Essential Equipment for Beginner Surfers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Essential Equipment for Beginner Surfers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to catch your first wave? Surfing is an exhilarating sport that offers a unique connection with the ocean. As a beginner, having the right equipment is essential for safety, comfort, and performance. In this guide, We’ll walk you through the must-have gear for beginner surfers, starting with the most important item.


1. Surfboard


The most crucial piece of equipment for any surfer, of course, the surfboard. For beginners, a soft-top or foam board is recommended for its buoyancy and forgiveness. These boards provide stability and are more lenient should you come in contact with the board unexpectedly while learning to paddle and stand up. Our daughters started with this board and found it exceptionally easy to learn on. 



2. Leash


A leash is a vital safety device that attaches your ankle to your surfboard, preventing it from drifting away after a wipeout. It also keeps your board from becoming a hazard to other surfers.  As a family of surfers, we have personally seen a friend of ours have to be airlifted to a hospital all because another surfer couldn’t be bothered wearing a leash. I cannot over emphasize it’s importance. It is never optional. Opt for a leash that matches the length of your board.

One like this is a great choice and reasonably priced:


3. Wetsuit


Depending the water temperature of you surf spot, a wetsuit may be necessary to keep warm and protect your skin. Always choose a wetsuit thickness appropriate for the conditions you’ll be surfing in.

My husband personally uses this one for surfing during Long Island, NY winters:

 A lot of our female family members and friends prefer this one:


4.Rash Guard


Even if you’re wearing a wetsuit, a rash guard provides an extra layer of protection against the sun, wind, and surfboard wax.  Look for a snug fitting rash guard made of quick-drying and UV protective material. Here are some recommendations below.

For men we like:

For woman we recommend:

5. Wax


Wax is applied to the deck of your surfboard to provide traction and prevent slipping while paddling and popping up. Choose a surf wax suitable for the water temperature and the type of surfboard you are using.

For cold water we use:

For warmer water:


6. Surfboard Bag


A surfboard bag protects your board from dings, scratches, and UV damage when not in use or during transportation. Look for a bag with padding and a durable exterior material.

For light everyday protection, we recommend this surf sock:

For a more padded everyday bag, we suggest:

For a travel bag you would need the utmost protection because let's face it, we've all seen how the airlines throw our luggage on and off those planes. This one fits 2-3 boards.


7. Surf Wax Comb


A surf wax comb is used to remove old wax and create traction patterns on your surfboard’s deck. It’s a handy tool for maintaining your board’s performance.

Take a look at this inexpensive option:



 8. Sunscreen


Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying a waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Choose a sunscreen that won’t harm the ocean ecosystem. I prefer a mineral sunscreen. This one provides excellent coverage and is resistant to water for about 80 minutes. It's also made for people with sensitive skin.

This is the same sunscreen brand as above only in stick form.

This is my personal favorite that I wear everyday whether in or out of the ocean. It's tinted, blends nicely, and provides decent coverage. A win win for me since I suffer from melasma.


9. Surf Hat or Sport Sunglasses


A surf hat with a wide brim or sport sunglasses provide an extra protection for your face, neck, and ears from the sun and helps keep your vision clear in bright conditions.

For surfing, it doesn't get any better than these Oakleys:

This is a sunglass strap to help keep your glasses secure in place while catching those waves:


10. Ear Plugs


Surfers can be prone to ear infections caused by water trapped in the ear canal. Wearing ear plugs while surfing can help prevent these infections and maintain ear health.

Here are some inexpensive ear plugs that are worth grabbing if you are prone to swimmer's ear:



As beginner surfer, investing in the right equipment is essential for your safety, comfort, and enjoyment in the water. Start with the basics, a suitable surfboard, leash, and wetsuit, and gradually add additional gear as you progress and see fit. With the right equipment and plenty of practice, you’ll be riding waves like a pro in no time at all!

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