sun, beach and waves is almost unbearable.
Still you are feeling a little stressed when you think about packing? Doesn’t matter if it is your first or another surf holiday – you want to think about everything or forget nothing. Sure, especially at surf spots in Europe you are not totally off the hook. So you can still find surf shops in the smallest villages of France, Spain or Portugal. Nevertheless – it’s better to have everything with you so you can concentrate on the essentials – your surf course. For this case we have put together a short list with the essentials for your suitcase so that you can concentrate on your wave anticipation.
The European summer is hot. Beach days and tanning are at the top of the list alongside surfing. Nevertheless, the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean should not be underestimated. Despite the hot outside temperatures, the moody Atlantic remains constantly refreshing. In the middle of the year you can expect a little over 20 degrees. In the months of the low season rather so around 17 degrees. Therefore you can’t avoid a wetsuit for surfing and you will quickly notice that a good Neo pays off. Mobility and flexibility, fit, warm fleece and fast drying material.
Best advise is you go find your local surf shop or sports shop and try out models of a few different brands. When buying a wetsuit, it’s a good idea not to buy online. Especially if it is your first wetsuit. A good one must be able to do a lot of things:
- It has to be hard-wearing, because it is put on and taken off at least twice a day. It must fit perfectly and must not be too big or too small, especially at the neck, armpits and crotch. Otherwise, water will enter. This is not only cold, but also makes you heavier and more immobile. All reasons that exhaust you more quickly and possibly shorten your surfing session.
- That brings us to the next point. The Neo has to keep you warm of course. In the Atlantic a 3’2 or 4’3 is enough in summer. The numbers indicate the thickness of the material in mm. Depending on how sensitive you are, it is advisable to choose a thicker or thinner one.
- Helpful features are a nice plus. A warm fleece in the chest and back area, for example, keeps you warm and is especially great if you want to go surfing in cooler months.
- The seams: When processing the seams, make sure that they are sealed at least from the inside and that the Neo consists of only a few elements. The seams are the weak point of the suit and have to endure the most – so the fewer the seams, the better.
- If the neo-purchase is still too much for you at the beginning, don’t stress yourself with it. A good surf school will provide you with the right wetsuit as part of your surf course.
#2 The Surf Poncho
The poncho is my absolute favourite on a surf trip. It is pretty much everything in one – beach towel, towel, changing aid and cuddly bathrobe beach style. Such a terry poncho is the ideal companion when you are on your way to the beach or looking for waves. You only want to put on the Neo at the last moment and usually have to do so in the company of many people on the beach. Forget all the towel tricks for changing. With the poncho nothing flashes and slides. After surfing it is an oversized towel and a cuddly blanket in one. Especially great on colder days!
You can get such a cape in every surf shop and in different designs and materials. Girls should make sure that they choose a poncho with slightly longer sleeves so that they can’t look into your side.
#3 Zinc and sunscreen
Taking sun protection with you on holiday is old news. Especially in the south the sun is more intense, you are more outdoors and therefore exposed to the sun longer. A high sun protection factor is therefore particularly relevant.
For extra protection in the water it is recommended to have Surf-Zink with you. Conventional sun cream often runs into the eye, burns and provides an oily film in the eye. In combination with small sand particles in the water, this can lead to inflammation. Zinc is waterproof and does not run. When buying, be sure to choose a paste made from natural components to do your skin extra good and not dry it out.
#4 Cap and Beanie
A surf day is usually divided into two surf sessions. Depending on the tide and wind you go into the water at different times of the day. Or you simply take a break in between.
Basically, the biggest part of the day you are on the beach. That’s why it’s advisable to have a cap with you so as not to get too much sun on your head. On the beach it can be windy or the weather can be a bit grumpier – then it is good if you also have a beanie with you so as not to catch a cold with wet hair. Despite beautiful weather it can get fresh after surfing – both cap and beanie contribute to your comfort.
The Drybag is your waterproof companion on your surf holiday – come rain or flood. The practical bag is available in various sizes, so that everything from room keys to purse, sunglasses and changing clothes always finds a safe and dry place. You will be especially thankful to have such a drybag when you come out of the water and the tide arrives at your towel faster than you thought.
With our 5 packing tips you are super prepared for your upcoming surf trip. These are essentials, things we think should be in your suitcase to have everything you need for your surfing holiday.