The Most Important Surfing Gear for Beginners: 7 Essential Items

If you are new to surfing or considering trying it, it's likely that you don't yet own a surfboard. This is perfectly normal, as most beginners choose to rent or borrow gear from friends initially.

However, if you're looking to take your surfing to the next level and invest in your own equipment, we have some tips.

It's important to note that as a beginner, you don't need to purchase all of the gear at once, as this can be quite expensive. While there are certain gadgets and equipment that can enhance your surfing experience, there are also essential items that can make or break your surfing session.

To help you out, we've compiled a list of the must-have surfing equipment for beginners.


The most important piece of equipment for any surfer is the surfboard. When choosing a surfboard, beginners should look for a board that is both stable and easy to maneuver. Longboards or foam boards are great options for those just starting out, as they provide the necessary stability to balance on the waves and catch your first rides.

As you progress, you can try out different board shapes and sizes to find the perfect fit for your surfing style. Ultimately, the right surfboard will make all the difference in your surfing experience.

When it comes to caring for your surfboard, it's important to rinse it with freshwater after each use to prevent salt buildup and damage to the board. Additionally, storing it in a cool, dry place can help extend its lifespan.


Even in warmer waters, a wetsuit is a must-have for any surfer. Not only does it keep you warm, but it also provides an extra layer of protection against the sun, waves, and potential scrapes and cuts.

When choosing a wetsuit, look for one that fits snugly but still allows for comfortable movement. A wetsuit that is too loose can let in water and make you feel weighed down, while a wetsuit that is too tight can restrict your movement and make it difficult to paddle and catch waves.

After each use, rinse your wetsuit with freshwater and hang it up to dry. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage the material.

Surf Leash

A surf leash is a crucial safety accessory for any surfer. This simple piece of equipment attaches to your ankle and to the surfboard, keeping you connected to your board at all times. In the event that you fall off your board, the leash ensures that your board doesn't drift away and become a hazard to other surfers.

When choosing a surf leash, make sure it is the appropriate length for your board and your skill level. A leash that is too short can restrict your movement, while a leash that is too long can become tangled or caught on the ocean floor.

After each use, rinse your surf leash with freshwater and hang it up to dry. It's also a good idea to inspect it for any signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or stretching, before each use.

Surf Wax

Surf wax is a sticky substance that is applied to the surface of the surfboard to provide traction for your feet. Without surf wax, it can be difficult to stay balanced on the board and catch waves.

When choosing a surf wax, consider the water temperature and the type of board you have. Softer wax is better for colder water temperatures, while harder wax is better for warmer water temperatures. Additionally, different types of boards may require different types of wax.

To apply surf wax, rub it in a circular motion onto the deck of the board, focusing on the areas where your feet will be. Use enough wax to create a textured surface, but not so much that it becomes clumpy or slippery.


Surfers are often exposed to high levels of noise from the waves and wind, which can lead to ear infections and hearing loss over time. Earplugs are a simple and effective way to protect your ears from these risks.

When choosing earplugs, look for ones that are specifically designed for water sports and provide a watertight seal. It's also important to make sure they fit comfortably and securely in your ears.

After each use, rinse your earplugs with freshwater and let them dry completely before storing them in a clean, dry place.

Surf Travel Bag

If you plan on traveling with your surfboard, a surf travel bag is a must-have. Not only does it protect your board from damage during transportation, but it also provides a convenient way to carry your board and other gear.

When choosing a surf travel bag, make sure it is the appropriate size for your board and has enough padding to protect it from bumps and scratches. Look for features such as wheels and straps to make it easier to transport, and consider additional storage space for other gear such as wetsuits and surf wax.

After each use, rinse your surf travel bag with freshwater and let it dry completely before storing it in a clean, dry place.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Finally, don't forget about the importance of sunscreen when surfing. However, it's important to choose a reef-safe sunscreen that won't harm the ocean environment.

Reef-safe sunscreens are free of harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can damage coral reefs and other marine life. Look for sunscreens that use natural ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which provide effective sun protection without harming the environment.

Apply sunscreen generously and frequently, especially to areas such as the face, neck, and ears that are more exposed to the sun. And remember, even on cloudy days, UV rays can still penetrate the skin, so always wear sunscreen when surfing.

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