5 Must Haves for your Tropical Surf Trip

Posted by James Marshall on

Heading to the tropics for a surf trip soon? Lucky you!

However, there is nothing, nothing, worse than going on that epic trip you saved all year for, and looked forward to for even longer, only for something avoidable ruin it. You can never be 100% sure, but you can plan to mitigate the obvious ones, so here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared to hit the ground running (surfing).

Sun protection:

Image courtesy of k9topcoat.com

Given. Non-debatable. A must have. I don’t think I need to explain this one, its 2016 and we all know how bad over exposure to the sun's harmful rays is for our skin and greater health. You can still get your daily Vitamin D hit even when you slip, slop, slap and wrap.

Quality suncream (likely zinc based for the face) of at least spf 30, as well as shirts, hats and sunglasses should all be in your arsenal (surfers eye is a thing, and it ain’t nice, so do what you can to protect your eyes out of the water at least). These should also be the first items you pack before you leave because you don't want to waste hours trying to find a reputable suncream brand on your first morning when the waves are firing!


Insect repellant:

Insect Hi

Image from www.funnypicsinblog.wordpress.com

Whilst there are many creepy crawlies that give you a nasty bite like ants, mosquitos are the real enemy here. I know you have mosquitos at home, and yes the Scots have midgies which are seriously enthusiastic critters, but tropical bugs have a trump card in the diseases the can carry. Dengue and Malaria are the ones your have heard of but there are other lesser known, or even unknown diseases out there like the recent emergence of Zika. Protect your precious skin and delicious blood from these guys to stay safe (and itch free!).


First Aid Kit for Reef Cuts:

JOB reef love

Image from www.indosurflife.com

If you are heading to the tropics, chances are high that you’ll be surfing over reefs and you should be prepared to be cheese grated. When it happens, you need to be prepared to clean the wound thoroughly, because coral is beautiful but deadly – the bacteria that live there can be super dangerous and it is simply not worth the risk. 

When I say clean the wound, I mean about 10 times more than you normally would, and you may even want to get a doctor or nurse to have a look if its bad enough. If you think there may be an infection get it checked by a doctor; I once thought I had cleaned up a small reef cut adequately, until a few days later in the middle of the night a small crater appeared on my leg and my temperature rocketed - I needed antibiotic cream and strong pills to get rid of that one. Bacteria ain't messing around...This article here provides a detailed run down of looking after a reef cut.

...Maybe throw some Loperamide in too...y'know, just incase.

Your manners (just like your mum told you):

Plane manners

Image courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk

Ok so this applies wherever you go, not only the tropics, but no-one likes a blow-in who behaves like they own the place – I know you don’t like it at your home break, so why do it at someone else's? Be mindful of cultural differences out of the water too…you have probably heard getting a little frisky in the UAE has landed some westeners in jail…


SETT Surf Rash Cream:

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?! Well not only is it great for rashes, but if you're travelling it is your best all in one option for a range of issues you will likely face:

  • Surf rash – Check
  • Aftersun – Check
  • But bites – Check
  • Minor cuts & scrapes – Check
  • Dry, salty skin – Check

 Natural skincare for the unique needs of surfers. One tube to rule them all...

 What else should be here? Any critical items I have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheers – talk soon,


Enjoyed this blog?

  • If this has been helpful or interesting at all, please share it. Go ahead, forward this email, share on Facebook, or follow SETT on Twitter & Instagram using the buttons below

    • I would also love to hear from you about what you think about SETT, the website and what I am up to so feel free to drop me an email to james@settsurf.com

summer surf rash surfing travel tropical

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published