Whether you’re trucking down to Baja, hopping on a flight to Indo, or setting sail for the Canaries, there are a few things you’ll absolutely need for a successful excursion. And I’m not referring to the obvious essentials like passport, cash and toilet paper. I’m talking about five, small, easily overlooked items that are going to make or break your surf holiday. Forget one of these and risk a sour mood on the beach in place of bliss on the epic waves you spent an entire paycheck getting to.
1. Leash Strings – The little cords that connect your leash to your board are easy to take for granted. But lose or snap one and they’re harder to find than a French girl who will actually talk to you. Buy a metre or two of strong nylon string at a sporting goods or hardware store and never worry about attachment issues again. It’s not dumb to carry an extra leash either.
2. Sun Cure – Dinging your board abroad shouldn’t mean wasting time and money getting it patched at the nearest surf shop. A tube of Sun Cure fills cracks and dings in minutes, and a square of sandpaper helps smooth over the new resin. Nothing is going to help if you snap your board, but mending minor dents on the run saves cash and scores you more time in the lineup.
3. Wax – Obviously. What could be worse than finding a perfect, deserted wave and not having enough wax to grip your board? Don’t let this happen to you. Bring plenty of wax from home so it’s one less thing to forget to buy when you arrive. And if you have enough, be generous with it to those less prepared. Kindness is not forgotten and you’ll probably get the nod on a wave or two. Wax combs are high-return investments as well.
4. Fin Key – Don’t forget this tiny tool on your car keys at home. Break a fin without a key and chances are slim you’ll be able to help yourself out on location. Stash it in a pocket of your board bag so you’ll know where to find it. If you can, bring extra fin screws too; you won’t find that loose one that fell out somewhere on the beach yesterday…
5. Duct Tape – Versatile. Strong. Easy to apply and remove. Duct tape is the traveler’s best friend regardless of objective. For surfing, use it to patch dings Sun Cure can’t fix. Its seal is waterproof and will prevent any exposed foam from getting wet. Use it to tape your board bag shut in preemption of any tampering. Use it to secure your gear to the roof rack of a crowded bus or taxi. Use it to close a nasty wound or as an emergency sling for a busted arm. Build and furnish a small home with it, but for God’s sake, man, just be sure to bring it!
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