If you’re going on a trip, you’ve got to be organised. Simple as that. If you’re not, you’re heading for Hassle City. Do you really want to be one document short at the border crossing? One leash short when the swell picks up? Or one type of tablet short when you come down with a fever? Nope. So make a check list of all the stuff you need, keep it safe, and use it every time you go on a trip.
Here’s a basic list of 30 travel essentials to get you started.
• Boards It’s simple: take a quiver. There’ll be sick days, big days, weak days and stick-snapping days. Cover yourself.
• Boardbag Check out the options and get the best quality boardbag you can afford.
• Wax Goes without saying, wax is your friend, hombre. Protect it for less organised borrowers!
• Leashes You can never have enough leashes, especially if you’re heading on a big-wave trip. Bring nylon leash string too.
• Ding repair kit The travelling surfer’s best friend.
• Spare fins If you snap a fin and don’t have a spare it can ruin your trip. So bring a spare set…plus a fin key and a few spare grub screws or fin plates.
• Roof straps / soft rack Keep your boards tight on the roof.
• Boardshorts Get lightweight, top quality boardies. The more you pay, the longer they tend to last.
• Rash vest Keep the sun off your back and stop your skin rubbing itself off, especially in tropical climates that don’t particularly help the healing process.
• Wetsuit/s If you’re heading somewhere cold, a decent wetsuit is your most important piece of kit. If you have room, take two.
• Booties Going somewhere with sharp coral, jagged rocks or urchins? Take booties. Nobody likes doing the rock dance.
• Sunblock An absolute necessity. The big C is waiting to attack…if not now, maybe in five, 10 or 20 years. So take precautions.
• Hat Same again – protect your noggin from the sun.
• Sunnies Want crow’s feet at age 30? Wear sunnies.
• First aid kit Keep it small but comprehensive. Include plasters, bandages, gauze, antibiotic cream, malaria tablets, water purification tablets, toothbrush and paste, soap, Vaseline, pain-killers, tweezers, and diarrhoea tablets.
• Inoculations Check which ones you need and get jabbed with plenty of time to spare before you fly.
• Mozzie net and spray Essential for tropical destinations where malaria is prevalent. Keep the little feckers off at all costs.
• Ear plugs If you suffer from surfer’s ear, don’t forget your ear plugs or Blu-Tac.
• Passport / visas Get these checked out before you fly, wherever you’re going. Nothing sucks more than getting turned back on arrival. Make a photocopy of your passport’s info page and keep it somewhere separate, just in case you lose it.
• Tickets / travel documents You won’t be going far without these.
• Driving licence And you won’t hiring a car
without this.
• Travel insurance Absolutely vital. If you’re heading off to a remote destination, check the level of cover carefully. Re-mortgaging your house to get yourself flown home after an emergency is a pain in the arse.
• Credit cards Your little plastic friends. Keep ‘em safe.
• Cash You always need some cash handy.
• Phrasebook Essential in case you run into difficulties.
• Guide book / maps So you know where to go.
• Book to read Keep your mind active on flat days or between sessions. Grab a Kindle to save on weight.
• Clothes Don’t load yourself up with tons of clothes. Pack light and wash a few things over there.
• Duct tape There’s nothing it can’t fix, nothing.
• Socket adaptor Essential for re-charging
electrical gadgets.