Ultimate Surfing Gear List

surf gear list

The essential surfing equipment for beginners is comprised of a surfboard, fins, leash, wax, and wetsuit. That’s all you need to get into the sport of kings. But as you progress and improve your surfing skills, you’ll want more than just the essentials. A bag to protect your favorite stick, skin and ear protection, and surf gadgets will also be useful to your surfing life.

Surfing can be an expensive sport right out of the gate. It’s a good idea to borrow, rent or buy second-hand equipment in the beginning. Here is what you need before you hit the waves:


A man riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean

You’ll find that there are several types of surfboards. You’ll want to seek the advice of someone at a surf shop to find the one that’s right for you.

If you are just beginning, a bigger board is better. A foam board is also recommended for beginners. It will be a little softer on your body when you fall when first learning. You’ll find them at any surf store. Ask about installing surf fins for better performance on your board.


Also called a leg rope, the leash will help you and your surfboard stay together. As a rule, the leash should measure the same length as your board or longer. It is also a safety feature. It keeps you connected to your board in any event.


A man carrying a surf board on a body of water

You can attach a traction pad to your board as an option instead of wax. The traction pad will last for years if well-maintained.

In the event that your board does not have a traction pad, you’ll need to wax your board to have some traction while riding waves. The wax is applied to the board in the area where your feet go to keep you from slipping and sliding.


Wet suit? Rash guard? One- or two-piece bathing suit? Board shorts? Which one is your preference?

If you choose to start out with a bathing suit, then a rash guard is a must. A good quality “rashie” will keep your skin from being irritated by the salt, the board, and the rubbing. As a bonus, it will protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well.

On the other hand, you may want to invest in a good wet suit. It will protect your whole body from the elements. There is a big range in price, so do your homework before buying.


If you don’t know what surfer’s ear is, you don’t want to find out. Get yourself a good pair of earplugs to use especially when surfing in cold water to prevent this painful condition.


Surf fins are the wheels of a surfboard and provide stability, performance, and drive.

The most popular fin setups that can be found on a surfboard are single-fin, twin-fin, thruster, quad, and five-fin setups.

This is the most essential and ultimate surfing gear list.

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