Surfing Equipment List

surfing equipment list

Surfing Equipment

Surfing is one of the most popular aquatic sports there is, having an established professional side, with surfers who live on the sport and loyal fans, while also being practiced by many around the world in a non-competitive manner. Surfing consists of using a board to glide on waves in the sea. Although the sport sounds simple, mastering it is not. There is a lot to learn about surfing, how to do it, and the different types of waves, boards, and sea conditions.

Adventure Camera

When you are out in the ocean, you are going to want to capture the moment and show it off to your friends and also have it as a memory. With today’s technology, there are numerous types of waterproof cameras that you can bring out into the water with you to film you and your friends catching waves. It is also useful for avid surfers who are looking for improvement in their skill. They can watch the videos and analyze what it is they are doing right or wrong. While there are many types of cameras to go with, the best one is probably the GoPro. The GoPro is perhaps the most popular action sports camera, and is not much more expensive than the other cameras that are not as useful. It sells for around $330.

Car Racks

Surfboards are pretty difficult to get around, and stuffing them in your car can be pretty dangerous. It is a good idea to invest in a surfboard rack for a price of roughly $100. The best and safest way to get to the beach via car is with one of these racks. Soft racks and hard racks are often the two most popular types of car racks. Hard racks are better for people who prefer to keep objects off their car roof and want a gutterless system. Soft racks are used on the roof along with straps to make sure the board stays in place.


surfing earplugs

Too much time in the cold water could actually lead to surfer’s ear, which is bone growth in the ear and it is quite painful. Pro surfers will actually recommend that you should invest in earplugs for protection. When buying a pair, you want to make sure that you will still allow you to hear, while keeping the water out. While you do not have to spend a fortune to protect yourself, you shouldn’t buy a pair just because they are cheap. In most cases, the more expensive ones will be safer for your ears and are still only about $30.

Fin Removal Tool

A fin removal tool will allow you to safely remove fins from the board without damaging the board or fins. The Finsout removal tool was created to be compatible with almost all boards. They are small and compatible and you can bring them just about anywhere. With just a simple flick of the wrist, you can easily remove your fins and not have to use tools like wrenches and screwdrivers to get the fin out. These tools are only about $20 and are proven to be very useful.


surfing surfboard fins

Fins are an extremely important part of the surfboard setup. Choosing fins that will work best for you will depend on your size, riding style, and your board’s fin box.  Glassed-in fins are laminated into the surfboard, and are smoother and sounder than a removable fin. However, these fins are difficult to repair and do not offer the versatility of removable fins. Boards with removable fins have “boxes” that fins are screwed into and you can unscrew them to add or remove fins to the board. 

You also want to consider the fin set that you want. The most common are single fins, twin fins, and tri fins. Single fins are very common on longboards and are perhaps the most traditional configuration. Dual fins make the board a bit more maneuverable and playful. The tri fin setup is the most common today and comes on a variety of all shapes and sizes. It offers stability, control, and maneuverability that is perfect for surfers of all levels.


Helmets are not extremely popular among surfers, and people may think that wearing a helmet out in the water is sort of foolish. However, many major accidents in surfing could actually be prevented if a helmet was being worn. There are many ways your head can be put in danger while surfing. You can hit your head on your board or collide with another surfer.

When you buy a helmet, you want to make sure that it is constructed properly. Surfing helmets are constructed with multiple layers of materials with every layer adding more protection. There are also some helmets that come with extra liners, that could prove to be useful when the weather is cold. A surfing helmet also has a lot of ventilation which will allow water or sweat to drain out much faster than the average helmet. While a helmet is not quite necessary, it is certainly not a bad idea to invest in one if you are worried about injuring your head. Investing in a good helmet will cost you between $25 and $50.


surfing leash

It is pretty much a requirement for you to have a leash when you surf. When you wipe out, you want your board with you at all times. It is very dangerous for the wave to take your board with it and potentially take out other surfers. A leash typically costs around $30. When purchasing a leash, you want to think about the length and thickness of it. Thickness will relate to strength, the more advanced surfers will use a thinner leash. You also want to think about how easy it is to get on and off. You want the leash to be comfortable as you don’t really want to notice it is on while you are out in the water.


Longboards are great for beginner surfers as they are perfect for catching small gentle waves. They are also great for avid surfers who just want to go out on a mellow day and catch some cruisers. An advantage of the longboard is that you will have wave catching advantage over shortboards. Also, since they are so wide (usually about 24 inches) they are great for beginners because they have much more room for balance. A brand new longboard will typically cost around $1500. However, it is not hard to find used boards online for a price that is much cheaper than that.

Rash Guard

surfing rash guard

A rash guard is going to provide you protection, warmth, and sun protection when you are out in the water. Surf wax and a bare torso are a match that do not go together well. If you are out there exposing your skin to the board for too long, it can lead to a pretty painful rash. That is why rashguards are recommended. Another great use of a rash guard is sun protection. A rash guard can supply you with an SPF factor of up to 150. The fabric will provide you an extra layer of protection, making it just as efficient as sunscreen. A rash guard will cost you anywhere from $15 to $75. A $15 one will still be able to keep you from a rash, but may not be as comfortable as some of the higher quality rash guards that are available for purchase.


surfing sunscreen

A fun two hour session of surfing can lead to a ruined week if you get sunburned. Therefore, you are going to make sure you apply sunscreen every time you go surfing. In order to properly protect yourself from sunburn, you are going to want to make sure you have waterproof sunscreen that will last you the entire time you are out in the water. Waterproof sunscreen is typically around $30. Something higher than SPF 50 is probably your best bet.


surfing surfboard

There are many different types of surfboards that are created for surfers of all different levels. Longboards and foam boards are often used for beginners. They are at least 7 feet long and are wide so that beginners can have more balance when they try to get up. More advanced surfers will use shortboards, which can be smaller than 6 feet long. These boards are for bigger waves, and they are easy for experts to maneuver around the wave and perform various tricks. When you start out surfing, you should get a foam board or a longboard. Once you have learned how to catch any waves that come your way, then you can see if you can progress to a shorter board that will allow you to carve a bit better in the wave. A used surfboard is typically around $200, where a new one is at least $800.

Surfboard Bag

surfing surfboard bag

A surfboard bag or cover is the best way to keep your board safe and extend its longevity. Not using a surfboard is putting the board at risk as they are extremely fragile. Surfboard socks, day boardbags, travel bags, and coffins are the four types of surfing bags. A bag costs around $50 and a nice coffin can cost up to $300.

The board sock is easy to store and lightweight, they are also very cheap but provide limited protection. A day board is also a good option for just commuting to the beach, as it provides padded protection. Travel bags are for airlines and can fit up to two boards. If you are traveling, you want to make sure that you purchase the most protective bag possible, but also know that no board can be completely invincible from airline employees. The travel coffin is easy to cart around an airport and offers the most convenience as it can carry up to four boards. No matter what bag you get, it is important to make sure it will do a good job of keeping safe the board that you spent a lot of money on.

Traction Pads

surfing traction pad

A traction pad is designed to stick on the tail of your board to keep your back foot from sliding off. It is an alternative to wax for the back foot, as you would still use wax at the front of your board. With a price of $25, traction pads come in a large variety of colors, but pretty much all of them are made from the same non-slip, water resistant components.

Traction pads will save you a lot of time since you won’t have to wax your board as much, and most pads also have something called kicktail that can prevent your back foot from sliding back too far. Overall, it is up to the surfer to decide whether he or she prefers wax or a traction pad to keep the back foot from sliding off the board.


surfing board wax

Surf wax is created to help surfers maintain the grip of the surfboard. Without it, it will be difficult to have balance and you will find yourself slipping off the board pretty often. Traditional wax is the most popular form of wax, and it will take a few minutes to make the boards sticky enough to maintain traction at a price of only $3. However, there are now sticker versions that will help you maintain balance if you are a bit more advanced. One thing about wax that a lot of people might not realize is that the type of wax you use actually varies depending on the water temperature. Tropical wax is used for hot temperatures so the wax won’t melt away, whereas cold water wax is designed to withstand even the coldest of water temperatures.

Wax Removal Tool

A wax removal tool is an important tool to keep your board in good shape. Surf wax needs to be replaced with a new grip pretty regularly, so it is important to have a wax removal tool with you in your gear bag at all times. You are going to need a wax comb with an inward curve for running the wax off over the rounded rails. You also might want to get citrus-based wax remover, which could be easier than trying to scrape off all the wax. These tools are no more than $15, so they are well worth the investment to make sure that your board is always properly waxed.


surfing wetsuit

Wetsuits are vital if you are surfing in cold water. If the water temperature is really low, you will not last very long in the ocean if you do not have the proper wetsuit. The wetsuit traps a thin layer of water between you and your suit, and your body temperature will warm up the water to keep you warm. It is extremely important to be appropriately dressed when you are surfing. When purchasing a wetsuit, you want to consider the thickness. The thicker the suit, the better it is for colder water. A nice wetsuit can be up to $500, and there are many different types for all the seasons that you can surf.


What Equipment do you Need for Surfing?

Compared to other sports, you don't need that much to surf. The basic equipment includes a surfboard with fins and a leash, surf wax, and swimming clothes, like a wetsuit or surfing shorts. It is also important to protect yourself from the sun and wear sunscreen. Apart from that, nothing else is essential. It comes down to personal preference when choosing to wear rash guards or earplugs. Also, depending on the characteristics of the place you're surfing, other pieces of gear may be needed, such as different fins, longer leashes, helmets, or car racks.

What Makes Surfing Equipment Unique?

Without the proper gear, surfing can't be practiced. You cannot surf without a board, and you cannot surf on a board that has no wax or no leash. Therefore, to have the best experience possible, it is necessary to have the proper equipment. 

What is the Most Important Surfing Equipment to Buy?

If you are a beginner, don't rush into buying a surfboard before getting into the water. If you want to learn how to surf, most surfing schools have good boards to rent, in which you will be able to learn the basics, and surf your first waves. However, a good piece of equipment to have is a rash guard, which will protect you from the sun and avoid rashes that may happen from having your skin touching the wax-filled surfboard.

Naturally, as you get deeper into the sport, you may want to buy your pieces of equipment. Having your surfboard, designed to your weight, height, and preferences is a good decision for all of those who love the sport and take it seriously. Being more committed to the sport, you may want to acquire several different boards with different characteristics, and together with a bag that allows you to carry them around together. All boards must have fins, leashes, and be well waxed.

How Much Does Surfing Equipment Cost?

As said before, beginners really do not have to spend much money on gear, besides paying to rent it and paying for surfing lessons. However, buying you your equipment will cost you some money. The things that are going to be the most expensive are the surfboard and the wetsuit. Nonetheless, if you don't plan to surf on cold waters, a watersuit is not essential, and the overall cost of surfing goes down. Suits and boards vary in price, and the range can go from $300 up to $1000 for a board and $100 to $500 for a suit. But, since you don't have to pay the highest prices for everything, the essential surfing equipment would cost you, on average, around $750 dollars.