We’ve had a bit of experience planing surf trips to some pretty remote destinations and a these 10 tips for an epic surf trip should help you get the most out of it. Check out our article on the best Costa Rica surf camp.
Surf Trip Tip 1 · Research the Breaks
This is the most important of all and takes the most effort. But hey, you’re going on a surf trip and you want it to be as good as it can be. That means getting the knowledge you need to make the most of the breaks in the area you’re travelling to.
You need to know the best swell direction, time of year and best tides for the available breaks, that way when you’re there, and the conditions aren’t as expected, you’re off to surf the next best option instead of sitting somewhere chained to a laptop whining about where to go because the well known breaks are blown out.
Surf Trip Tip 2 · Do Not Aggrevate the Locals
I’ve not experienced a lot of localism, but let’s be honest… a crowded break can sometimes be a little frustrating. So get too know the wave and how it breaks. If you’re confident, then assume your place in the line up otherwise if you’re doubting your skills then maybe chill on the shoulder for a bit until you get your head straight.
Whatever you do… DO NOT DROP IN ON THE LOCALS… I can’t stress this enough. You might be surfing this break for the next 2 weeks, the last thing you wanna do is get the crew offside.
Surf Trip Tip 3 · Don’t Bring non Surfers
Big rule… Anyone who is not prepared to entertain themselves whilst you’re surfing can become a bit of a downer when they put the guilt trip on about being bored in paradise. So if you’ve got mates and partners who want to come, either they get with the program (which is why it’s called a surf trip) or you need to be prepared to make a compromise and in that case it’s not really a surf trip, it’s a holiday.
Surf Trip Tip 4 · Embrace the Poverty
A lot of the world’s best waves aren’t in metro areas with great transport. They’re in remote coastal communities that are usually pretty poor but believe me they’re wealthy in a lot of other ways. These communities are often a tropical paradise that a lot of us can only dream of, but they’re lacking in a lot as well.
So don’t haggle too much on the small things, because it doesn’t mean anywhere near as much to you as it does to them. Poverty is relative… When you’re heading home from the surf trip, I’m willing to bet you could probably do with another couple of weeks of surfing twice a day, drinking cheap beer & eat, sleep, rave, repeat!
Surf Trip Tip 5 · Don’t take all your stuff to the beach
Sounds obvious I know, but you’d be surprised just how many surf trips have been ruined by having gear stolen while you’re in the surf.
Surf Trip Tip 6 · Don’t pack too much
The less you lug, the easier it is. This is a surf trip after all, so unless the aim of your surf trip is to show off your wardrobe, bring a selection of boards and whatever else you’re willing to lug a couple of kilometres when you’re running late for a connection to the next island.
Surf Trip Tip 7 · Bring Sunblock/Sunscreen
You’d be surprised just how much sunscreen will cost you in a 3rd world country and you’ll need it. Don’t start the surf trip by getting red raw on the first couple of days. Make sure you’ve got it especially if you’re heading remote.
Surf Trip Tip 8 · Bring Basic First Aid
Bring a little first aid kit. Something that will help you get back on the board and keep that surf trip going. I’m not asking you to be a field medic, but you’ll be glad you’ve got something there to disinfect and put yourself back together after getting worked on the reef.
Surf Trip Tip 9 · Take something for the local kids
If you remember… before you leave hit up your local surf shops for some throw away stickers. If you’re there for a bit, the local kids will love it.
Surf Trip Tip 10 · Don’t be Afraid to Travel Solo
You’ll meet tonnes of people if you stay somewhere relatively low budget. Your mates won’t always have the time or desire but don’t let that dampen your spirits. You’ll be thanking yourself when you’ve just had 3 straight days of perfect overhead surf, can’t lift your arms anymore and after three beers you just wanna sleep.