What to Pack for a Surf trip: free Download

As surfers, we live with the tide, the swell and the wind. Not much is needed. All too often, I have met people on trips who simply packed too much and then regretted it. That’s why a surf trip packing list is an ideal way to leave unnecessary ballast at home and not forget essentials for your surf holiday. 

The question of what to pack depends, of course, on the destination and therefore the temperatures and weather conditions there. Are you travelling to a warm or cold water destination? Accordingly, the board shorts or swimming costume may have to be replaced by a wetsuit. The same applies to your clothing, of course. Also ask yourself: Which region are you travelling to? Is there good infrastructure? If necessary, can you buy additional items quickly and easily on-site? 

Another question is whether you are travelling to a surf camp or planning an individual surf trip with a backpack or camper van. That’s why I’ve divided the packing lists into different categories so that you can put together your own personal surf trip packing list. 

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What to pack for surf holidays

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What to pack: Surf trip with the campervan

Keep in mind that when you travel by campervan, you have to prepare your own food and find your own sleeping place and the best surf spot for the next day. Therefore, in this case, you will have to pack a little more than for other trips. Of course, this also depends on whether it is your own camper or if you rent a camper with partial equipment. Below you will find a few additional items that may be useful for your camping surf trip: 

Surfers-Number Lock for your car keys. (Alternatively: We have an extra key made, which we can take with us into the water.)
Northcore soft roof rack and straps when transporting your surfboard on the roof
Magnetic hook for drying your wetsuit
A clothes hook to dry your wetsuit
Camping cooker
Electric cooler
Light summer sleeping bag
Dishwashing liquid (biodegradable)
USB charger for the cigarette lighter – it’s best to charge your mobile phone while driving. This way you don’t have to use your second battery and you save electricity.
Bluetooth speakers
Clothesline + pins
Thermos flask and hot water bottle
Solar shower
Drybag for the wet wetsuit

Surftrip Camping Vanlife Packinglist Packliste

Surfing & Backpacking - Essentials

I would definitely recommend taking a hand luggage backpack or a similar small backpack with your surfboard bag. Clothes and other soft items can be stored in the board bag. (But remember, this will make it heavier to carry!) However, I always like to carry personal items with me during my travels. I have also found that surf trips often take you over gravel paths and forest meadows. For this reason, and also because I like to have at least one hand free, I would always opt against a suitcase and for a backpack. 

When traveling with a backpack, I would leave the surf poncho at home. Not only does it take up a lot of space, it also adds to the weight.

Packing List for Surf Camp Holidays

This packing list is more like a reverse packing list. Through my work as a yoga teacher in various surf camps, I have learned a few things: when you go on holiday to a surf camp, you can leave a lot of things at home! 

Leave your surfboard at home. 

If you are not a pro or advanced surfer on a shortboard, I can only advise you to leave your board at home. Because in a good surf camp there is exactly the right board for every swell and every wave size. Not only can you choose the board according to the conditions, you can also switch to another board if you improve during your time there. A surf instructor and good friend once told me: “A good surfer can surf any board. So my tip is to try as many boards as you can when you get the chance. 

Neoprene – pack or borrow?

If it’s your first surf holiday, my advice is to borrow a wetsuit from the camp. If you already have your own wetsuit, feel free to pack it. Who wants to wear something that a lot of other people have already worn next to their skin? It’s also worth asking the surf camp if they can recommend a shop in the area if you don’t already have a wetsuit. Wetsuits are usually cheaper locally. 

The ultimate Surf-Trip Packing List

Download Checklist PDF here

For the surf itself

Boardbag & surf sock if necessary
Spare fin set incl. screws if necessary 
Duct Tape 
Ding Repair / Polyester Surfboard Kit 
sustainable sunscreen + zinc 
wax according to the temperatures
wax comb
waterproof watch 

surf clothing 

This depends on where your surf holiday takes you. 

wetsuit, shorty and/or rash guard
Surf booties
Surf hoot (where it is particularly cold)
Surf poncho 
Surfears earplugs

from the Pharmacy 

Inform yourself in time about necessary vaccinations at your travel destination.
small first aid kit
clamp plaster
wound ointment / Betaisodona
Waterproof spray plaster
Mosquito spray
Charcoal tablets
Anti-nausea travel tablets
eye drops

toiletry bag

toothbrush and toothpaste
nail scissors 
biodegradable soap for body and hair

Other stuff

Packing cubes to store everything well 
Cap / hat
Clothing according to climate and weather 
thin rain jacket 
open and closed shoes
Travel towel
Travel yoga mat
Earplugs and sleep mask for sleeping if necessary
travel in-ear headphones
small hammock 
Insulated water bottle
Powerbank: This also works well 
Cap / hat 
power socket adapter if necessary
combination lock for locker

Travel Documents & Money

Those are the things you want to keep safe and close. I advise you to take a picture of them and send them to yourself by email and to carry them with you on a USB stick. This way you can access them online if something gets lost. Keep in mind that your cash cards may be subject to a withdrawal limit or that certain periods of time may not be activated for withdrawing money. You can find out about this in your online banking or by calling or emailing your bank. International travel insurance is already available at a reasonable price and is definitely a wise decision. 

international vaccination certificate
international driving license 
credit card 

Important Tips for your Surf Trip

Leave as many valuables as possible at home and only take what you really need. This not only gives you the opportunity to really switch off and find yourself in the here and now, but also protects you from theft, loss or damage. 

The surf trip is twice as much fun when you are physically and mentally ready for the surf. That’s why preparation is half the battle. With Yoga for Surfers – Get ready for Surf Holidays – you target exactly the right muscles and also work on your focus, balance, and stretching. 

Last but not least: Ask yourself: what do you really need? If you are not 100 percent sure that you will need something, then I would recommend leaving it at home. 

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What to pack for surf holidays

Yoga for Surfers

Yoga and Surfing have so many things in common and complement each other in various ways. In my 14 Days Yoga for Surfers Course, I will guide you through 14 yoga classes in 30 to 40 minutes, to get you physically ready for your next surf trip. Locust, Plank, and Warrior II of course play a role there. In a workbook, I will give you the tools to write affirmations and set an intention to be mentally ready for the ocean as well. Go check out the Yoga for Surfers online course and be ready to be prepared for your next surf trip!

Do you want to give your body and mind something back after a surf? I got you covered: With the After Surf Yoga Package, you have 10 videos, focusing on different body parts, that stretch your body, 2 guided meditations to relax the mind, and 2 breathing techniques that support your overall well-being and surf performance.