Your surf holiday “Pack List” – what should i really not forget?

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Your surf holiday “Pack List” – what should i really not forget?


52°22′N 4°54′E

Surfing is becoming increasingly popular, that’s for sure! There is all of a sudden a lot of new surfers, every year thousands of Dutch people go on a surfing holiday for the first time. A question we often get from ‘first-timers’ is: what should we actually take with us? To prepare you extra well for the summer to come, we would like to recommend the following essentials.


If you are not sure yet what kind of surfing holiday suits you best, you can always get in contact with us so we can tailor make you your perfect surf holiday.

The SurfaWhile Essential Packing List:

  1. Sunscreen : Big shock, surfing is done on the ocean! Here you are at an even greater risk of sunburn due to the reflective nature of the water. The fact that you (often) wear a wetsuit will not save you. The most vulnerable spots are the backs of your legs and your neck as they are in direct contact with the sun while on the board. Give special attention to your hands, feet, neck and face!
  2. Your SurfaWhile E-Book: We here at SurfaWhile have compiled all our intimate knowledge of surfing ( How to surf, the history of surfing, techniques) into a crucial E-Book. Take it with you to help you study the tricks and tips you need to master your first surf lessons. We also help you with the surf lingo you will need in the water!
  3. A cap:  Sipping beers on the beach, hanging out at the skate park and wandering the streets of the local town are all unified by there exposure to the sun. A cap can certainly be useful, especially for balding men . Purchase a surf cap from your surf camp so you can remain protected and take home a cool souvenir of your trip.
  4. Bedding: A trap that beginner surfers always fall into is they are unaware that bedding at surf camps can often cost money to rent or is sometimes omitted all together. Always check with your destination or with SurfaWhile to find out before you leave, a lightweight sleeping bag or duvet and pillows are a must.
  5. A reusable water bottle: The unsung hero of all surf camps. Surfers are, as you would imagine, very environmentally conscious people. The best way to help the natural landscape of the campsites and beaches is to bring a reusable water bottle such as dopper. There is very often only one water pipe at camp that you can fill up from, so dont be the guy carrying a crate of Evian bottles to his tent. Pick up a piece of litter per day.
  6. A portable charger: Whilst many surf camps, such as these luxury glamping sites, provide electricity and outlets in the tents. Many do not and therefore it is a must to pack a proper portable charger for your phone and camera!
  7. Your own cutlery: The communal and social atmosphere of surf camps means that you often all eat together and help eachother clean up after. The pro tip is to bring your own set of cutlery and a plate as many dont provide them as there is no dishwashers at surf camps located in more remote environments. It saves on water!
  8. A bath towel : before or after surfing it is of course wonderful to lie on the beach. Take a nice large bath towel for this and for a shower!
  9. Antibacterial gel : This gel is ideal for traveling. For example, if you travel by bus to your surfing destination, it can be very nice to disinfect your hands.

Luxuries and Additional essentials.

  1. Camera / GoPro : photos are very important during this active holiday. You will see that so much happens during the week (or several) that you will need help remebering every adventure you expereincced. Action photos / videos surfing are of course very cool to have. Also don’t forget your charger and an extra memory card! Pro tip: if you can afford spending the extra money, a glass-house ( a plastic case for all cameras), will allow you to take pictures underwater.
  2. Flashlight : A flashlight can be very useful for evenings at the campsites that are often immersed in darkness. Or maybe you need it at night if you and your group are going for a beach walk!
  3. Cards: bring a game of cards or other games. You will be happy with this, both during the trip to your destination and during your stay. With cards and a few dice you usually get a good group up and running!
  4. A portable speaker: This one really speaks for itself. Somebody needs to be responsible for playing all the Jack Johnson, Beach boys and Dick Dale tunes….it may as well be you!
  5. Tiger Balm: Surfing is a sport! Like any other sport it really hurts your muscles especially in the early stages, so a good muscle rub or heat balm can be great for unwinding the strain.
  6. Wash bag : at the campsites or in another type of accommodation it is not always obvious that shampoo, shower gel or soap is present. Take some body moisturizer and lip balm as being in the water all day can really drain and crack your skin. So it certainly doesn’t hurt to take this with you.
  7. Proof of identity : make sure you can identify yourself. A driver’s license is still not recognized everywhere in Europe, so get an ID card or a passport. This is also useful for when you want to enter the bars and clubs, but you also often need it for your accommodation. Try and take an alternative to a passport so you dont have to take it on boozy nights out.
  8. Warm clothing : it can sometimes cool down considerably in many warm places, so make sure you also have a warm baggy hoodie and long trackpants for maximum comfort round the log fire. You better have too much than too little with you.
  9. Swimwear : provide an easy swimsuit (you must be able to move freely while surfing) or bikini and slippers. Furthermore, a headgear and sunglasses must not be missing
  10. Snack: after a surfing session it may well be that you are suddenly very hungry. Make sure you always have a snack: Almonds, protein bars, smoothie, beef jerky or a sandwich. This makes it much easier to bridge the time until dinner. 

Furthermore surfing is really an intensive sport, so use the things you bring to better your experience as a whole. Always make sure you are in good condition! If you could still use some inspiration choosing a destination, take a look at our overview of surfing vacations .

Chris

I am a Journalist, Photographer & Musician from North London. I arrived at SurfaWhile after finishing my Masters in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. I aim to find and write about the hidden gems of the surfing world to inspire your next surf holiday as well as interviewing exiting talents in our international surf community.

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