A Female Surfers Guide to Packing for a Tropical Surf TripWritten by female surfer girls

Monica Lewis

6 years ago in Travel

It’s guaranteed on every surf trip that you’ll forget something, it’s human nature. But when surfing in the tropics there are a couple items that are essential and others that are just really handy.

Boys have it easy, chuck some board shorts and a stick of zinc in a bag and they’re done, they don’t have to worry about straw hair, baring all in a loose bikini or getting wax on your butt from sitting outback.

Brought to you by surfer girls who also want the glamourous surfing life but understand the struggles – here are our top tropical surf trip packing essentials:

1. Surf Wear
It’s virtually impossible to surf without showing the ocean some covered body parts. Bikinis slip when you duck dive or are fighting the white water and generally stray from their position during your surf. As cute as you look going into the sea, the same is hard to maintain during your session. Sports bras or bikini tops with more coverage are a good place to start if you still want to top up your tan. Rash vests also work well to protect from sun damage, wax rub and eliminate bikini top slippage, paired with some boardshorts you’ve got yourself a solid surf outfit.

But top of the list is a 1mm surf capsule – they come in lush colours, look fly, protect from the sun and prevent flashing and wax rubbing – perfection in one little lightweight suit.

However, if you’re heading to the Surf House in Sri Lanka, you can actually save some space in your luggage and buy these bits in the on site shop there!

2. Zinc
It’s a classic surf essential. It’s worth buying extra zinc or waterproof sun cream to cover not only your face and lips but also your butt and backs of your legs. Suits and shorts move around more than you think in the surf and your legs and butt are exposed constantly so be prepared to avoid burning and just develop that lush tan after instead. If you are surfing a lot and like wearing a bikini, occasionally give your skin a break and cover up more, you’ll thank yourself later.

3. Skin and Hair Care
We all know it, beachy blonde waves and tanned salty skin are a great look. But this can also equal damaged straw-like hair and peeling, dry skin. Leave in hair masks and conditioners are great, they can be thrown in post surf to give protect your hair without taking away your ‘surfer look’. Your skin is equally as important, a good moisturiser is an essential pack as its constantly being beaten up by the sun and salt. Make sure to wash the salt off your face as soon as possible otherwise it’ll dry out and damage your skin. Putting a good moisturiser on before bed will freshen your face and maintain that sun kissed glow.

4. Hair Bands
This seems silly to mention – but even at home you feel like you’ve just bought hair bands and now you have none all in the same day. People borrow them, you leave them lying around and now you have a new contender, the sea stealing them. If you have long hair you’ll understand the dilemma of wanting to leave your hair down but it constantly getting in your face when you pop up or it covering your eyes post duck dive. Don’t underestimate the miracle of a hair band and make sure to pack a good supply as they’ll constantly be getting lost.

And don’t forget the standard packing essentials:

1. Surfboards in a good board bag

You don’t want to have a broken board before you even got off the plane!

2. Fins – two sets!

With a couple of fin keys, they have a habit of running away

3. Leashes

Again more than two, a snapped leash is a pain in the ass

4. Wax, wax, wax and more wax

Make sure it’s suitable for the climate you’re surfing in

5. Reusable water bottle

A dry salty mouth is gross and come on, help the environment out!

6. Travel first aid kit 

Safety first!

7. Towel

Somewhere to lie, keeps the sun off, chuck it in your board bag and extra padding, why not?

8. Passport and travel documents, obviously

9. Mosquito repellant

From personal experience whilst covered in bites, it’s way easier to find a good one in the UK!

10. Electronics, chargers, battery pack, adapters

All the stuff that will probably break but it’s nice to document how rad you look isn’t it

11. Clothes that aren’t surf wear, maybe

12. Toiletries, standard

13. String and pegs

What? Not really essential but a handy make shift clothes line is great when you’re in and out of the water

These items are just a starting point though – after your own adventures you’ll soon discover what is essential for you, share these with your fellow surfer girls and help each other out. Now get out there, be brave, ignore the boys and shred hard!