Essentials of Surfing 3

Rich Clark is a Carlsbad local who has surfed three continents and hundreds of breaks. He is also the founder of Dollar Wave Club, which delivers surf essentials to your door every month. Ask him about it if you see him in the lineup at Ponto, Campgrounds, or Warm Waters.

  1. Surfboard – Find a good board that suits your skill level. It may sound counterintuitive but a longer board for beginners will be more stable. Typically, shorter boards are higher performance (for experienced surfers) and they tend to be a lot less stable. For more advanced surfers intent on surfing anything from groveling summer slop to head high surf, there’s the Fling from SuperBrand.
  2. Surfboard Leash – You’ll want a leash that goes around your back foot/ankle and ties to the back of your board for when you fall. Surfing is exhausting enough without having to swim in to fetch your board. If you’re a beginner, you’ll be falling a lot so get used to it.
  3. Wax  and Traction Pad – You’ll need surf wax or you’ll be slipping and sliding all over that board you picked up. Rub the wax on top of the board, it’s not a snowboard or skis so the wax does not go on the bottom. Pay attention to the water temperature when you buy your wax, it will range from cold to tropical but you can probably survive with cool for most of the year. Personally, I prefer a traction pad for the back foot instead of wax for maximum grip for more power. Dollar Wave Club will mail these and other items to you monthly if you like.
  4. Wetsuit – Luckily, we don’t experience extremes in water temperatures here in Carlsbad so you can probably get by with a nice 3/2 mm full suit in winter. Summer time is trunk-able sometimes up until late October or even November.
  5. RinseKit –  This is a cool accessory item, especially if you’re more on the germophobic side of cleanliness. Rinsekit is a pressurized kit to shower off with and the lid conveniently comes off so you don’t have to stand in the dirt at Turnarounds when you change.
  6. Sunscreen – Invest in the good stuff, waterproof is a must, and not that stuff you get at the grocery store. It will run into your eyes immediately and it’s no fun trying to surf while your eyes sting like you just rubbed a jalapeño in them.
  7. Future Fins – Fin design has become an area of intensive innovation in surfing, and fins are now available in different templates and materials.. Some surfers will carry multiple fin sets to the beach and decide which ones to ride when they see the conditions.
  8. The Wet Seat – One easy on / off, strapless protective shell for your car or truck’s front seats. One size fits most driver’s seats and front passenger seats. Great for after your surf session.
  9. Michael Glenn provides surf forecasting weather reports on Twitter so follow @NorthCountySurf for best bets on where to surf and when.