I spent most of my time in Bali surfing. For about a week, my time at Solid Surf House was divided between two yoga sessions and six hours of surfing every day. It felt great to be so physically active. The combination of surfing and yoga trained my entire body (more than I ever expected) and even though I enjoyed spending the entire day in the water, it was also pretty exhausting. I had to make sure I took good care of my body so I would have the energy to get up on my board. I got plenty of sleep, ate good food and always took a beach bag with me filled with my essentials.
One of the most important things to take with you is protection against the sun. Since you will be spending most of your time in the water, either lying down or sitting on the board, your whole body needs to be protected as well as possible. This means the highest sun protection cream that you can find. I’ve always liked the sunscreens from Bodysol because they smell nice and they do the job. Make sure it is a waterproof sunscreen and apply it at least half an hour before you go into the water. This is not enough though. When you’re spending a lot of time in the ocean, the salt of the water will act like a magnifying glass and you’ll still get burned (take my word on this one). A good rash guard (a long sleeve shirt made for water activities) will prevent a lot of sunburn. We even added a pair of full-length leggings as this was the only way to protect ourselves. Last but not least, put on plenty of zinc on your face. Zinc is a waterproof complete sunblock that will stay on in the water (as opposed to your sunscreen of which the effect will not last long enough) and it is a lifesaver for many surfers. Granted, you’ll look like a smurf, but your skin will be forever grateful. Also, give your eyes a break when you get out of the water by putting on a good quality pair of sunglasses.
If you want to keep on surfing for several hours in a row it’s important that you hydrate. If you don’t drink enough water before and between the surf sessions, you’ll get dehydrated and a pounding headache will develop. Another reason why this headache can occur is because your head is exposed to the burning sun for a long period of time. A good tip to avoid this is to dunk your head under water regularly. But hey, you’ll be falling off your board plenty of times so this shouldn’t be a problem. Plastic bottles are a big problem for the environment and for your health so if you have the option of refilling your water bottle, these MIZU bottles are pretty great. Add a neoprene cover to keep your water cold while you’re in the water.
Now let’s talk bikinis! I never gave the quality of bikinis much attention, I always bought high street pieces that were cheap and pretty, and it didn’t bother me too much that they were worn down after one summer. Buying a new bikini every summer was part of the fun. When you’re going surfing, however, it’s better to go for one of the higher quality bikinis. Since you’re moving around a lot and the waves will keep pounding you, you won’t want to worry about what you’re wearing. A sturdy bikini that will stay in place is worth a little more money. These mix and match bikinis by O’Neill are exactly that. They are designed in a way that you can combine your favorite pattern with the most flattering shape. Another fashionable piece I swear by are my Havaianas, which perfectly protect your feet against the burning hot sand and you can walk in them for hours.
So that’s my list of must-have beach essentials. Are there any other items on your list?
Photo Free People Custom Painted Surfboard