Surfboard, boardies, wax, sunscreen. They're the obvious inclusions for any surf trip. But sometimes it's the lil random things that can make all the difference.
The ultimate surf trip is to a remote location to dodge the crowds. But remote means you're not going to be be able to pop down to the local surf shop and grab a coupla fcs plugs when you tear your outta the board on a shallow reef.
Losing a fin is ok, cos you can generally bum one off another surfer - yanking the fin plug out with the fin is another matter all together. Totally worth having a few spare plugs stuffed into your kit bag, cos you'll never know when you'll need one. Bonus is that they weight nothing and take up zero space - no excuse for not grabbing a few from your local shaper before your trip.
If you have the space, a set of tie-downs can be the difference in getting your board safely from A to B. The more off the beaten track you are the greater the chance of your board getting tied onto a roof rack with a bit of hessian or a straggly piece of twine.
No tie-downs, no problem. A coupla shoe laces can do the trick just fine. Lost count of the number of times we've had to shoe-lace a massive coffin bag to the roof racks of a van in the middle of nowhere. Take note that the scientific equation says the driving speed and skill of the driver is inversely proportional to how vas your boards are. The more tenuous the attachment of your boards, the more the ou thinks he's Indo's answer to Michael Schumacker.
Cable ties are another useful thing to have stowed away in the bottom of your bag. Grab a few of different lengths and chuck em in. They weigh nothing and take up no space. Use em to "lock" your zips together and keep your stuff safe(r). Re-attach broken straps to boardbags or luggage. Secure a piece of pipe to railing of your boat for a makeshift rod holder. Velcro on your reef booties stuffed and keep coming undone? Make a cable tie loop and thread your velcro strap through it. Secure your boardbag to roofracks. Lose a leash string? Use a cable tie. Their uses are endless. Have yet to go on a surf trip and not use one.
Don't forget the duct tape. This stuff can keep both your bod and your bod patched together. Airlines smash your rails or your board bounds over the reef - just grab a piece of tape and stick it over the ding. Keeps the water out and keeps you in the surf til you have time to fix it up. Overcook a floater and do an ankle in - no worries, tape it up and get back in the surf. Same goes for reef cuts, bit of tape over them keeps the skin together and can help it stay kinda dry.
Also helps to patch your boardbag together after the baggage muppets have managed to rip gashes in it. Stop the tear in it's tracks before it gets worse. Use it to stick your pool noodles to your rails when trying to make your boards safe for travelling. Get dragged across the reef and rip your baggies. Don't flash your butt to the world - just stick a patch on the tear, one inside, one outside, and you good to go.
You get 'em in smaller travel sizes too. No need to take half a kg of the stuff over with you.
Travel pillows are good to have along. Easy to clip to your backpack. Saves your neck on the plane on the trip there and back. Great if you need to doss at the airport between flights. Invaluable to replace the kak pillow at the hotel, your warung or charter boat.
Amazing how even the larniest hotels can have the worst pillows ever. Bizarrely enough, Indo hotels seem to have the thickest pillows in the world. Which is odd cos Indo are generally pretty small people, which means the don't have very wide shoulders - so why hotels think peeps wanna sleep with their necks at a moerse angle is beyond me.
Try and explain to housekeeping you want a thin pillow? Get met with very very blank looks. Much easier to just use your travel pillow instead.
Also useful to grab a doss on the speedboat when you missioning between breaks. Make sure you get one with lil press-studs so you can clip it closed in order to hook it onto your backpack etc.
If you're planning to take a smartphone, laptop or camera, then a dry bag is a must. Keep your gear safe from tropical downpours of mishaps in the dingy. Better safe than sorry is a motto for a reason. Don't risk losing all your holiday snaps cos you send your camera for an unplanned swim.
You can go from budget to deluxe depending on your requirements. The run-of-the-mill drysack is fine to keep stuff dry, but depending on what you planning to do with it and how much you'll be lugging it about, it may be worth considering upgrading to a drybag backpack like the Oakley Motion.
So there you have it. A coupla extra lil bits and pieces to chuck into your gear when you plan your next surf trip. Guaranteed you'll use most of them. Just hopefully not the fin plugs!