Compared to other sports, surfing requires less gear to get started. But if you are planning to take lessons on your next beach vacation, you will want to pack a few things to keep yourself safe and comfortable while still being able to move freely. No need to buy a wet suit — along with a board, the surf school will provide one if it’s necessary — but consider bringing the following items. And don’t forget a tube of good reef-safe sunscreen.
Avoid board rash with this comfortably loose shirt — leave the skintight gear to the pros! — that also guards against U.V. rays. ($ 40 from Billabong)
These shorts feel like a second skin in the water. They never hang up, no matter how contorted your movements. ($ 85 from O’Neill)
Seea suits are built with surfing in mind. They stay in place, so you can move freely in the water uninhibited by suit malfunctions.($ 150 from Seea)
Ask a friend or the instructor to document your progress with this waterproof camera — it’s way easier that trying to capture yourself using a GoPro. ($ 330 from Walmart)
These stylish beach sandals come in a wide range of colors for men and women. Careful, though: Indosole sizes tend to run a little small. ($ 32-$ 40 from Indosole)
Staying safe in the water is, ultimately, your responsibility; this book — written by three physicians who also surf — covers every conceivable wave-riding situation. ($ 11 from Amazon)
Wirecutter is a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products.
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