I love those “what’s in your bag” features in magazines. So for fellow nosy peeps, here’s what I pack for warm water surfing. I’ve only done a handful of tropical trips, but I’m fast learning what (and what not) to take.

Here’s some of the items from my bag from a recent trip to Costa Rica (more on that, soon).

Water water surf packing


  • Stay put bikinis/shorts for surfing – One thing I learnt, fast, was that most normal bikinis are useless in the surf! I invested in a surf-specific one pretty quickly. Personally, I find any bikini bottoms and shorts without tie string come straight off as soon as I wipe out.
  • Other bikinis – My first warm water trip I only had two bikinis. I’ve now come to the conclusion you can never have too many.
  • Tropical/warm water wax.
  • Cover ups – If your skin is anything like mine (English, very pale) then some kind of cover up for the surf is pretty much essential. Even if you’re not, you might want one for the surf rub. I pack long sleeved rash vests and surf leggings.
  • Lightweight turkish towel – I got mine from Surf Sistas and it is incredible. It takes up no space, plus doubles as a scarf for keeping warm on the plane and a sarong or cover up in the sun.
  • First aid – This stuff is pretty boring but I’m always glad I have it. Especially spray on waterproof plaster (for keeping cuts dry), Vaseline/Sudocrem – for soothing rub (the downside of surfing without a wetsuit) and diarrhoea tablets.
  • Sunblock.

Also useful:

  • Spare fin keys.
  • Bikini bag.
  • Pipe insulation (for protecting surfboard in transit).
  • Spring suit – Worth packing if there might be chilly mornings (I’m always surprised that you can actually get cold, even in tropical water).

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