If you'll be spending weekends or a vacation at the beach this summer, why not pick up a new (and, more importantly, fun) hobby that can also count as your workout in the water? Surfing is just that hobby. Though we love a lazy day relaxing on the sand, nothing rivals the natural high of catching your first wave. Not only will it help keep you in shape, but paddling out to the open sea is also a great way to spend time in the water while working on your sun tan (but don't go without sunscreen). Aside from the obvious surfboard, there are a few necessities to know about before you take up the summer sport. To help you prepare like a pro, we tapped the experts from Air & Speed Surf Shop in Montauk, New York, who provided a master list of essentials to stock up on before you start shredding. Below is everything you'll need (and why) to hang ten this summer.
If there's one thing you need to surf, it's a surfboard. Stability and paddling speed are key when it comes to progressing, and a longboard will help a beginner out with both. Typically between 8 and 10 feet, a longboard will have you up and shredding in no time.
Foot placement is important when catching a wave. A traction pad can be placed at the bottom of the board for a better grip and will also help guide your feet into the right position to make a graceful top turn.
You may not see the local pros wearing one, but as a beginner, you'll need a leash. This keeps the board attached to your leg, preventing it from crashing into the rocks, beach, or fellow surfers.
Not all wetsuits are created equal; they are measured in millimeters for thickness and warmth, so you'll choose which wetsuit to wear depending on water temperature or season. A 2 mm spring suit (short arm, short leg) is perfect for summer.
You'll work up a sweat while shredding, so make sure you have a designated shaded space to cool down. Lovin' Summer's tents are lightweight and collapsible, making them easy to carry on your trek to and from the beach. The best part? They're UPF 40, so they block more than 97.5% of UV rays.
Even if you're just starting your surf career, it helps to look the part. Pick up some gear from your local surf shop (we're partial to the rad tees and sweatshirts from Montauk's Air & Speed), which will give you instant
street surf cred.
You'll notice these fins on the bottom side of a surfboard. Their purpose? To keep the board moving in the right direction. A beginner board typically comes in a tri- or single-fin setup.
You'll be exhausted (in the best way possible) after your first session in the water. Have a big beach blanket ready for a much-needed nap, and as a place to lay out a picnic and fuel up for the next wave.
Sometimes it's just too hot for a wetsuit. When the sun is shining and water temperatures warm up, you can get away with wearing only a rash guard on top. Rash guards prevent chafing and skin irritation and can also provide some extra SPF protection.
Surfboards are slippery when wet, and wax is used to help you grip the board and prevent your feet from sliding off. You should wax your board every few sessions for optimal traction. The type of wax depends on the water temperature, so if you're surfing in the summer, you'll want to coat your board with warm-water wax.
Especially while you're exposed out on the water, it's so important to protect yourself from the sun. This zinc oxide cream from Badger Balm is made with all-natural, organic ingredients and is water- and sweat-resistant, so you'll stay safe from even the strongest rays while you surf. This solution is also biodegradable and safe for coral reefs and other ecosystems, so it's the ideal sunblock to wear surfing.
It's best to keep your belongings safe from sand and seagulls while you're out on the water. Mar y Sol's chic beach tote stores your sunscreen, sandwich, and sunglasses in style.
You'll want to document your progress, which is easy to do in the water when you have a floatation device for your GoPro. The waterproof camera's floaty will prevent you from watching your prized photos sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Are you interested in taking up surfing this summer?