The past several years, I have kept a small plastic bin in the trunk of my car that has housed surf-related items. Apparently, over the course of many surf sessions I have amassed what has become my very own personalized surfer’s survival kit … a tried and true list of items that continues to ensure that I have good surf session, or that I have a useful after-surf session.
It turns out that many other surfers have a similar box of goodies in their respective modes of transportation as well, so we at iJS all sat down and compared notes so that we could assemble a latest and greatest in a Surfer’s Car Kit, or an essential surfing kit. Check out the list and see what you have and what you may need:
- Container / Organizer: This is the thing that will make or break your kit since organization and accessibility are the keys to ease of use! Too small or messy and the kit becomes something you don’t even want to look into; too big or cumbersome and the whole thing begins to look like a soccer mom gone out of control in the back of your car. We came to the conclusion that a simple bin is the best way to go – easily accessible, clear plastic so you can see inside without having to root through all the contents, and a strong sturdy lid since you will more than likely end up throwing stuff on top of it. Make sure it seals tightly, even better if its water-tight!
- Large plastic freezer or storage bags: These are the individual packets that will house some of your more important items, ensuring they stay sealed, dry, moist, or whatever condition they need to stay in. Additionally, It makes it so much easier to go through the contents of the bin by pulling out bags rather than loose items … making it even easier to stuff them back in!
- Bottle of potable water: Hey you may not end up drinking this, but it’s a great comfort that you have it there in case of an emergency. It also has come in handy for rinsing out cuts and scrapes, plus prepping a surfboard for a quick repair!
- First aid kit: This is one are we couldn’t quite agree on fully. Sure, we all thought that the first aid kit was vital, but as to the extent of the contents of the actual kit, well, it depends on how much help you think you may need. The one common content that we all agreed on? Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for washing out reef cuts and scrapes …
- Complete Change of clothes: Yes, we have all forgotten that we had a quick stop somewhere after surfing, had an errand to run, or met a really cute surfer in the water and managed to convince them to have coffee … so a set of clothes is essential! Keep it in a sealed freezer bag so that it doesn’t get moldy or wet … also comes in handy for those days when we forget to bring a t-shirt!
- Spare pair of Rubber Slippers: Seriously, if you have ever had your slippers mysteriously walk away after a surf session – a victim of mistaken flip-flop identity or a casualty of slipper envy – you will know to keep a spare pair in your kit all the time!
- Extra surf clothes (rashguard, shorts, bikini, etc): On a bright sunny Hawaiian day, we have all forgotten our rash guard, surf shorts, bikini bottoms, or whatever that may have been needed to cover us from the sunor from embarrassment. In any case, make sure that you have a spare set of surf clothes in the car for those moments when excitement bridges over memory
- Extra Towel: Almost unanimously, we all agreed that an extra towel is always needed in the car for emergency situations … just make sure you put it in a storage bag to keep it dry and clean!
- Spare Surf Essentials: Leash and leash string, surf wax, and a set of extra fins (and fin key) … you will need it one day and be glad you had it in the car on a day when the waves are going off and you don’t want to go home yet.
- Snacks and Energy food: Cereal bars, energy bars, and energy gels have saved most of us here during unexpected double sessions when the waves were just too good to leave … also great when you run out of cash and need some energy!
- Repair Kit: A good set of screwdrivers, utility knife, fin key, ding repair kit (even better if it’s an in-water repair kit ), plastic scraper, and the pickle (for wax removal)
- Sunblock: ever run out of sun block or forget to bring it and have to end your surf session early because of sunburn? Yeah, you know what we mean!
- Duct tape: Not only can this indispensable piece of wonder tool fix your board, slippers, fins … it also can fix your surfer kit container!
- Money: 10 dollars hidden away (emergency food, parking money, or gasoline)
The last tip to ensure that this kit stays fresh and complete is to ensure that you immediately refill anything you might use from the kit … it’s quite a bummer to go digging into the kit for your spare towel or slippers only to remember that you used it last time and forgot to replenish the kit afterwards!
Keep surfing and to steal from the boyscout’s motto, Be Prepared!
Rob love surfing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing. He’s writing about them in this blog.