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Tips for Planning a Successful Surfing Trip

by Michael Everett

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A surfing trip can be a life-changing adventure, as you visit exciting destinations and ride legendary waves. Not only that, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet new people and immerse in different cultures. 

But in order to have a successful surfing trip, you need to be adequately prepared. This will help you make the most of your surf lessons, enjoy your time spent with fellow surfers and travelers, and truly immerse yourself in the local culture.

Here are some useful tips for planning an unforgettable surfing trip:

Choose your surfing destination wisely


With so many great surf spots to choose from, it would be wise to start doing your research early on. This will allow you to check out the pros and cons of visiting a particular place at a given time of the year. You may check the surf forecasts and find out when are your best chances of getting good swells and consistent waves.

If you’ve never surfed before, you can join a beginner surf camp. Once you have some experience under your belt, you may choose to go on a surf trip all on your own, or choose a surf camp for advanced surfers that will offer all the guidance need in order to be in the right place at the right time to catch the wave of your life. 


Take care of documents and paperwork


Make sure you take your international passport, driver's license, insurance documents, and all the details of the places, lodgings, and contacts you wish to visit.

Your passport should be valid for at least six months or more with space for additional visas, where necessary. Make sure you have 24-hour emergency assistance contact numbers and travel insurance. Let a close friend or relative at home have details of your itinerary, including travel dates and accommodation details.


Take enough money


You will not be able to survive for long if you run out of cash. Find out how much you’ll need on a daily basis. If you join a surf camp, you’ll have accommodation, surf lessons, and transfer to the surf spots included in the package. Some camps also offer daily meals, airport transfer, massages, yoga classes, as well as other services. Check with your hosts to see what’s included in the price and ask about the daily budget.

You can join a budget surf camp for as little as €17 per person/day.

Arrange for some local currency at the airport that you can carry around, and conceal your cash safely so it does not attract thieves. Make sure your ATM card or credit card is in a safe place.


Protect your surfboard


Keep your surfboard as safe as possible while in transit. For this purpose, getting the right type of surfboard bag is critical, especially when you will be taking more than one surfboard along. You need to get a bag with a padding that is at least 7mm thick. For a big trip, choose one with 10mm padding.

Choose a bag that has add-ons, which can protect your surfboard. For instance, some bags have tail or nose inserts to protect the parts of your board that can easily be damaged during a long flight. Others have built-in board separators that will serve as a padding between the two boards. 

Take off all wax from the boards before packing them into your bag. Pack extra items like your trunks, wetsuit, and towel into your board bag and use them as a padding for your board. Never forget to label the internal and external parts of your bag with all your contact details. 


Take additional accessories for emergencies


Always take extra accessories when you are going on a surf trip. You could break leashes and fins could get damaged. Take extra leashes, leash strings, fins, fin keys and wax for your trip. Take a roll of duct tape and surf stickers to help you perform emergency repairs.

Apart from accessories for your board, you also need to take some first aid items for yourself. No matter how experienced you are, a few unexpected things could happen while surfing. So pack a small surfer’s first-aid kit. This is particularly important when you are going on a solo surf trip. It’s good to have sun-cure to treat sunburn and sunscreen to protect your skin, as well as some antibacterial ointment.


Enjoy the company of fellow surfers 


At popular surf spots, you will find surf camps located within 500 meters or a little further from the beach. These camps usually offer hostel-type accommodation with dormitory or private rooms. They are budget-friendly and they provide good food, surf guidance, and even tuition. You can also rent surfing equipment from well-established camps. 


Pick a convenient mode of transportation


Depending on the destination, there are several ways in which you can get to the surf spot. Some are close to international airports, and all you have to do is take a public bus to get to them. Others are harder to reach and may require renting a car or even a boat. 

On a surf charter, you will be on the ocean all the time, which means that you can reach spectacular offshore surfing spots. Most charters are "floating hotels", so you return to them and stay on them throughout your trip. 

Surfing road trips are an excellent choice if you love to drive along the coast and travel to remote locations, riding as many different waves as possible during your trip. They are equally exciting when you are going with a group and they can easily integrate you as a solo traveler. It is also one of the cheapest means of exploring various surf spots.

Are you ready to embark on your next surfing adventure? A surfari tour might be just the thing for you!

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