Summer Surf Guide – The gears you need for tropical and warm water surfing

Let’s dive into the gears you need to have your best time during your summer surf vacation! Here is everything you need for summer surfing, whether you are thinking about surfing in tropical locations like Hawaii or Costa Rica or paddling out at your local breaks in the summertime.

Warm water gear: Here are our summer essentials

We welcome the warm summer days when we can surf without having freezing cold toes and a red nose after the session. Surfing and summer really go hand in hand, with nice wave conditions and warm waters. Here are our favorite gears for the warm summer season, from surf equipment to accessories.

Boardshorts and bikinis

Don’t forget to bring your boardshorts, bikinis, or swimsuits when you pack your gear for your tropical holiday. When the water reaches temperatures over 25°C you usually don’t need a wetsuit when you surf, having comfortable swimwear is generally enough. Make sure that you bring high-quality swimwear that stays in place so that you can focus on having a blast in the waves!


A rashguard is a shirt that’s made of materials with UV resistance, usually in Lyrca-material. This is the perfect option when you surf in tropical water where you don’t want to wear a wetsuit but still want something to cover your torso from the sun. It’s very easy to get sunburned in the water, so a rashguard might just be your savior from getting fried in strong sun!

Summer wetsuits

When the temperature is colder than 25°C in the water, it might be a nice idea to put on a thin wetsuit. A wetsuit between 1-2 millimeters is usually a good choice, but it all depends on the conditions of the day and your own sensitivity to cold waters. Here are some different variations of wetsuits:


The springsuits are commonly used in the transitional seasons when it’s too warm for a full-length suit but not quite warm enough for a rashguard. They come in many variations, one of which is short-legged with long sleeves.

Long John/Jane wetsuit

This suit looks just like the full suit, with the difference being that it lacks sleeves and is usually made up of thinner neoprene. The benefit of this wetsuit is that you don’t have any restrictions on your arms when you paddle.

Short John/Jane wetsuit

The short John/Jane wetsuit is armless and has short legs.

Short arm steamer wetsuit

Basically the same type of wetsuit as the short John/Jane except that the arms are slightly longer and resemble t-shirt arms.

Read more about wetsuits in our wetsuit guide.

Wetsuit thickness chart: Get the right thickness for the winter

Surfboard wax

You use different surfboard wax depending on the water temperature. You can use tropical or warm water wax for summer weather.

Surfboard wax chart for summer surfing

Tropical water wax: When the water temperature exceeds 22° Celcius (or 72° Fahrenheit), a tropical surfboard wax would be recommended. This wax is pretty much only used in really warm waters and it is the hardest type of wax.

Warm water wax: When the water temperature is somewhere between 18-22° Celcius (65-72° Fahrenheit), a warm water surfboard wax is the best option. This is a good choice for colder summer days and during springtime. This wax is also a bit hard to apply.

Surf poncho

A nice surf poncho is a perfect thing to put on before and after your surf. It will be your best friend when changing clothes at the beach, and it is much cozier than a towel.

Ocean-friendly sunscreen and zink

Remember to keep yourself safe from the sun! You can get burned in many warm and tropical locations even on cloudy days. So use plenty of sunscreen, and check out how high your SPF needs to be, but usually the higher the better. To reduce pollution and to help keep the ocean safe, we recommend that you buy sunscreen without Oxybenzone and a zink that is environment-friendly.

Ding repair

It is never a fun thing to get dings on your board, especially if you are far from home and your repair tools and ding shop. But if it happens, it’s good to be prepared with a repair kit!

Dry bag

A dry bag is a great thing to bring with you to keep your stuff dry in wet conditions. It’s also great for the opposite purpose: keep your wet swimwear in the bag to protect your other stuff from getting wet and damaged.

A surfskate for when the ocean is flat

Sadly, not every day provides amazing waves. For the days when the ocean is flatter, we surf on concrete! Skating on a surfskate in between surf sessions is a great way to improve your balance and maneuvers. And it’s really fun!

A quality boardbag

It’s not a fun experience to go on a tropical surf adventure, just to realize that the airline dinged your boards up when you got off your long flight. Keep your precious boards safe with a quality boardbag. For extra protection for your boards, it’s a good idea to give the boards some padding by wrapping them in towels and clothes in the boardbag.

And of course; your favorite surfboards

Last but definitely not least, your surfboards! Whether you’re ripping with a shortboard or having fun in smaller summer waves on a longboard, your board is your partner in crime and best pall in the waves!

Surf destinations: Where can you find endless summer?

Escape the winter season by booking a ticket to one of our surf camp locations. Summer is just a flight away! Check out our tropical surf camps:

Check out our winter surf guide.

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