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Essential Surfboard Accessories

November 08, 2022

Essential Surfboard Accessories

There are literally hundreds of different brands of surf accessories out there but there really is only a short list of items you need to go surfing.  This is one of the most amazing elements of surfing is the simplicity of the lifestyle.  Basically a board and you and you are all set but there are a few things you want to have ready before you paddle out.   There are a handful of accessories you will absolutely need to properly setup your surfboard and be ready for the ocean.  Today we will walk through all the essential surfboard accessories so you can be fully prepared when you hit the beach.  There is nothing worse than planning a day at the beach, getting down to the sand and finding out you forgot something important.  It is our goal to get you ready before you leave the house so you can spend more time surfing!  

FINS

The thing about fins are that you absolutely have to have them to surf your board, seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised that we have seen people try and paddle out a new board without fins!  If you have a set to get started then you are good to go.  Once you are surfing and you know how to handle your board you may want to look into upgrading your fins.  We have a great selection of standard and premium fin sets available in both fiberglass and honeycomb construction.  The fiberglass have a classic look to them and the honeycomb fins are better for reducing the weight of the board for performance. As a general rule standard nylon plastic fins will work fine but an upgraded set will allow for a slight improvement in performance and will improve the look of your new board.

Go here for the Degree 33 fin collection

Leashes

When you paddle out, you will notice that, without a leash, losing your board means you’re in for a long swim. That’s assuming that your surfboard hasn’t been stopped by someone else’s head. A surfboard without a leash can be really dangerous so we suggest using one to protect you and others around you in the lineup.

Benefits of a surfboard leash:

  • Saves time and energy. You won't be swimming after your board every time you fall.
  • Protects the board from being washed away and smashed up on the rocks.
  • If you wipe out, surfboards float, your leash will show you which way is up.

What size of leash is best for me? There are 2 factors:

  • The shorter your surfboard, the shorter the leash should be. You guessed it, the longer the board, and the longer the leash.
  • Smaller waves need thinner leashes; bigger surf requires a thicker, stronger leash.

If you are new to surfing, buy a leash that is about the same size as your surfboard. A thicker leash will generally last longer than a thin one.

A word of warning: When the leash is stretched the board can shoot back at you. Always protect your face with your hands when resurfacing.

Go here for leashes

SURFBOARD BAGS

Surfboard bags are often considered optional, but, in our opinion, they are essential for the newer surfer. There are a number of benefits to having a bag for your board.

  • Bags help you carry your board to and from the water.
  • Bags will protect your board from being damaged in transport. If you carry your board on the top of your car, a truck could kick up gravel. This can cause damage that could prevent you from getting in the water, or worse, you don’t see it until you get out of the water... even more damage and repair costs. It’s also common to bang your board into something while you carry it around... be it a wall, a car, a tree...
  • Bags will protect your board from damage while stored. If you store your boards in the garage like most people do, you are liable to have something run in to it or fall on it... kid, car, lawn mower...
  • Bags protect your board from heat and UV damage. Damage from heat and UV light to a surfboard can be game changing. For a traditional glass board, damage happens slowly over time. It starts with just some discoloration. Over time, it will make the resin, glass, and foam brittle, making your board susceptible to all kinds of damage. The heat and UV damage to an epoxy surfboard is quick and severe. If left in intense direct sunlight for even a half hour, an epoxy board can begin to delaminate. This happens because the components that make up an epoxy board expand in the heat and UV light causing the board to bubble. If you’re just walking back and forth to the water, you won’t have any problems, but if you spend a half day at the beach, keep your board covered. This goes for transporting your board on roof racks as well.  NOTE: If your board is in the water you are fine.

    A bag will slow down, if not completely stop these problems and protect your investment.

    Go here for board bags

    SURF WAX

    Surfboard wax provides grip for your feet on your surfboard. Surf wax also stops you from sliding off your board while paddling out to the waves.

    As the name would suggest surfboard wax is primarily made from bees wax and paraffin. Generally other substances are added to provide tropical fragrances.

    There are huge varieties of different surf waxes to select from and you need to ensure that the wax is going to be right for your surfing environment. If you are surfing in Hawaii you will need totally different wax than surfing in a cold water climate like South Africa.

    Wax is designed for ranges of water temperature. You need tackier wax in cold water and harder wax in warm water. If in doubt, read the label or give us a call.

    Another good way to make your wax stick to your board is the use of base coat. Base coat is like primer for a wall your about to paint and will help the top coat adhere better.

    Go here for surf wax

    DING REPAIR

    Serious dings should be left to a professional, bottom line.

    BUT, let’s say you’re surfing abroad. The place is remote; no surf shop for miles, or kilometers for that matter. You crack the rail on a wipeout. Or worse, it gets knocked around on the plane before you even get in the water.

    What to do? You don’t want to waterlog your favorite board.

    The best thing to do is to take your own traveling surfboard repair kit with you. Try Solarez. This stuff will save your board and vacation.

    This little beauty heals in the sun, won’t discolor your surfboard, and won’t kill you with fumes. Sand the damaged area thoroughly first so that the Solarez can form a strong bond to your board. You apply it in the shade, stick your surfboard out in the sun for 3 minutes, and bam! You’re back in the barrel. This product starts to cure in just 30 seconds.

    If the foam got wet, this is just a simple way to save your surf session. You'll need to remove the Solarez and let the foam dry out before you can make a permanent repair.

    Go here for ding repair

    Rashguard and Wetsuit

    The need for a wetsuit or rashguard will depend on you and where you live.

    Obviously if you live where the water is cold, or at least you think it is, you will need a wetsuit. The thickness and style will depend on your body and tolerance of cold temps.

    We carry a variety of wetsuit products for a number of different applications. Colder climates often require wetsuit booties, gloves or hoods to help insulate your body through the winter months. Surfers who travel to tropical surf locations where the wave breaks over shallow reef will find that short, lightweight booties will protect their feet from sharp corral.

    Rashguards are used for 2 reasons: to protect from UV and prevent skin damage. If you are a fair skinned individual then a rash guard would be appropriate for you. The other reason people use them is to prevent skin rash from laying on the surfboard. If you have sensitive skin then you might want to try one.

    Currently we do not sell wetsuits at Degree 33.  We suggest you go to a local surf shop so you can try on a suit to make sure the fit is just right as buying a fitted product like a wetsuit online can be tricky.  Due to the fact that every human body is so different, fit can vary a lot from person to person so trying the suit on before a purchase is really the best way to go.  Most established surf shops have a large selection of wetsuits for you to try on to get a glove fit (which is what you want).

    If you need a rash guard, we have our own high quality Degree 33 branded rash guard here

    TRACTION PADS

    Traction pads or deck pads are common place for shorter surfboards. They allow the surfer to maintain a higher level of control by placing extra grip at the tail of the surfboard (where most of your turning comes from). If you are getting a shorter surfboard or a hybrid of some sort then a pad is appropriate. They’ll also help with foot placement, giving a reference point to where your back foot should be. This can really help a surfer that is moving down from a longboard, where foot placement isn’t as crucial, to some- thing more agile and capable of a higher level of turning and control.

    Traction pads allow for high performance maneuvers on a shortboard

    Traction pads are primarily used on high performance shortboards.  We do no suggest using them on mid lengths and longboards.  Surf traction pads come in a huge variety of colors, but they are basically all made from the same non-slip, water resistant components. The bumps, curves, grooves, and contours found on the traction pads all come down to personal taste and comfort.

    Go here for traction pads

    SURF RACKS

    If you will be driving to and from the beach, surf racks will be necessary if you don’t have a truck or room inside your car. You can get soft or hard surf racks for almost any vehicle. Most are removable and strap on using the door jams, tail gate, or existing racks.

    Surf racks help secure a surfboard so that it isn’t damaged by shifting around while being transported. They also allow you to carry a number of boards on the roof of your vehicle so there’s plenty of room inside for your buddies to join you in the water.

    Go here for surf racks

    OTHER STUFF WE LOVE

    In addition to all the products mentioned above there are a few optional products we use ourselves that will make your experience a lot better.

    The Surf Grass Mat is an epic little piece of outdoor turf.  This is not the same stuff you find at the local big box store, this has a heavy duty backing material, bound edges and a velcro strap attached so you can roll it.  This grass allows you to get all the sand and dirt off your feet while you change out of your wetsuit.  Simple and amazing!  Get one here

     

    The surf parka keeps you super warm when changing out of your wetsuit and makes life easier so you don't risk having your towel fall off wheil getting suited up.  These are a great product that customers love, you can get one here

     




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