One of my favorite things about surfing is how beautifully little the sport requires. All you need is a swimsuit/trunks, board, leash, maybe a wetsuit and you’re good to go.
While the minimalism of the sport is undeniably awesome, there are still loads of surf accessories that can make your life easier, and are also just super FUN.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself, or buying a gift for the surfer in your life, here are the 23 BEST surf accessories for surfers of all levels!
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Best Surf Accessories under $10
P.s. these also make GREAT stocking stuffers!
1. Ding Repair Kit
A ding repair kit is honestly a must-have for all surfers. Nothing quite puts a damper on a surf session like discovering a ding on your board right before you’re about to paddle out.
Or worse, when you unzip your board bag after PAYING to fly it somewhere, only to discover that American Airlines somehow managed to chop the tip of the nose clean off your board (true story), this happened one time to Rowan while he was flying out to California to come surfing in SLO.
While mini ding repair kits can only do so much, having it with me has SAVED me a couple of times, and now I never travel without it.
2. Fin Key Set
If you don’t already have one, it’s high time to get a fin key for your board. These are a necessity for changing your fins out, and they’re cheap enough to where it’s totally worth investing in a spare one.
3. Waterproof Key Holder
This waterproof key holder is a necessity. If you have an electric key fob, you can stick it in here and safely take it out with you into the surf.
Even if you don’t have a car with an electric key fob, you may end up renting one on a surf trip someday, and it’s TOTALLY worth having it.
Last year while on a Costa Rica surf trip, we rented a car with an electric key fob and resorted to burying the key (in a ziploc bag) in the sand every session. Not ideal!
4. Wax Box + Comb
Ah yes- nothing quite like your block of wax completely melting into the upholstery of your car in the summertime… or is that just me?
Anyways, if you want to keep your wax together, clean, and ahem… not melted into your car, a wax box is an awesome surf accessory. This one even comes with a comb! Also, if you’re curious about the need for wax, read up on my post about why surfers wax their boards.
Best Surf Accessories under $20
5. Changing Mat
A decent changing mat is a surf accessory that every surfer needs. Changing out of a wetsuit while standing on concrete or gravel is not only uncomfortable, but is also a good way to rip your wetsuit.
A changing mat is especially nice too if you’re parked in a dirt parking lot, and don’t want to get your gear all muddy.
This Core changing mat and bag is awesome because it’s dual purpose! You can stand on it while changing out of your suit, and then throw your wetsuit, surf booties, swimsuit, and towel in the back and it’ll keep your car clean and dry.
6. Reef friendly sunscreen
One of the most important surf accessories is reef safe sunscreen for surfers. Surfers spend hours and hours under the sun, and without proper protection, that exposure can lead to some serious sun damage. Proper sunscreen can fix that problem!
You don’t want to buy just any old sunscreen though- the ONLY sunscreens that surfers (and anyone, for that matter) should buy is a reef safe kind!
Here’s a great guide to what actually makes a sunscreen reef safe.
Although more and more awareness has been raised on this issue, the majority of sunscreen brands use chemicals that are toxic to coral reefs.
By investing in some high-quality reef-friendly sunscreen, you’re not only protecting yourself, but also the ocean! Good sunscreen for surfing is one of the most important pieces of surfing equipment you can buy.
7. Travel Coffee Mug
Surf checks and morning coffee are the perfect duo. There’s nothing quite like rolling up to the spot in your pjs, looking out over the surf and deciding what board to take out.
A nice, high-quality coffee mug makes the perfect surf accessory.
8. Leave-in Conditioner
If you spend a lot of time in the water, then you know how the sun and salt can totally bleach and crisp your hair.
Salty surf curls can be super fun, but over time it can cause a decent amount of damage.
One of my favorite go-to surfer accessories is a quality leave-in conditioner I can put in after a surf to protect my hair.
It’s pretty cheap, and it keeps your hair nice and healthy.
9. Dry Bag
A solid dry bag is a necessity when it comes to surf gear. Whether you’re just out exploring your home break, or on an international surf trip, having a dry bag is wildly convenient.
A dry bag is great for your everyday belongings, and it’s also nice to have to throw your wet towel/suit/shorts in and it’ll keep the clothes you’re wearing dry.
Having a dry bag on a surf trip has come in handy so many times. Especially when all of our stuff would have gotten soaked, if it weren’t in a dry bag when we went on a boat trip to a reef break near Sayulita.
10. Eco Friendly Wetsuit Shampoo
One of the best and most useful surf accessories is a good bottle of eco-friendly wetsuit shampoo.
Wetsuits are pretty expensive nowadays, and taking good care of your suit will make it last longer.
A nice rinse after surfing, and the occasional wash with eco-friendly wetsuit shampoo is a great way to not only make your wetsuit last longer, but also to keep it from smelling badly.
Best Surf Accessories under $50
11. Solar Shower
While some surf spots have outdoor showers, many don’t. And when you’re in a more remote surf spot, there’s definitely nowhere to rinse off yourself and your gear.
That’s why a solar shower is one of the BEST surf accessories.
Essentially, you fill it up with water at home, leave it out in the sun while you’re surfing (you can attach it to your roof racks, or even just leave it in a place where some sun comes in through the windows), and BOOM you’ve got yourself a post-surf hot shower.
Not only is a solar shower great to get the salt and sand off of yourself, but if you can use it to rinse off your board/suit every session, your surf gear will last way longer.
Rowan and I used a solar shower pretty much ever day during our two month long surf trip to Portugal.
12. Sandcloud Towel
I absolutely love my SandCloud towel. I use it after I shower, I use it to dry off after a surf, it’s the perfect beach sunset blanket, and you can even wrap yourself up in it like a sarong!
If you’re looking for a stylish and lightweight beach towel, definitely consider a Sandcloud towel because you WILL use it all the time.
They also make awesome surf gifts.
13. Spare Leash
One of the most important surf accessories you can invest in is a spare leash. I know you probably already have a leash, but hear me out- imagine you get out to surf at dawn, and the waves are firing. You suit up, wax your board, and realize your leash is hanging on by a THREAD. It’s not safe to take it out.
Well, if all the surf shops don’t open up for another 3 hours, then you’re pretty much SOL. Unless you have a spare!
Trust me, it’s totally worth it to have an extra.
14. Water Bottle
Spending hours upon hours surfing in the sun is super dehydrating. After a surf session, the first thing I always want to do is chug a bunch of water- which is why I bring my Hydroflask EVERYWHERE.
I’ve had the same Hydroflask for almost 7 years now, and despite almost losing it several times, and dropping it MANY times, it’s still hanging in there.
A Hydroflask is totally worth it, and I recommend it to any surfers out there.
15. Changing Poncho
A surf changing poncho is TRULY a game changer. They’re awesome for changing when it’s freezing, and also make it a whole lot easier to not accidentally… umm flash the whole beach parking lot (sorry Pismo Beach!)
They’re a little expensive, but last forever and are 100% worth the investment. It’s super nice to be able to snuggle up in a fuzzy surf poncho after a chilly morning surf, and I’m stoked to have one.
Best Surf Accessories under $100
16. Wetsuit Dryer
For all the cold water surfers out there, I feel your pain when it comes to pulling on a cold wetsuit in the morning.
Maybe you had just surfed the night before, and it didn’t have time to dry, or maybe you accidentally left it out in the rain (no judgment, we’ve all been there).
Whatever the reason, it’s pretty indisputable that putting on a cold, wet, wetsuit totally sucks.
Well, a great solution to this, is to invest in a wetsuit dryer!
Essentially, a wetsuit dryer is just a big hanger with a fan in the middle that dries off your wetsuit.
This particular high-powered wetsuit dryer pushes out 120 cubic feet of air per minute, and will be the END of you having to put on a cold wetsuit for dawn patrol.
17. Ear plugs
Ear plugs are one of the most important surf accessories you can invest in. I’m not talking about orange foam earplugs either, I mean quality, made-for-surfing ear plugs.
The reason why?
To prevent surfer’s ear.
Surfer’s ear is a painful malady that plagues people who spend thousands of hours in the water, specifically cold water.
Essentially, it is a disease that results in abnormal bone growth as a result of chronic exposure to cold water.
It’s extremely painful, and requires surgery to operate on.
Luckily, surfer’s ear is preventable! You can protect your ears by either wearing a hood, or ear plugs.
These creatures of leisure ear plugs are the best on the market.
They stay in throughout your whole session, and they also allow you to still hear everything, even while protecting your ears.
At $60 they are on the pricey side, but protecting your ears is SO worth the investment. Not to mention, they’re attached super well so you won’t lose them, as opposed to cheaper options which you’ll likely have to replace over and over.
A high-quality cooler is one of the best surfing accessories you can invest in.
Whether you’re bringing food to bbq up after a morning surf, or packing a couple beers to stay cold, you’ll be stoked to have a nice cooler with you.
19. Soft Surf Racks
A soft surfboard rack is a wildly useful surf accessory.
They’re incredibly convenient to use- you just strap them through your car doors and you can fit about 2-4 boards atop your car!
Even if you have roof racks and straps on your car, it’s worth it to buy some soft racks.
Maybe you’ll need to take a friend’s car surfing, and they don’t have racks.
They’re also a great surf trip packing list item- if your rental car doesn’t have roof racks, or room to fit the boards inside, then some soft surf racks can majorly come in handy.
Best surf accessories over $100
20. Surf Watch
Whether you’re trying to keep track of the tides, or simply need to make it out of the water in time for work, a surf watch is one of the best surf accessories you can buy!
If you’re looking to buy a gift for a surfer, a surf watch is an awesome gift. If you’re keen on browsing more surf watches, check out my guide breaking down all the best surf watches currently on the market.
If you love surfing, surf videos, and are thinking about making your own surf videos, a GoPro is a great way to start making surf videos.
They’re SUPER easy to use, the new ones are waterproof, and they take great surf videos.
Final thoughts on the 23 best surf accessories
That just about wraps up my list of the 23 best surf accessories! Whether you’re shopping for yourself, or a loved one who surfs, I hope this list has given you some inspiration on the coolest surf gadgets.