Updated Feb 13, 2020
It’s the start of a new decade and we’ve compiled a list of gifts that we think surfers will love.
Buying a gift for a surfer is not always easy. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Conditions: what is the water temperature where they surf? How hot is it in summer and how cold in winter? Buying boardshorts for a surfer in the UK or Canada may not be a good idea. If you’re going to buy wax then make sure it is appropriate for the water temperature.
- Skills: how skilled is your giftee? If they are brand new to surfing then they’ll probably need things like a rash vest and new boardshorts for the summer season. They may even need a wetsuit or their own surfboard. Talk to a surf shop assistant to get ideas and don’t spend too much. If they are intermediate or advanced, leave them to get their own equipment. It is better to focus on apparel, accessories and gadgets. Quality towels, surf hats, sunscreen are all excellent options.
- Frequency: how often do they surf? If they surf once a year then maybe buy them a surf book or painting for their home. If they surf once a month then you might consider gadgets and accessories. If they surf every week then chances are they need to upgrade their gear, so boardshorts, rash vests and other items are a good option.
Most importantly, if you’re unsure what to buy the surfer then ask them! I would be disappointed if I received a cheap wetsuit for my birthday because I’d rather wait and save up for a premium model that will last several years. Don’t buy an intermediate surfer a surfboard unless you’ve been to a surf shop with them and seen them drool over a specific model. Chances are you’ll get the volume and sizing wrong.
Hint: a covert strategy for discovering what the surfer in your life wants is to go to the surf shop together. Pretend that you need a new hat and then follow them as they browse the aisles. They may wonder why you’re suddenly so interested in surfing but you’ll definitely get some intelligence.
Don’t forget to check out our product reviews for insights into surf gear tested by our team.
The ultimate guide to surf gifts for 2020
We’ve tried to make life easy for you by formulating a list of surf gift ideas that we really love. Some of the products featured are for men (Rash vest, t-shirts) but the brands (Rip Curl and Hurley) do have matching women’s versions.
In my video guide, I decided to test out the first 8 products… all at the same time! Talk about surf accessorizing.
Unfortunately, the waves were mediocre but I paddled out despite the cold water, proving that that gift number 4 on our list – the Rip Curl Aggrolite 1.5mm Front Zip Jacket – really works.
Check out the video guide and product list below.
1. Ho Stevie surfboard sock
This surfboard sock features a super fluffy, durable knit stretch fabric, a reinforced nose area, drawstring closure and even a Velcro pocket for your wax or keys. The wide tail area means it’s easy to slide your board in and out, even when the board is wet.
2. Hakuna Wear eco-friendly boardshorts
Hakuna Wear boardshorts are made in California from recycled ocean plastic and water bottles. They’re super stretchy, quick to dry and feature a unique side tie so that you no longer lie down on your drawstring while paddling. They have versions for men and women.
3. Hurley T-shirts
T-shirts make great gifts and I’m enjoying the latest range from Hurley which, in my experience, tend to be made of more durable, premium fabric than some of the competition. If the person you’re buying for is quite active then you could opt for the Hurley Dri-FIT fabric which absorbs sweat and keeps you comfortable.
4. Rip Curl Aggrolite 1.5mm Front Zip Jacket
This is the perfect solution to keep you warm when the seasons change or when you want a little more protection than a standard rash guard. I used it both in Fiji and New Zealand and love the design – you don’t notice the front zip when paddling and wind chill is a thing of the past.
Available from Rip Curl.
5. Rip Curl Wetty Surf Cap
I’ve been searching for the ultimate surf hat for some time and this might just be my favourite! It has a floating brim, comfortable fit and the drawstring clips perfectly onto the Aggrolite Front Zip Jacket. They’re a match made in heaven, available from Surfstitch and Rip Curl.
6. The Surf Wax Box
Created by surfwaxbox.com, these boxes are made of ash wood, come in cool asymmetric shapes and can even be customized with your own message. The box includes a wax comb that clicks magnetically into the lid.
My favourite sunscreen for surfers – check out the full review on Surfd.com. It’s easy to apply and comes in a cool round tin. Most important it is natural, reef safe and seriously effective.
8. Sharkbanz 2 shark deterrent band
This scientifically proven product gives surfers peace of mind. It uses a powerful magnet to repel sharks from the arms and legs of your loved ones – and best of all – never needs to be recharged.
Check out our Sharkbanz 2 review for all of the details.
9. A Surfing Alphabet postcard book
This postcard book features 26 loose leaf postcards each with a unique linocut design by Ollie Lloyd. Buy it over at asurfingalphabet.com.
10. Finsout Fin removal tool
Anyone who has ever hurt their fingers extracting an FCS2 fin will appreciate this handy little gadget. It is made from 100% recycled plastic and designed on the Gold Coast of Australia – visit finsout.surf for more.
Infoboards have been around for a long time and can be found in surf camps from South Africa to Samoa. They’re a great piece of kit that can improve both balance and focus with regular practice. Indoboards are a perfect Christmas gift. Get one now.
12. A massage voucher
Surfers get painful shoulders, necks and backs. How about buying them a voucher for the local masseuse. Deep tissue is probably the best bet.
Try searching Massagebook for a local therapist.
13. Surf art
Check out the surf artists we’ve interviewed and purchase a print – or an original canvas – for your loved one’s wall. From Heather Brown to Drew Brophy we’ve interviewed the best of the best.
14. A Garagemovies.com subscription
Give the gift of surf movies with a subscription voucher for Garage Movies. That’ll keep them happy through the winter!
Buy your gift card at Garagemovies.com.
15. The FK Surf Wet Gear Bag
A useful product for stuffing away your wet gear, rolling the top and storing it separately until you get home.
Buy it on Surfstitch.
16. The Ocean and Earth Surf Key Bank
This is designed to store car keys safely while the surfer in your life is in the water. Many of us hide our keys… I won’t reveal where… but this waterproof utility product, with a heavy-duty combination lock will keep them much, much safer. Get it on Surfstitch or Amazon.
17. The Gnarwall surfboard hanger
A great way to store boards flat up against the wall. They’re mounted using an FCS or Futures fin adapter and turn your board into a piece of wall art – or simply get it out of the way. We use it here at Surfd!
View the Gnarwall review on Surfd.
18. cbdMD oil
When we saw that cbdMD were sponsoring the WSL Jaws Big Wave Championship we decided to give the product a try. It is fast-acting and effective – perfect for easing the aches and pains of both surfing and life. Check out cbdmd.com.
19. Rheos floating sunglasses
These polarized sunnies are lightweight, floatable and hydrophobic – the water quickly runs off the lenses and they feature anti-fog technology. This means you can even wear them surfing… when the waves are not too intense.
Visit Rheosgear.com to explore the range.
20. Give to a surf charity
If the surfer in your life has everything they need you can always give the gift of support to an organisation who are trying to protect our beaches, help others, or use surfing as a therapy.
That’s it for this gift guide for surfers! If you have any ideas or suggestions please comment below. If you haven’t already, do check out the video above or on Youtube.
Note: we may receive commissions when you click a few of the above links and make purchases. However, this does not influence our reviews or guides. It simply helps us to cover the costs of running this website.