Discover the different ways you can combine travel with your passion for surfing
Get inspiration for your next surf trip
The world of surfing is also a world of travel. There is no surfer out there who is satisfied with their home break and does not have the yearn for surf travel, others don’t have the luxury of living by the coast, and surf travel becomes the only option to score some waves.
Even if it is a vacation with the family, it always becomes a family surf vacation or a surf vacation. This happens surreptitiously or serendipitously, but it always starts by packing a surfboard.
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How to plan The Best Surf Trips
Despite what we would like to believe, the best surf trips are those that are carefully planned, with the destination analyzed. Everything is done in advance, especially when it comes to surf vacation packages. A strike mission surf trip is for those people who are lucky enough to have no restrictions and can travel by themselves when they want to and thereby hunt down the perfect swells around the world.
Where To Go
Anywhere with a coastline is fair game when it comes to surf vacations, but there is a bit more to it when it comes to family surf vacations and surf trips for beginners.
Indonesia is a beautiful destination, as long as all members of the trip can surf competently. There is not too much room for beginners on a journey to Indonesia unless you plan a trip around Kuta(Bali) and are happy to surf the somewhat crowded Kuta Beach. Indonesia is still really cheap, and with a bit of research, it can be even more affordable. Staying with locals and eating with locals will save so much money instead of staying in hotels and eating in restaurants.
One of the best surf vacation destinations is in the Maldives. The water is warm, the waves are, on the whole, very friendly, and there are waves that beginners can learn to surf on. There are destinations in the Maldives that are the ideal surf trip destinations for beginners.
When To Go
The best time to go to places like Indonesia and the Maldives is during their winter. This is the time when the waves get good, the winds blow offshore, and you have a choice of waves to surf across each archipelago. It is a rule of thumb that any surf destination will be better during their winter. So if you want to go to Hawaii and surf the best of big waves, their winter season is anchored around November to January. Indonesia is best around June to August, their winter season. A quick google search will help with these decisions.
What To Pack
There are many essentials that you need to pack for a surf trip, regardless of whether the surf vacation is a first-world hotel holiday or a third-world family surf vacation.
The ideal quiver for a surf vacation is three surfboards, including a standard surfboard, a small board for fun days, and a slightly longer board for bigger days.
Surfboard essentials are all the hard goods that you need to go with your board. These include but are not limited to, surfboard fins. You will need a few spare sets. Surfboard leash. Same here; you will definitely need a spare or two.
Wetsuit or swimwear
Depending on your destination’s climate and water temperature, you will need a wetsuit or board shorts/bikini to surf in.
Exception for beginners
If you are a beginner and are planning on surf lessons at the destination, there is no need for any surfboards, as the surf school will have all you need there.
Can’t have too much of it, be it a block out or a zinc style sunscreen. A surfing hat would also work well here.
Remember to choose the correct wax for the water temperatures at your destination. Wax for cold water is very different to wax for tropical water.
A medical kit
This is imperative, no matter where you are going or if there is a hospital right there. You will always need a medical kit and the knowledge to use most of the equipment therein. Minor things like a reef scrape or a mosquito bite can quickly get badly infected if not cleaned and looked after, especially in tropical climates. So, the basic cleaning agents and anti-bacterial creams, as well as plasters and bandages, would be a good start.
This is vital for all surfers. Many people who choose surf vacation packages and embark on some of the best surf vacations are remiss about their insurance and the travel insurance of their loved ones. Your surf travel insurance needs to cover many options, including the possibility of needing a helicopter medevac. Even the most remote surf destinations have a helicopter landing pad somewhere, usually just a clearing in a jungle or an area at the local school. Still, it is set up for a reason – there is a need for the occasional medevac. If your insurance isn’t up to scratch, the helicopter won’t be arriving.
While you are going on a surf trip with the boys/girls or you are going on a family surf vacation to spend time with the family and surfing some insane waves, there is also a need for entertainment and downtime diversions.
These days most of this can be done on a good mobile phone, but a tablet could help. Remember to check that you have the correct plugs for charging your handsets and ensure that you have all your data controlled. Downloading a game or a pile of emails on data in a foreign country can cost you the earth. A good idea is to purchase a local sim card on arrival and fill it up with data through the local currency.
The final advice for surf travel
The final advice for surf travel is the oldest but the most crucial piece of advice: pack half the clothes you think you need, but have twice the money available. Literally, pack your bags, and before you leave, take half of them out. You can survive for weeks in boardshorts and tee shirts, especially off the beaten track. You do need to have twice the funds available that you think you need in case of emergencies. This advice is the best advice you can get as a surfer going on a surf trip.