35 Clever & Practical Gifts for Surfers (2021 Edition) - Urban Outdoors
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Looking for some practical and fun surfing gifts for your wave-riding loved ones? We’ve got your back! We know it can be hard to choose the best gifts for surfers, especially if you don’t surf. There are so many gadgets and pieces of equipment in the surfing world that it can be hard to decide on a thoughtful and clever present. To help you pick out the best surprise for any surfer in your life, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best surfing gifts out there.

A female surfer looks off into the distance holding a green longboard and thinking about all of the best gifts for surfers.

Our Picks: Overall Best Gifts For Surfers

Slowtide Beach Towel

A lightweight, absorbent beach towel is one of the best gifts for surfers because no one likes to be sandy and wet in the car! One of our favorite brands for fun, packable beach towels is Slowtide. They’ve got tons of fun patterns across three different designs – beach towels, Turkish towels, and quick dry towels – which are perfect for surfers on the go. We personally love the Black Hills beach towel, but there are tons of different options to choose from.

Surfboard Sock

Surfboards aren’t cheap, and the best way to protect your surfing investment is by purchasing a cover for it! Many surfers like surfboard socks because they help to absorb moisture that’s left over on the board after being in the ocean. A surfboard sock can also help you protect the inside of your car and home from wax, sand, and other buildup your surfboard can track in. These surfboard socks come in a variety of fun colors and sizes, perfect for whatever type of surfboard your loved one uses.

Dakine Surfboard Bag

If your loved one plans to do a bit of traveling with their surfboard, a heavy-duty surfboard bag may be a more practical gift for them than a board sock. Dakine is a popular brand for board sports, and they have one of the largest selections of surfboard bags on the market. These durable bags are typically weather-resistant and protective, which will minimize the chance of damage if you’re strapping your board to a roof rack or traveling with it.

If you do decide purchase a surfboard bag, make sure the size and shape match the type of board!

Beach Changing Poncho

Any surfer knows how inconvenient it can be to change clothes in a vehicle, or to try and hunt down a public restroom for changing. With a beach changing poncho, they don’t have to! Changing clothes on the beach in privacy is easy and simple with one of these oversized garments, which provides protection and coverage while you’re getting out of your wetsuit into dry clothes (or vice versa).

Changing Mat

Many surfers opt for a changing mat they can stand on to reduce their wetsuit’s contact with the ground. This prevents sand buildup in the wetsuit and provides a quick and easy method – a waterproof drawstring bag – to store your wetsuit in the car until you can get home to rinse and dry it. You no longer need to worry about the inside of your car getting damp – just put all your wet clothes into this changing mat and pull the drawstrings for instant storage!

Portable Shower

Many surfers use their car as a home base for changing, hanging out, and snacking, but did you know that you can also use your car to wash yourself off? With a portable solar shower, you can carry an outdoor shower with you wherever you go so you can get rinsed off after a long day in the ocean. If you’re looking for one of the most practical gifts for surfers, a portable shower is a fantastic option.

Car Key Lockbox

Most of the time, it simply doesn’t make sense to bring your car keys with you when you surf. They can easily get stolen off the shore or lost. A car lockbox with a combination is an easy way to store and protect your keys while you’re riding the waves. Many surfers simply use a home lockbox and place it in an inconspicuous part of their vehicle, storing keys with a custom combination. It’s one of the most simple yet useful gifts for surfers who want to worry less about the safety of their belongings while in the water.

Surfboard Traction Pad

A surfboard traction pad is one of the most common add-ons to a surfboard, increasing the “stickiness” and traction of the board to reduce the risk of slipping while standing up. As one of the more common surfing gifts, a traction pad can help surfers of any level improve their skills and catch more waves. This is a great gift for surfers, but make sure you choose the right size for the surfboard your loved one has!

Rack Pads

When transporting a surfboard, people commonly use a roof rack with straps. However, these can often damage the board or leave scratches. A simple set of rack pads can help protect your loved one’s board from metal roof racks and increase the longevity of the board. When paired with a surfboard sock or a surfboard bag, any board would be perfectly well-protected while in transit.

Surfboard Repair Kit

Surfers who travel or spend long days on the beach may find a surfboard repair kit super handy. These kits come with repair resin that can fix large scratches, gashes, or cracks in your board and dries in the sun. Of course, this is not a cure-all for any damage to a board, but it’s great as an easy fix for any surfer on the go.

Fin Wallet

If your loved one is the type of surfer who has a backup set of fins they bring along, a fin wallet can be a fantastic and affordable gift. This transparent fin storage system is a great way to store extra fins and comes with a smaller pocket for tools, keys, and other essentials. Surfers can just toss this in their car or backpack and have it whenever they need it!

FCS Ratchet

A surfboard’s fins can easily get misaligned or come loose when surfing in rougher waters, and an FCS Ratchet can come in handy when this happens. This useful tool enables surfers to adjust, remove, or replace their fins on the go, and is small enough to store in your car or backpack. It is definitely one of the more practical surfing gifts out there!

Best Budget Gifts for Surfers (Under $25)

Sticky Bumps Wax

Avid surfers go through wax quickly, and it’s one of the most useful gifts for surfers on a budget. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a small gift, any surfer would be happy to get a couple of cases of Sticky Bumps wax to keep their board grippy and surf-ready. Note that there are many different kinds of sticky bumps wax – we’d recommend getting at least one base coat bar and temperature specific bars (for cold, cool, or warm water).

Surf Leash

A surf leash is a heavy-duty cord attached to a surfer’s foot by velcro to ensure a surfer doesn’t get separated from their board. While these can range in price, they don’t have to be expensive! You can get a quality surf leash for under $20, and it’s one of the most practical gifts for surfers to keep them safe in the water.

Pickle Wax Remover

A wax remover is a great way to keep your surfboard clean and free of sticky wax when you transport it, and the Pickle Wax Remover is a commonly used kit that does exactly that! Most wax removal kits come with a comb scraper and the “pickle” wax remover, which helps remove finer wax pieces once they’ve been scraped with the comb.

Wetsuit Shampoo

A wetsuit is one of the biggest investments every surfer has to make, and it’s important for surfers to be able to protect and preserve their wetsuits for years to come. Wetsuit shampoo is one of the best budget gifts for surfers because it’s an inexpensive tool to keep your loved one’s wetsuit clean after a day of catching waves. We like this wetsuit shampoo because it’s cheap and easy to transport – your favorite surfer can simply throw it in their backpack and wash their wetsuit right after use!

Wetsuit Hanger

The second part of wetsuit care after washing it is ensuring it can dry without trapping moisture or salt. A wetsuit hanger is a fantastic way to ensure your wetsuit is fully extended while drying. Moreover, your favorite surfer can use the wetsuit hanger to store wetsuits during the offseason and ensure they won’t get misshapen.

Wetsuit Repair Kit

When surfing in rocky areas, wetsuit damage is sometimes inevitable. A wetsuit repair kit is something every surfer should have handy in the event that they snag a rock or a sharp edge and tear a hole in their wetsuit. This handy kit comes with a neoprene patch as well as a stitching kit so your favorite surfer can fix their wetsuit on the go. While it’s one of the smaller, simpler gifts for surfers, having one can go a long way during a day of surfing or a longer trip!

Wetsuit Repair Glue

Another great option for fixing a tear in a wetsuit is wetsuit repair glue. This is a flexible solution that dries onto wetsuit fabric, filling any holes caused by normal wear and tear or snags in rocky areas. The only downside here is that the glue needs to dry, meaning that surfers can’t use the wetsuit immediately after it has been applied.

Surf Claw Board Carrier

A Surf Claw surfboard carrier makes it easier and less cumbersome to carry a surfboard of any size when transporting it from a car. While some surfboards are small enough to hold with your arm, many longboards are not. A Surf Claw attaches to the edge of the board, essentially extending your arm span and enabling you to carry the board with just one hand. It’s one of the most handy surfing gifts that comes in a bunch of fun colors for any surfer!

Sun Bum Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Obviously, most surfers use sunscreen when they’re in the water. However, we recommend Sun Bum sunscreen for surfers because it’s reef safe and doesn’t use chemicals that can harm marine wildlife. This is especially important when doing water sports like surfing, SUP, and sea kayaking because it protects any marine life that may be sensitive to sunscreen chemicals.

Portable Clothesline

You know what happens if wet clothes/swim gear doesn’t dry properly? It starts to STINK. Luckily, a packable clothesline is one of the simplest and most useful gifts for surfers to help them dry their clothes on the go – on the beach, in the car, or at home! We like this portable clothesline because it’s got built-in clips to secure your clothing and is made of elastic to expand as needed.

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

We love giving and receiving books as presents, so no guide to gifts for surfers would be complete without one! One of the quintessential surfing memoirs, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan is an adventure of a read that spans many of the US shorelines and lots of friendships forged over a love of the sport. Any surfer (or non-surfer) will enjoy the captivating storytelling in this fun, intrepid read.

Best Clothes & Wearables for Surfers

SeaSpecs Surf Sunglasses

There’s nothing worse than catching a great wave and getting caught off balance because you were blinded by the sun. SeaSpecs Surf Sunglasses can help your favorite surfer avoid this situation! These polarized sunglasses are held on with a stretchy adjustable strap like swimming goggles, perfect for any water sports, including surfing.

Neoprene Surf Booties

For colder and rockier surf conditions, a pair of surf booties is essential. These booties are typically made of neoprene and come in different sizes and configurations, but our favorites are the split-toe designs like these because they are much sturdier and stay on your feet in rougher conditions.

Neoprene Surf Hood

Like booties, a surf hood can help keep surfers’ heads warm in cold water temperatures. These are also usually make of neoprene and come in a few different styles. This is a great gift for year-round surfers or those who typically surf in colder areas, like the Pacific Northwest or New England.

Neoprene Surf Gloves

The last thermal accessory for any surfer is a pair of surf gloves, which are great for protecting hands from cold water temperatures or sharp, rocky terrain. It’s one of the best gifts for surfers who typically ride in cold conditions or in areas with sharp rocks.

Wetsuit

A wetsuit is a critical piece of gear for any surfer, especially those who surf in colder waters. Wetsuits come in different styles and thickness, and have their own unique sizing that can depend a lot on the manufacturer.

This is one of the surfing gifts we’d recommend going into a shop for because it can be tricky to get the sizing right. However, once you know your favorite surfer’s size and thickness requirements, you can find a ton of them online! Our favorite place to shop for wetsuits is Wetsuit Wearhouse – they’ve got a huge selection and often have sales or discounts.

Active Sandals

A solid pair of sandals is a helpful surfing gift for getting to and from your car. Many surfers opt for flip flops, but we prefer hiking sandals with ankle straps for all of our outdoor activities. We love Tevas and Chacos for any warm weather trails, and we wear ours to the beach all the time.

Surf Ears Earplugs

Created to keep water out of your ears while still letting sound in, Surf Ears earplugs are a great gift for surfers. Many surfers struggle with getting water in their ears, especially in the beginning when they’re falling often into strong currents. Surf Ears are connected with a cord and a carabiner and are designed to enable surfers to hear things around them while keeping water out.

Surfboard Pack

For surfers on the go, there are few cooler and more fun gifts than the Koraloc surf backpack – a backpack that has extra straps around the outside to hold your surfboard! Surfboards can be big and cumbersome to carry, so having a backpack that holds your stuff and carries your board for you is a huge plus. Note that this is best for surfers who use a shortboard – a longboard could likely be too long to carry on your back!

Other Fun Gifts for Surfers

Homesick Beach Cottage Candle

Candles make great gifts for surfers who live far away from the beach, and the Homesick Beach Cottage candle is one of our very favorites. With notes of sea air, amber, and driftwood, this candle smells like a cozy evening walking along the coastline. We love Homesick candles because they evoke nostalgia for our favorite places, and as surfing gifts they are a memorable and thoughtful present.

NIXON Tide Watch

The NIXON Tide Watch is a stylish, water-resistant watch that enables surfers to see what the tide is like wherever they are. While we wouldn’t recommend wearing this while surfing (the currents and rocks are too unpredictable for any watch, in our opinion), it’s a great tool to wear around and watch the tides for the best surfing conditions, anywhere.

GoPro HERO9 Black

GoPro HERO9 Black is an excellent gift for the avid surfer who wants to document their adventures. Portable, waterproof, and high-quality, a GoPro will help your favorite surfer lover capture and relive their favorite moments on the water again and again.

Pro tip: if you decide to get a GoPro as a surfing gift, don’t forget a surfboard mount so they can use it hands-free!

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Kay Rodriguez is the founder of Urban Outdoors. She's also the writer and photographer behind Jetfarer. When she's not writing furiously on her laptop or editing photos, you can find Kay running, hiking, surfing, or playing in the snow.

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