So, you’re on the hunt for the best gifts for surfers? Hunt no more. This ultimate list runs through some of the pressies that would excite us the most. It’s got a good coverage, both in prices and in categories. You’ll find everything from eco-friendly sunscreens to hi-tech surf cams for over $300 a pop. We’ve tried to lay out why each of the gifts for surfers on this list is a good option in a way that non-surfers might understand, with some guidance on the sort of wave rider that would really appreciate each…
A quick-jump guide to our top gifts for surfers in 2022
- SurfDurt Original Sunblock – Natural Sun Screen – One of our favorite surf sunscreens. Safety for the skin in gift under $30
- Submerge Wallet – Keep the car keys and cards dry while you surf with this innovative wallet
- Master Lock 5420D with Adjustable Shackle – A different solution to stashing the keys
- Sticky Bumps Surf Wax – A stocking filler or add-on present that you can rest assured every surfer needs
- Cor Surf Wetsuit Changing Mat – Keep your feet warm and dry and the wetsuit clean while changing
- O’Neill Youth Reactor-2 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit – An entry-level wetsuit option for little ones starting to surf
- The Other Side of Surfing – We love the thought-provoking photography of this surf compendium
- Dakine John Florence Mission Surfboard Bag – If you’re giving to someone who travels to surf, this could be a doozy
- Northcore Beach Basha Pro – The coolest new surf changers are these Northcore ponchos
- GoPro HERO8 Black Waterproof Action Camera – An epic present in the form of the best action cam for surf
- DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller – An even more epic present, this drone can capture top surf footage
Price guide: $17-19
If you know anyone who’s planning a surf trip to Sri Lanka or Mexico, sunny South Cali or the beaches of Portugal (AKA just about anywhere else where the sun loves to blaze down on the breaks), you simply can’t got wrong with this sun block. We’ve actually been big fans of SurfDurt Original Sunblock for a while. We’ve got them right up in plum poll position on our choice of the top sunscreens for surfers in 2022 for a whole load of reasons…
First off, they guarantee all screens are 100% reef safe. They get there by using a mere 11 food-grade ingredients in their products. Second, the active sun blocker here is non-nano zinc, which – to cut a lot of science jargon short – is the bee’s knees of the sector because it reflects the harsh UVA/UVB rays without absorbing into your skin itself.
The market has since broadened and there are other brands doing something similar. However, we still go back to Surf Durt for the soothing, moisturizing feel of the cream, its ease of application, and the fact that it hardly ever runs into the eyes – that’s a gift when surfing in hot destinations. It’s also small enough to fit into a stocking and super easy to travel with.
- A must if your recipient is going to be surfing in the sun
- Healthy as well as useful
- All vegan-friendlty and cruelty free
- This isn’t the cheapest sun block out there
- It looks small, but it’s not cheap!
Price guide: £34.99/$45
Recent veteran of Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns Submerge have brought an innovative solution to the car-surf-key problem. When they reached out to check if we wanted to test one of their all-new waterproof wallets we jumped at the chance. See, it was the end of the winter season and the H2O was still bitterly cold. Fresh from a week of trying to pluck my metal car key insert from the atom-sized pouch in my leash with numb fingers, this seemed like the perfect solution…
And so it was. Yep, TSA’s very own founder Joe surfed three times with the Submerge Wallet before the swell slackened off. Safe to say it was a breath of fresh air. Easy to drop the keys into and capable of holding large electronic sets (like a nearly-vintage Volvo set from 2002, for example), the wallet was simple to sling on and attach to the arm.
But the utility of this gift goes far beyond just making stashing of the car keys a cinch. We’ve just hit Sri Lanka for a month and we realized that we debated every morning where to hide our wallets while on the sand. That’s where the nifty insert to the Submerge comes in, letting you take your plastic into the water for extra theft protection. It’s a piece of kit that works well for all levels of surfer in all destinations. And that’s rare.
- IPX8 standard waterproofed that works well
- Enough room for even the bigger car keys
- Awesome for key storage when it’s cold
- The card insert might not work for all sizes of plastic
- Slower shipping to the US
Prcie guide: $15-25
A padlock? For surfers? You bet! We can all but guarantee you that anyone who’s used to surfing on their own at breaks they need to drive to will have dreamed of owning one of these at least once. And if they haven’t, it’s just a itch they didn’t know needed scratching yet.
It’s for those moments that you rock up to the carpark, get changed and then realize you’ve not got anywhere to lodge the car keys. Bingo: The Master Lock comes to the rescue.
This is one of the stand outs too. Not only is this one highly rated by over 5,000 buyers. It’s also got a vinyl coated rim to stop it from scratching your car, an adjustable handle to help it fit just about any vehicle, and a capacity for five standard house keys. That ticks all the boxes. (Just be sure to check your auto insurance small print – sometimes using one of these might void your cover and not one wants that!)
- Vinyl coated to prevent scratching
- Highly rated
- Capacity for five standard house keys
- A little heavy
- Not a classic gift for a surfer
Price guide: £2/$2.50
Let’s break it down for you: Wax is to a surfer like golf balls are to a golfer. Every one of us needs it and in steady supply, too. The problem is that just buying a huge wedge of wax can seem like a cop out. But don’t go thinking like that. We’ll reiterate: EVERY surfer needs wax. All of the time. Your grom grandson or granddaughter won’t think this is a boring pressie. They’ll see it as practical. At least I would if my grand got it for me!
So, that’s over with. Next you have the question of what wax to choose. There are stacks of different makers out there but we’ve plumped for Sticky Bumps here because we’ve recently been a convert to their strong formula. First off, it’s, just as the name implies, very sticky, so it does its job well. Second off, they were one of the first companies to move away from the toxic paraffin-based waxes of yesteryear. And, finally, they smell darn amazing!
Be sure to match the wax you buy with the water that your gift receiver will be surfing. There are a couple of options:
- Sticky Bumps Cold – For waters <59 F (<15 C)
- Sticky Bumps Cool – For waters 55-66 F (14-19 C)
- Sticky Bumps Warm – For waters 62-75 F (17-24 C)
- Sticky Bumps Tropical – For waters 75+ F (24+ C)
- Sticky Bumps Basecoat – This is the hardest wax out there, good for making base layers on boards to add more wax on top. Get this plus a stick of the right water temperature for the full package.
- Ultra sticky
- Something that’s always needed
- Different waxes for different temps
- It’s a stocking filler of a gift
- Not the most out-there surf present
Price guide: £24.99/$28.99
Forget wet feet and muddy wetsuits, this changing mat can solve all your woes. It’s pretty simple as gifts for surfers go. Unfurl it on the ground, change on top of it. That’s it really. The rugged material protects your feet from getting hurt and ensures that wetsuit won’t get unnecessarily dirty or, even worse, rip. When it comes to changing back out of your suit, you do exactly the same, only the mat also acts as a neat pull bag to keep that sodden neoprene from soaking your car.
We’ve had others but are currently using the Cor Surf version and it’s a solid choice. We like how small it can fold up when it’s not in use, the zip-up carry pouch, and the thickness of the PVC Poly Fabric underfoot while changing. Begone carpark pebbles!
- Bags up to keep your used wetsuit from soaking everything else
- Keeps wetsuits nice and clean
- Made from strong PVC plastic compounds
- Lots of surfers already have this
- Not that useful if you don’t surf in a wetsuit
Price guide: £69.95+/$99+
Of all the gifts for surfers, a wetsuit is up there with one of the biggest. But these essential pieces of kit don’t have to break the bank. Take this O’Neill Youth Reactor 3/2. It’s arguably the best-known entry-level wetsuit for kids (NOTICE: This is for KIDS!). A standard summer-fall thickness keeps it versatile and easy to get on and off. You also get the single-zip back entry, which is a better option for starters and groms (that’s the little ones).
Color is often the question of debate when parents come to pick a wetsuit for their little ones. Take our advice: Steer clear of bold hues. All black is best. What this offers is a solid present that is the perfect thing to kick-start a family member or someone you know in the water, getting them off rental neoprene and into some rubber of their own.
- You get a whole wetsuit!
- Essential piece of kit
- Multiple colors
- 3/2 thickness is good for multiple seasons
- Only for kids
- Not the gift for expert surfers
- The bigger the size, the more expensive
Price guide: £30.00/$37+
This sumptuous publication from GALINDO is a 250-page surf odyssey. First released in 2020, it delves into the lives of some of the great contemporary surf pioneers. You’ll learn about the river surfers of Munich and beach sculptors in Portugal, along with board shapers who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on fibre and epoxy.
It’s very much a coffee table book (or a book for the newly converted surf van, perhaps?), but also finished beautifully with stunning images and informative text. To be clear, the images are just as impressive as the words. It’s dip-in, dip-out sorta’ reading for the interior-design minded surfer.
- One of the more unique gift for surfers
- A perfect book for the surf van
- Beautifully published with glossy photography
- Quite heavy
- It’s a dip-in book at best, but hey, that’s the point here!
Price guide: £123+/$150-169
Buying a gift for a surfer who travels a lot? Everyone, like EVERYONE, who does that needs a surf bag. You can pay walloping amounts of money for these key pieces of kit, and we actually think it’s worth plumping for something premium here since there’s hardly anything worse than unzipping the gear in Mex or Costa Rica only to find a massive ding or crack in the board deck. Urgh.
Cue the Dakine John Florence Mission Surfboard Bag. It’s got plenty of protection in its 10mm shell of foam padding (that’s to stop the baggage handlers doing any damage). There’s a durable toughness to the nylon ripstop finish that we find pretty resistant to marks and splodges. And the weight has been cut to very manageable levels, which is nice if you’re gift receiver is planning long-haul surf trips that need lots of moving about with the bag in tow.
Of course, having a bag doesn’t mean your board is safe. A lot of that is down to the airlines, and you’ll need to pack it right! To make it easier to carry, you’re after a bag with an adjustable strap and a some pocket stashes for bits and bobs. You also need to match the board size to the bag, which is easy with the Florence Mission – it comes in five intervals up from 5″8 (**remember to go larger than the board you have!**).
- Simple and easy to use
- Great thickness to the bag for protection
- Ripstop finish that’s resistant to marks and stains
- Pricy but hopefully a bag for life
Prcie guide: £129.95/$136.95
Woe to the poor surfer who’s still relying on towels. A poncho just makes life so much easier and nicer. That goes for all situations, no matter if you’re emerging from the icy waters of Scotland or the tropical baths of Sri Lanka. These guys simplify the changing process like never before. Just pull it over your head to whack on your wetsuit. Do the same when you come out and you’ll dry and change without having to worry about showing too much if you catch our drift.
In the last couple of years there’s one company that’s established itself as the undisputed king of the surf changer world: Northcore. We list their Northcore Beach Basha Pro as the absolute best surf poncho for 2022. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s used one. These bad boys are lined with 5000mm water resistance and 5000g breathability rating fabric that has an outer layer of wind resistance to boot. There’s a no-stick zip that never salts up and it looks amazing.
This is a present for more than just a surfer – it’s a key piece of kit for winter swims and even walks with the dog. Haven’t you noticed? Everyone’s getting in on the surf poncho act!
- Lightweight compared to other robes
- Makes changing before and after a surf waaaay nicer!
- Microfibre material that dries fast
- It won’t improve your surfing
- Might not be used by those who like to travel really light
Price guide: $309
WOWWZZAA. If we opened our birthday pressie and saw that gran had bought us this badboy…let’s just say that would make her our FAVOURITE granny! Seriously though, the GoPro 8 has been the most fantastic action cam on the market since it first dropped in 2018 if you ask us. We take it everywhere we go and we’ve scored some unforgettable shots, whether that’s paddle outs or full on drop ins. It’s a perfect gift for a surfer who’s creative and loves to document their surf travels.
Feature wise, where to begin? 4K footage with uber-pristine color correction. Wide angle lenses that can stretch even wider than before on 2.7k format. There’s ultra slow mo. You’ve got in-built software stabilisation that’s the best on the market by a long shot. It’s a cracking present. A cracking present!
- Amazing 4K recording
- Software stabilization that’s brilliant for surfing
- It’s just an all-round killer present!
- It’s not the newest model (but we think it’s arguably the best)
- The GoPro isn’t cheap!
Price guide: $730
If you’re looking for a mega present for someone truly special, then the DJI Mavic Air could be perfect. It’s not just an awesome gifts for surfers, but for all travelers and photography buffs. We list it here because there’s simply no doubt that drone footage has risen to become the piece de resistance of the surf-travel world in recent years. It’s the sort of stuff that can elevate surf trip vids to whole new and dizzying heights.
The DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter deserves some serious plaudits for what’s under the hood. Ultra portable, it weighs just 0.95 pounds and relies on four copter blades that can easily be folded for transport. This purchase comes with a remote control, which we’d say is a must if you’re determined to get the best shots of the surf line up possible. Remember that drones aren’t allowed everywhere and you might need to ask permission before you can fly.
- 4K video at 60fps – exactly what you want for surf shots
- A 3-axis gimbal to help you manoeuvre the cam around beaches and headlands
- Light and portable
- This is one damn pricy present!
- Drone laws apply
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