Whether it’s birthdays, special occasions or just an excuse to show someone you care about them. But choosing the right gift is not always easy, especially when it comes to us fussy surfers. Luckily, we have you covered. Here’s our list of six of the best gifts for surfers. Some are obvious, and others not so much. There are luxury items and options that don’t cost you a dime. Regardless of your budget, there’s an idea here for everyone.
1) The Obvious: A new board
Outside of actual waves, there is little in life that gets a surfer more excited than a new board. The feel of freshly sanded glass, the experience of waxing a deck for the first time, and that initial session on a new stick are all pleasures that every wave rider should experience at some point in their lives.
But not all boards are created equal, and shopping for a board for someone else can be difficult. You have to take into account their ability, dimensions, and even the style of surfing they enjoy. After all, you don’t want to buy a 22-litre shortboard for a guy who weighs 220 pounds, or a single-fin log for someone who only surfs outer reefs. In this case, the best option is to either tell the recipient of the gift ahead of time that you are planning to order them a board and let them give you the specifics—or at the very least, talk to their surf buddies and get some advice before calling a shaper. See a range of boards, HERE.
2) The Pandemic Buster: Frequent flyer points
With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on the world, many of us find ourselves out of work and unable to travel. Fortunately, there’s a perfect gift you can give a homebound surfer, even if you are broke: frequent flyer points. If you have them, chances are you aren’t using them at the moment—and sharing miles with friends costs nothing, since you can simply book a ticket in their name, without even having to transfer the miles over to their account.
Eventually the world is going to open up, and when it does, the first thing the surfer you are shopping for will want to do is go on a trip. Keep a specific amount of points in reserve, drop a note telling your recipient that the points are available whenever they want to travel, then sit back and bask in the knowledge that you just gave one of the best gifts a surfer can receive.
3) The Ultimate Luxury Gift: A Weret Smartwatch
In our world of smart devices, apps, up-to-the-minute forecasts, and the ever-evolving Internet of Things, it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing new under the sun. While timepieces have been around since the first sundial was created, luxury watch company Weret has found a new way to outfit the time-crunched surfer, merging classic simplicity with modern forecasting tech. And as for the battery? Well, it lasts for up to three months before you need to recharge it, so no troubles there.
Weret is the first analog surf smartwatch, blending the elegance of analog watch hands and a timeless design with Bluetooth-enabled functions that allow surfers to stay on top of the latest conditions. Connecting to your phone through a Bluetooth antennae and the Weret app, the Weret watch keeps tabs on wind, waves, and weather, as well as water temp, tides, sunset and sunrise, and even barometric pressure. Data from over 3,000 surf spots in 180 countries is linked to the watch and app by MSW's forecasting team, ensuring that you are on it when your favourite waves start pumping. Shop Weret, HERE.
4) Affordable, Practical, and Always Useful: A MSW Pro membership
I dedicate a large part of my life tracking and chasing swells, and the rest of my time is usually spent chatting with folks about waves or convincing people to drop what they are doing and board a plane with me. I can’t count the number of times per week that friends hit me up to get the long-range forecast on one wave or another. While everyone has access to MSW’s seven-day forecast, it’s the 16-day long-range data that really comes in handy if you are trying to plan a strike.
A Pro membership to MSW gives users access to this coveted 16-day forecast, as well as a number of other premium forecasting tools. If you are looking for gifts for a serious swell chaser, then a Pro membership should be at the top of the list. Get Pro, HERE.
5) The Stocking Stuffer: A Wax Kit
It might sound silly and trivial, but if there’s one thing that every surfer will need over and over throughout their life, it’s wax. And with various states of global lockdown, surf shops have temporarily closed, making wax a hot commodity.
You have a couple of options here. You could simply buy a bunch of bars and wrap them up yourself, or you could get a dedicated wax kit, with a wax comb, a few bars of wax, and a portable case for storing them. Either way, make sure you do some research first so that you buy the temperature and formula that the surfer in your life needs and prefers. A few options, right HERE.
6) Magnetic Shark Repellent by Sharkbanz
Nothing casts a shadow over an epic session then the fear of what might be lurking just beneath the surface. Sharks have always been a danger for surfers—a risk we’ve learned to live with, and often push out of our minds when paddling out. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Sharkbanz makes a patented ankle band that uses an electromagnetic field that helps to deter shark encounters. Because the Sharkbanz product uses permanent magnets, it requires no charging or batteries. This shark deterrent is the perfect gift to show someone you care, keep them safe, and help them enjoy the surf with less stress! See more, HERE.
7) Wetsuit Changing Mat
Anyone who surfs cold water knows how messy a wet wetsuit can get—especially if you change out of it on dirty ground. A wetsuit changing mat is an easy solution to this problem. Not only does it keep your suit from getting dirty, it protects it from damage due to rocks and thorns, and also provides a convenient way to wrap it up and keep your car dry on the way home! Tired of your partner or kids stinking the car up with wet neoprene? Gift them a wetsuit changing mat and everyone wins! Shop, HERE.
Surfer’s ear is a documented medical problem caused by the growth of small bones in the inner ear caused by years of exposure to cold water and air. The best way to prevent this annoying malady (not to mention the painful surgery needed to correct it) is to wear earplugs while surfing. SurfEars makes plugs that help keep cold water and wind out, but still allow sound to travel into the ear, which helps keep surfers safe and aware of others in the lineup. These earplugs are a perfect stocking stuffer, or a great anytime gift for wave riders in cooler areas. Go HERE to shop.
9) The World Stormrider Surf Guide
Even when we aren’t in the water, we still spend a lot of our time thinking about surf—dreaming of perfect waves, planning the next trip, and wondering what’s around that next headland. For the surfer with a case of wanderlust, there’s no better gift than a copy of The World Stormrider Surf Guide. Full of stellar photos and detailed descriptions of the marquee waves in all of the world’s major surf zones, this book is required reading before trips, and a great way to relive adventures years after they are done. There's loads of books available, see HERE.
10) Surf Science: An Introduction to Waves for Surfing
Magicseaweed’s own dedicated surf scientist Tony Butt is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge related to the ocean, waves, and the forces that generate and govern them. For those of us with slightly less technical knowledge, Tony has published a reference book that explains the various elements that come together to create rideable waves.
This book is a great gift for surfers who love to geek out on the science behind our sport, or for students looking to combine learning with their love of the ocean. And you can find it HERE.
11} The Gift That Keeps on Giving: A wave
We’ve talked before about the positive change that can be made in the lineup (and the world) by simply giving away a few waves. The best thing about giving waves—other than the fact that it costs nothing and is likely to gain you a lot of new friends—is that it is almost always a surprise. If you get in the habit of sharing waves, you’ll soon find yourself giving daily gifts to complete strangers—and there’s really no better way to increase the stoke quotient than through random acts of kindness.
There doesn’t have to be any particular reason or special occasion to be generous—simply pull back, call someone in, and enjoy the positivity that your simple gift creates. Next thing you know, they’ll be sharing it forward and giving waves away too—and suddenly surfing will be as beautiful as we all remember it being when we paddled out for our first session.
Cover shot by Tom Vaughan