Raw Surfing Adventures Before You Go On Your Surf Trip
Travel Information & Checklist
When you travel for adventure, it is important to keep protected. Which is why we recommend you get Travel and Medical Insurance, just in case you need it, its there.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO SURF
Before you go on your trip, make sure you take the important steps of planning ahead by packing the necessary gear. We have compiled a list of to-do items of what to pack and bring with you on your adventure. Sometimes scoring epic surf requires knowing what to bring with you on your surfing travels. Every place you visit will require something different. Like cold water locations you need your wet suit, and tropical locations just board shorts will do!
Raw Surf Trip To-Do Prep List
Money & Travel Docs
Other Surf Trip Essentials
We generally like to bring 2 to 3 surfboards on our journey. Sometimes traveling with too much can get heavy on your shoulders, and be aware airlines charge fees for each board you bring. Always start with your go to short board, bring a step up board that is up to 4″ longer than regular short board in case the waves are on the increase. And if you have room in your board bag, we suggest bringing something with a little more foam to float in in small days, like a dumpster diver.Click here for more info
Bringing spare fins are essential to your trip, especially while traveling to remote destinations, or third world that does not have access to purchasing replacements. We suggest bringing at least one extra set, and if you have different brand fin systems, bring an extra set for each. The last thing you want to do is break a fin, or lose one and not be able to paddle back out on your trip. Plus having a variety of fin sizes will help in different surf conditions, giving your board a different feel and way it rides.Click here for more info
We recommend bringing at least 2 leashes. However bringing 3 or more with various levels of length and thickness are preferred. You would use the thin leashes in smaller surf, and then of course increase the thickness for swell size, just in case as the leashes can stretch and break! There is no worse thing than breaking your leashes and not having one as a back up. Be prepared.Click here for more info
Depending on what type of board travel bag you get is going to make the difference in how you pack it. If you bring a coffin; which is a hard case boardbag, sometimes has wheels, and usually fits 3-5 or more boards, than you don’t typically have to pack very fit, but still suggest packing with extra in case.
But if you bring a smaller bag, that doesn’t have that extra hard shell, then you’re going to need to more perfectly place the items in the bag and fit to size, with more filling to eliminate the exposed rocker in the board. That way your board will be safer. Bubble wrap or wrapping your boards in towels and clothes is highly recommended. In this circumstance if you’re asked at check-in, you only have 1 board in there, not 3. As the airlines can charge for the extra boards.
Make sure to check the weight of the bag to avoid the overage charges.Click here for more info
Bring a ton of fin keys. Put one in every bag. Well maybe you don’t need a ton literally, but bring a few. In case you forget you, you could possibly find a hardware store that sells allin wrenches, which are pretty much the same thing. But that could be a pain when you could very well just be prepared.Click here for more info
Having a wetsuit for cold water locations can be an essential to survival in such fridged surf environments. We recommend during these types of climates very thick wet suits, like a 4/5 or 5/6 mm, with a hoodie, gloves and booties to keep from getting hypothermia. Sometimes having a heated thermal might come in handy too!
In subtropical environments where winter time is cool, but not cold, you could get away with just a 3/2mm wetsuit, a springsuit at that during mild weather.
And of course a 1mm can come in handy if you’re heading to a tropical location, which can be very useful when winds pick up, and of course for sun and reef protection.Click here for more info
The colder the water, the softer the wax. The warmer the water, the harder the wax. Bring some as it can be a big benefit. In countries like Australia and France, wax can be very expensive. And in some places in the world, wax is hard to come by.Click here for more info
Keeping water out of your ears will keep infections away and you will thank yourself later. Get some ear plugs. You can use them to sleep during the air or train travel, as well as sleep if you’re staying somewhere noisy.Click here for more info
Best bet if you get damage to your surfboard on a trip is to find the local ding repair guy, or surf shop if available. This is because they will typically have the right tools and equipment to perform proper ding repair. Plus most of the guys have a great deal of expertise fixing boards over the average surfer. That and it helps stimulate the local economy to bring the ding guys and shops business.
But if you are on a really tight budget, or far from civilization, doing your own repair work might be the best or only way to go. And for these reasons we suggest you bring a basic ding repair kit with you to fix your surf board yourself. Even bringing a handy tube of Suncure resin would be smart.Click here for more info
Whether for cold temps or shallow reefs, booties can come in handy for your surf adventure. We recommend them to keep your extremities warm in fridgid temperatures like found in Northern California, and Europe to a name a few places. It is also a nice to be able to stand up in shallow waters when surfing over sharp reef and also very useful when paddling and walking out to the surf and lineup.Click here for more info
Day Bag or Back Pack
Bringing a day bag, or back pack with you is a must on your surf trip. This way you don’t have to travel around the local areas with a huge travel bag, when you only need a few main items to make it through the day.Click here for more info
Travel pillow, regular pillow, doesn’t matter which you bring, just bring one. Light-weight and provides much needed neck support and comfort during long trips. Some surfing accommodations, especially cheaper ones, might have sub par standards in the quality of their bedding, etc. Bringing your own pillow can help you keep from feeling gross.Click here for more info
Every RAW adventurer needs to have a one man, small, light-weight tent on hand in the event they venture off through the wild in search of some empty secret waves. Camping is sometimes the only option. Pack one in your board bag even if you’re not wandering into the remote wilderness in search of waves. It can be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel or hostel too.Click here for more info
A travel inflatable mattress is a great idea if you plan on doing a lot of camping and want to sleep on a something that will better support your back. Make sure you purchase one that is compact, and easily inflates with minimal extra parts.
It isn’t essential to bring an inflatable mattress, but we figured it is still imprortant to mention to give you more ideas of what options could help improve the quality of your surt trip adventure.Click here for more info
Many of the budget surfing accomodations do not provide sheets for the beds, so we recommend bringing a set of your own. Use the sheets as extra padding in the board bag, and you’ll be happy you brought them as they support the rocker.Click here for more info
Bring a hammock if you have extra room in your travel case, as they aren’t a necessity, but nice to have in case you wanna hang around and take a nap. Taking up very little room and being light weight makes this a great add on for your travel pack. There is even a new hammock-tent concept tents you can purchase that connects on three or four points and hangs above the ground to protect from insects and small animals.Click here for more info
Many of our surfing adventure packages offer or include Yoga practice into your experience, so bringing a yoga mat may be a good idea, especially if you plan on participating in some excersizes during your trip.
There are some cheap mats available that will work. You could bring a good one if you want, but we would recommend just something basic to travel with. That and a yoga towel could do well to help when you sweat. Tropical destination yoga practice produces a lot of sweat!Click here for more info
Money & Travel Doc's
Credit cards come in handy if you get in a bind, and have no other financial resources to rely on. The work like debit cards in ATM machines pretty much anywhere, however may incur withdraw fees for getting cash, or give you bonuses for spending in certain ways. Check with your credit card company before you trip for specific details on international credit.Click here for more info
Debit cards are pretty much acceptable everywhere there is a bank ATM, which is almost anywhere, even in third world countries. They are essential for pulling cash out directly from your bank account.Click here for more info
Budgeting how much cash you’ll need saved to bring on your surf adventure is essential. And making sure you have the proper currency for the country you are traveling to is just as important. You can order foreign money through your bank in advance, or you can purchase it at an exchange counter in the airport, or airport ATM’s upon arrival. However the exchange counters and ATM’s can have very high fees for exchanging monies.Click here for more info
Travelers Checks (Cheques) are an easy to use and safe way to protect your money wherever you travel… most of the time. They can be refunded if lost or stolen, help protect you against identity theft, can save money over other paymenet methods, make budgeting easy by spending only a fixed amount of the cheques at a time, and the cheques are backbed by American Express.
The downside to the travelers cheques are that some foreign banks could refuse to cash them in if the signatures don’t match exactly on your proof of identification with your signed cheques, or your hand signature. It could also be hard to find a bank in remote areas to change over your cheques into cash money.Click here for more info
Bringing your passport on international trips is essential. If you forget it, you might not be admitted into your destination country, being forced to cancel your adventure to turn around go right back home. We also highly recommend bringing copies of your passport along with you in separate bags, along with leaving relatives back at home with copies, and scanning one to your email.
In a situation that you lose your passport or it gets stolen, the process of getting a new one through the closest U.S. Embassy will become much easier with keeping a copy of it on hand.Click here for more info
Drivers license is important not only as for permission to drive a vehicle, but also identification purposes. It is also recommended to get an international drivers license permit because it can be useful if you run into any trouble with getting pulled over in a foreign country. Indo especially. Make and carry copies of your license in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Also leave a copy of your license at home with a friend or relative while you are on your trip.Click here for more info
Making sure you know the Visa requirements for the countries you are traveling to before you leave on your adventure is highly important. Checking into the requirements well in advance is smart because dealing with foreign countries and their embassies are not always a quick and easy process. Just like the passport, it is important to bring copies, keep scanned and printed versions online and with loved ones in case of an emergency situation.Click here for more info
Ensuring you have travel insurance is not only a requirement of ours, but it is also essential to have on any surfing adventure. Having insurance can minimize or eliminate fees that can come about with delaying your trip, also providing flexibility to alleviate any stresses during your trip. Plus emergency medical transportation and treatment is usually part of the insurance package as well, depending on the plan you choose.Click here for more info
Cell or Smart Phone
Cell phones and smart phones come with many advantages for travelers. In one small device you have access to music, camera, internet with wifi access, and in some cases phone reception. Brining one with you even for just in case of emergency situations is a must. Plus when you land back at home, you can turn your phone back on and let your ride know to come pick you up from the airport!Click here for more info
Tablets are a great option to save space as an alternative to bringing a laptop on their surf trip. Or bring one in addition to your laptop as a backup, if you are doing a lot of video and editing. The larger screens are nice, but most are limited in that they do not utilize USB ports for photo and video transfer purposes.Click here for more info
Laptops come in handy when you have to work and play on your adventure. Most foreign countries nowadays, including third world ones, have wifi or USB internet available. Having a laptop can be handy for dealing with flight and accommodation bookings, or managing photos and videos.Click here for more info
If you’re going to bring a Video Camcorder, bring something with a good zoom lens so you can get close up shots of your friends out in the line up. These cameras come in handy for filming the entire trip, along with filming the surf from shore. Make sure to bring something that you can easily save to usb memory or transfer to your computer.Click here for more info
GoPros cameras are a must have for surfing adventurers! GoPros provide a close up, first person perspective, that can get footage of you in the tube. They are user friendly and can also be attached to drones or your surfboard.
Click here for more info
Don’t forget to pack headphones! These come in handy when you’re trying to relax during long periods of traveling and want to be plugged in to watch or listen to something on one of your electronic devices. Try and make sure your headphones are noise cancelling, as they help during air and train travel, along with trying to sleep with noisy roommates or neighbor next door.Click here for more info
If you have electronics with you than you’re going to want to bring along some socket adapters so you can charge two or more devices at once. Also plan ahead by checking into the type of electrical outlets are used in the countries you intend on visiting, because different countries use different adapters and voltages than each other.Click here for more info
If you plan on hooking up your media devices to your laptop, or to a speaker system, bring an extra aux cord or two. These aren’t essential to your trip, but nice to have just in case you want to utelize your electronics more.Click here for more info
Portable Speaker Boxes
Portable speaker boxes are nice to have as they increase the quality of your medias audio capabilities. Some come wireless with Bluetooth connections, while others use auxiliary cords. Try and look and buy one one that is compact, yet has a built in sub woofer and decent tweeters on it for the highest quality playback.Click here for more info
Wearing a hat isn’t just a fashion statement. Hats are very beneficial in extreme weather circumstances protecting from the elements, including the cold, hot, and UV rays. Along with protection from insects and nature. You can bring any type of hat really, but we prefer a baseball cap or sombrero of sorts to keep the shade on our adventures!Click here for more info
Shades are important for your eyes, so make sure you bring a couple pair of polarized sunglasses to ensure optimal eye protection. We don’t recommend bringing your $200 pair of sunglasses; a cheap alternative will do the trick. Remember to bring more than one pair. In case you lose a pair, you have a backup. So don’t forget to ensure they are polarized upon purchasing a pair or two.Click here for more info
Given the fact you’re going to be out in the ocean with plenty of sunshine most of the time, sunscreen is going to be very necessary. Be prepared to use a lot of it. It can be pretty expense to purchase overseas depending on where you go, so its usually more affordable to bring some from home. Put your sunscreen in a plastic bag or container for your travels, and put it in your checked bag if it is a large container. If you don’t, they may confiscate it at security checkpoint from your carry on bags.Click here for more info
Citronella are oils that are typically molded into candles, but are of a yellow liquid characterized with a lemon type scent. Their main use is to help prevent transmission of insect-born diseases such as malaria that is caused by mosquito bites. The candles scent is know to repel insects, especially mosquitos, and are very handy when it comes to going camping.
These candles are also known to contribute to aromatherapy, which is a recommended health-promotion process that is beneficial to humans in general, something a lot of people may not be aware of. Pack a couple of these in your board bag if you have room.Click here for more info
Bug / Mosquito Net
A misquito and bug net is essential for tropical weather surf travel destinations. By sleeping inside of the net, you can avoid any itchy bites and diseases carried by biting bugs. Being that they take up basically no room at all and are light weight, definitely bring one if you can.Click here for more info
Bringing antibiotics with you, like penicillin, can treat a huge amount of infections you might get along the way. Also make sure to bring any necessary prescriptions, if you have to take them. Bring backup just in case.Click here for more info
First Aid Kit
Grab a travel size first aid kit before leaving on your adventure to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected minor surfing injuries, like scramps or cuts. Make sure your kit has something with iodine and peroxide, that is sterile.Click here for more info
Before going on your surfing adventure, check on what inoculations you might need before going to that area. Some surf destinations require taking pills for things like malaria.Click here for more info
Maps and Guidebooks
Purchase or download a PDF, E-book, or physical map and travel guide as they will provide you with very useful information in helping you get around and navigate your surfing adventure destination. The maps are great to reference during your trip to find your way around each new territory.Click here for more info
Language Translation Books
Language and translation books or software come in handy if you’re unfamiliar with the language of the country you’re intending on visiting. Grab a book before you leave, or download the appropriate app on your smartphone.Click here for more info
Look at all of your battery powered devices you plan to take with you for the proper size batteries they take, and pack a replacement set for each, after putting fresh batteries in the devices.Click here for more info
With footwear, we think 2 to 3 pairs of shoes are all that would be necessary on your trip. Most importantly in the tropics, flipflops, which are great for hot weather, beaches and the sand. Secondly, bring a comfortable pair of athletic shoes, as hiking is always part of the adventure. And finally, maybe bring a more fashionable pair of shoes in case a night out on a town might be in the cards.Click here for more info
Do not forget the duct tape! They cover up dings for quick fixes. Travel size rolls work perfectly, and is useful for taping up injuries or your luggage.Click here for more info
You might want to bring a flashlight. Adventurers will wonder through the dark time to time. Most cell phones and smart phones have flash lights. Though a small mag light or LED light are useful. Sometimes power cuts happen in third world countries.Click here for more info
Keep time by bringing a good waterproof wrist watch, preferably a tide watch, so you can keep an eye as to when to paddle out, which is very important on reef breaks to know. Also having a watch on hand when your other electronics go out is essential. We all know how often our batteries die on our phones.Click here for more info
You can find these at your local sporting goods store, a multi tool that includes a pocket knife and can opener is a must. You’d never think of how often you end up using those two tools alone on your surfing adventure.Click here for more info
Best way to check waves from a distance… binoculars. If you intend on going remote, looking over some cliffs, or boating to outside reefs, binoculars are what you need. They sell travel sizes, however if you’re on a budget, you may want to hold off on getting anything fancy, as they can be quite expensive to purchase for the average traveler.Click here for more info