What to Pack for Your First Trip

What to Pack For Your First Surf Trip?

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Water sports are an excellent way to enjoy and exercise in the sun. Aside from getting much-needed sunlight and fresh air, they’re a great way to lift your spirits and energize you. In a previous post, we covered some water sports to try out, from swimming to surfing. While surfing requires skill and confidence, plenty of resources are available, and professional surfers are willing to help beginners learn. Most beaches that are ideal for surfing typically offer surfing lessons and surfboards for rent, so there’s always an opportunity to learn!

Some studies have also explored the benefits of learning to surf. For example, participants of a surfing course intervention program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo reported a significant increase in overall levels of spirituality. Other studies have also suggested that learning to surf was associated with reductions in physical pain, stress levels, and depressive symptoms. In fact, learning to surf has also led to positive effects in treating polytrauma — a condition in which concurrent brain and other physical injuries can result in psychosocial and cognitive impairments.

Packing for First Surfing Trip
Packing for First Surfing Trip

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to learning to surf. If you want to master the art of riding waves, there’s no better way to learn than going on your first surf trip. Of course, there are essentials you’ll need to pack and bring for your first surfboard ride.


While this may sound like a no-brainer, it can help to consider the kind of surfboard you’ll need. If you’re just starting out, experts recommend soft-top surfboards, which are available in various sizes and offer stability and forgiveness out on the water. If you plan on renting from local surf shops, consider inquiring if they have soft-tops available. Beginner-friendly surf sites like Praia da Luz or Praia do Amado in Lagos, Portugal, offer group surfing lessons and are likely to have the right surfboards for you. Of course, once you get the hang of things and build your confidence, you’ll want to move on to harder boards.


Of course, since you’ll be spending most of your time on and in the waters, proper swimwear is essential. Depending on the average water temps during your surf trip, you’ll have to choose between wearing a swimsuit, board shorts, or a wetsuit. Boardshorts are great for warm surfing destinations like Bali, Indonesia, and boardshorts brands like Oakley offer features for optimum surfing performance. The Oakley Broadshort includes the 4-Way Stretch and quick-drying fabric to help wearers move more comfortably. Note that colder water temperatures may require wearing a wetsuit to keep you warm.


Ocean-friendly sunscreen

Aside from protecting yourself from water temperatures, you should also take measures against the sun. Packing eco-friendly sunscreen is a great way to be responsible for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. These are often made with pure mineral zinc and other natural ingredients, making them reef-safe.

Surf sites with more intense mid-day heat and sun, like Popoyo, Nicaragua, will be a lot more manageable if you have proper sun protection with you. Popoyo also has Beginner Bay, located at the south end of the beach, which offers rolling waves well-suited for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Other essentials

Finally, you don’t want to forget other traveling and beach-type essentials on your first surf trip. Much like your sunscreen, for example, you should consider packing reusable water bottles instead of buying single-use plastic bottles. You should also consider bringing or getting a surf repair kit, as well as a first aid kit, in case of any accidents. If you require any prescription medication, you should have those in your bag, as well as salve for muscle relief and insect repellent if you’re surfing in more tropical locations.

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