The Surfer’s Essentials: 25 Best Surf Accessories for 2023
Surfing is one of those activities that doesn’t require much in terms of gear. A board and boardshorts (or bikini) are all you need unless you live somewhere cold, in which case a wetsuit will help. But around the edges of your surfing experience, there are loads of gadgets, gear, and tools that have been purposefully designed to help you maximize your surfing pleasure. From hats that protect your dome to car seat covers that protect your upholstery. From skin-friendly zinc to wetsuit dryers—and much more—this article brings you a selection of tried and tested accessories that will enhance your surfing.
Let’s explore the best surf accessories.
Table of Contents
A high-performance surf hat is a game-changer when it comes to battling the intense sun during your surf sessions. It’s not just an accessory but an indispensable shield providing crucial protection against harmful UV rays. The ideal surf hat boasts a broad brim for maximum coverage, ensuring both your face and neck remain shaded. Additionally, a crucial feature to consider is a secure fit, designed to stay put even amidst powerful waves or gusty winds. Our favorite pick is the Kaola Surf Hat, which offers an ideal blend of style and functionality for sun protection. A surf hat is more than just a sartorial choice – it’s your first line of defense against sunburn and heatstroke, making it a must-have for every mindful surfer.
Sometimes, wax is too sticky; sometimes, it’s too hard. When selecting surf wax, it’s important to pay attention to the temperature rating, ensuring it aligns with the water conditions you’ll be surfing in. There are many types of wax—ranging from those with provocative names—to those that simply smell great.
Our top recommendation is the Kassia Palo Santo Surf Wax. This wax provides excellent traction and is proudly produced in a family-owned factory in Southern California.
Surflogic’s Wax & Fin Tool is the ultimate surfboard companion. This 4-in-1 marvel boasts an efficient wax scraper, a handy wax comb, and a specialized tool for easy fin removal and installation. This tool is specially designed to be compatible with the FCS II fin system, making it even more versatile and saving your hands from sharp fin cuts. FCSII is not compatible with soft palms and fingers.
The ergonomic design ensures comfortable use, while its lightweight and compact form factor makes it easily portable. It’s a small tool that does big things – helping you to keep your surfboard in peak condition, whether you’re at home or on the beach.
Sunglasses are not just for staring at strangers without them knowing; they are essential for protecting your eyes and enhancing your outdoor experiences. Whether you’re trying to view the lineup a couple of hours after dawn or driving to your favorite surf spot, a quality pair of sunglasses is your best friend.
Quality polarized sunglasses, like the ones from RAEN, go the extra mile in eye protection. These lenses effectively shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, preventing potential long-term damage caused by excessive sun exposure. They also look amazing.
RAEN sunglasses, known for their superior craftsmanship and stylish designs, offer the perfect blend of fashion and functionality. With their exceptional build quality and lens technology, they are a go-to choice for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
For those who want to ride the waves while wearing sunglasses, we highly recommend Lip Sunglasses. These specially designed shades offer an array of features that ensure a secure and worry-free surf session. With a clip-on safety leash and a silicone rubber retainer necklace, you can trust that your sunglasses will stay firmly in place. It takes a bit of getting used to but can seriously save your peepers in harsh conditions. Goodbye, post-surf red eyes!
A changing poncho is a must-have accessory for every surfer, offering both practicality and comfort. It also means less chance of a towel-drop incident (and indecent exposure charge) in your local car park. We especially admire the sustainable Vivida Lifestyle Poncho for its outstanding features and eco-friendly design.
The Vivida Lifestyle Poncho is not just your ordinary poncho. It boasts ultra-absorbency and fast-drying capabilities, ensuring you stay dry and cozy after a surf session. In fact, it dries you four times quicker than conventional cotton ponchos and can absorb seven times its weight in water, making it a highly efficient post-surf companion. Be sure to dry it out after use!
A changing mat gives you a clean surface to stand on while changing, and it also doubles as a carry bag for your wet gear. This elegant invention ensures you don’t drop your wettie in the sand or tarmac, keeping it cleaner than it otherwise would be.
Whether you’re embarking on a surf trip across the globe or simply storing your board between sessions, a high-quality surfboard bag is a must-have to protect your board from potential damage caused by bumps, knocks, and external elements. When selecting the perfect bag, be sure to look for one with extra padding and a sturdy carry strap.
There are lots of options out there, but we like the latest Rhino models.
Keep your gear safe and dry with a waterproof dry bag. They’re perfect for storing your valuables when you hit the water, especially if you’re on a boat trip in the tropics and you want to bring a camera along.
Protect your skin from harmful UV rays with a high-SPF, water-resistant sunscreen. We recommend opting for “reef-friendly” sunscreens. These products, formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate, actively contribute to the preservation of our fragile coral reefs, ensuring that they continue to flourish, supporting a diverse array of marine life. So, whether you’re riding a barrel or simply basking in the beach vibes, make a responsible choice for both your skin and the ocean — because every wave matters.
Zinc oxide is a great pick for sun protection, especially on sensitive areas like your nose and lips. It works like a shield against harmful UV rays. The way it works is by forming a barrier on your skin that reflects these rays. But there’s more — zinc oxide also soaks up some UV rays, giving you an extra layer of sun defense. Even in places with strong sunlight, like New Zealand, you can count on zinc to help avoid sunburns. We really like the Feel So Good brand for this. It’s easy to put on, and it lasts through your whole surf session.
A surf watch is more than just a timepiece; it’s an indispensable companion for the dedicated surfer. With surfer-specific features that can track tides, record sunrise and sunset times, and even monitor your surf sessions, the right watch is a tool that keeps you connected with the elements. Our pick for this year is the Nixon Heat. This watch stands out with its durability and sleek design. The Nixon Heat not only provides vital information at a glance but also enhances your surfing lifestyle with its blend of function and style.
As surfers, we love the freedom of the ocean, but we’re often faced with the dilemma of where to safely stash our car keys while we’re catching waves. The “top of the driver’s side tire” trick is not a great hiding place. A Key Security Lock Box is the perfect solution to this issue, providing a secure and portable storage for your keys while you’re out in the water.
Transporting your surfboard securely and conveniently is a top priority, and the Soft Rack is your best solution for that. Designed to offer the utmost protection for your surfboard while on the road, these soft top racks provide a robust and soft cushioning that prevents any potential damage.
Our preferred pick is the FCS Premium Double Soft Rack. This rack provides an exceptional level of security with its D-ring mechanism and 25mm webbed straps. The FCS Premium Double Soft Rack offers a unique design, allowing you to transport multiple boards without the fear of damage caused by board-on-board contact. Its adaptable fit is suitable for most surf cars, SUVs, and vans, making it a versatile choice for any surfer.
A ding repair kit is essential for patching up any minor dents or damages on your board, helping prolong its life. Keep a kit with you at all times and avoid using tape or wax to patch up dings and cracks.
Capture your surf adventures with a waterproof camera. Look for one with a durable design and high-quality video capabilities.
A waterproof camera is an absolute must-have for any surfer wanting to capture their adventures in the waves. When choosing a waterproof camera, it’s crucial to find one with robust durability and high-quality video capabilities. And in that category, one camera stands out from the rest – the Insta360 Ace Pro.
Imagine capturing life in stunning 8k at 24fps or super smooth 4K at 120fps – this camera makes it all possible. And the best part? You can keep your hands free for your adventures, thanks to its smart gesture and the latest voice control 2.0. For athletes, creators, or anyone with high expectations from their action cam – the Ace Pro doesn’t just meet these expectations; it rides the wave right over them. In the world of action cameras, the Insta360 Ace Pro is truly the ace in the surf.
A portable beach shower lets you rinse off saltwater and sand after your surf session, keeping you comfortable and your car clean. Our choice is Beach Soul’s Jamigam 8L featuring stunning cover art crafted by acclaimed artist Zachary Bennett-Brook, also known as Saltwater Dreamtime. His designs beautifully encapsulate our profound connection to the ocean and the sky.
A wetsuit hanger is designed to dry your wetsuit quickly and effectively while maintaining its shape. The right hanger is indeed an investment, protecting the shape and integrity of your wetsuit, thereby enhancing your overall surfing experience. Don’t just hang your wetsuit, care for it.
A wetsuit dryer speeds up the drying process, helping to prevent unpleasant smells and prolong the life of your suit. Investing in the Surflogic Wetsuit Dryer not only means extending the longevity of your wetsuit, but also saving time and adding comfort to your surf adventures. It’s an invaluable asset to any surfer’s gear collection.
Comfortable sandals are a must for any surfer. They provide essential protection for your feet against hot sand, chewing gum, broken glass… you name it. Importantly, they should also suit post-surf lounging. However, not all sandals are created equal, which is why we recommend the KLLY Sandal.
Developed by 11-time world surf champion Kelly Slater, the KLLY Sandal is dubbed as the most comfortable sandal you’ll ever slide your feet into. Crafted for optimal performance, supportive recovery, and day-to-day comfort, the KLLY Sandal is designed with all-day wear in mind. Its innovative design reflects Slater’s passion for surf, sustainability, and peak performance.
Whether you’re catching your breath after an epic session or laying out a cozy spot for post-surf relaxation, a high-quality beach towel is the unsung hero of every beach day. Absorbing saltwater and providing a comfortable surface to lounge on, it’s the ultimate space to bask in the coastal breeze, share stories with fellow surfers, and soak in the ocean’s beauty.
Finally, we arrive at the last item on our list: a storage box for surf accessories. A while back, we had one from Trunq, aptly named the Surf Utility Box. We even reviewed it on Surfd.com. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available, and despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to find a suitable replacement. For now, we’ve adapted a toolbox from a local building supply store, which serves its purpose quite well. However, we’re always on the lookout for something specifically designed for surf gear. If you’re a brand with such a product, we’d love to receive one for review. Likewise, if you’re a reader who has found the perfect solution, please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments. We greatly appreciate your input as we continue our search for the ultimate surf accessory storage box.
That wraps up our top 25 surf accessories for 2023. Remember, investing in quality gear can elevate your surfing experience, protect you and your equipment, and help you make the most of every wave. Happy surfing!