14 must-have gifts for Southern California surfers (including a wetsuit that beats the cold)

This is part of the L.A. Times 2022 Gift Guide. See the full guide here. If you make a purchase using some of our links, the L.A. Times may be compensated.

Gifts as simple as surf wax or a ding repair kit can go a long way for surfers — and the other riders they always mooch off of. Meanwhile, pricier goodies like wetsuits and sunglasses make sure surfers arrive at the beach in style. Keep the wave chasers in your life feeling stoked with these helpful holiday gifts.

Avasol Surfer’s Barrier Stick

Known for being “people safe” and reef safe, Avasol’s Surfer’s Barrier Stick is a “push-pop” style 1-ounce non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. Ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, vanilla and manuka protect skin in salty, sunny environments. The sunscreen is available in four different skin tones — it’s not a clear sunscreen — and features plastic-free, biodegradable packaging.

$19.95 at Avasol

Dakine Procomp leash

No matter where theycatch waves, surfers’ leashes eventually break. It’s always a good idea to keep them stocked up. Dakine’s Procomp Leash is a 3/16-inch thick urethane cord fitted to a neoprene cuff to provide extra comfort and minimal rashes around ankles. The Procomp 6-foot leash is quite durable, perfect for 4- to 6-foot surf and is available in black, orange and blue.

$30 at Dakine

Feral 4mm3 Chest Zip wetsuit

(Kathryn Whitney / Feral)

Made from 100% Yamamoto Japanese neoprene, a rubber foam made out of limestone, Feral’s 4mm3 Chest Zip wetsuit will keep your surfer warm during winter swells and winds. Created by two surfers who value high-quality wetsuits, Feral features a minimalistic design and focuses on function and comfort.

$415-$420 at Feral

Kassia + Surf Palo Santo surf wax

Surfers who frequent overpopulated surf spots need this wax solely because of its calming scent. Created by professional longboarder and noseriding queen Kassia Meador, Palo Santo surf wax re-creates the scent of the palo santo tree (without actually using the tree that comes from a threatened habitat). Unlike its sweeter, bubblegum-smelling counterparts, the wax features hints of smokey sage and woody scents. It provides great traction whether your surfer rips, shreds or glides. The wax is molded into four triangle-shaped pieces that are easy to snap off.

$14 at Kassia + Surf

Ho Stevie! traction pad

Jazz up your surfer’s traction pad with some fun colors and designs and provide that back foot with some extra support. Created from lightweight EVA foam, a foam rubber often used in shoes, the Ho Stevie! Traction Pad provides the perfect spot for a surfer’s back foot to land on when popping up on a wave or prepping maneuvers while riding down the face of a wave. The traction pad comes in three pieces and provides an arch in the middle of the pad for added foot support.

$19.97 at Ho Stevie!

Surf Soap’s All-In-One Bar + Rehab Balm

Surf Soap’s All-In-One bar and Rehab balm combo aim to soothe salty, dry hair. Available in plastic-free packaging, the All-in-One Bar is designed as both a shampoo and body wash bar. Packed with ingredients like mango, coconut and shea butters as well as pineapple and awapuhi ginger, All-In-One replenishes locks and leaves strands smelling of fresh ginger and lemongrass.

Apply Surf Soap’s Rehab Balm, a restorative deep conditioner, before or after a surf to keep hair moisturized or use it as a follow-up to the All-in-One bar to avoid unruly, tangly hair and breakage. Rehab Balm features coconut milk, cupuacu butter, marshmallow and aloe.

$40 for All-In-One bar set at Surf Soap
$56 for Rehab Balm at Surf Soap

COR Surf’s wetsuit changing mat

Nothing is more annoying for a surfer, or for their significant other/roommate/parents, than towing half the beach back to the car and consequently, into the shower. Help your surfer avoid tracking sand into the car, living room or shower with COR Surf’s wetsuit changing mat. Made from tough PVC-coated polyester fabric, the same fabric you might find in luggage, the changing mat provides a clean, durable space for surfers to change out of their damp wetsuit and doubles as a drawstring bag.

$19.99 at COR Surf

Sand Cloud’s Turkish beach towels

With multiple beach towel collections — from Disney designs to boho chic — Sand Cloud has towels for even the pickiest surfer. Sand Cloud’s Turkish cotton towels are absorbent and repel sand. These towels, which come in large and extra large sizes, take up less space than terry cloth towels. Sand Cloud also donates 10% of profits to marine conservation causes.

$48-$72 at Sand Cloud

Slowtide’s the Digs Changing Poncho

Slowtide’s the Digs Changing Poncho is a comfier and more reliable alternative to the tricky one-handed parking lot towel change. The Digs Changing Poncho features a three-button snap-up placket in the chest area, a double-layer cotton hood and hidden snap-up side pockets that provide easy access for changing out of a cold, damp wetsuit in addition to a front pouch for storage. The poncho is so comfortable, your surfer may not want to take it off after a pre-work morning session. Maybe your surfer’s boss will change the dress code?

$80 at Slowtide

Electric’s JJF12 sunglasses

Created in collaboration with world champion surfer John John Florence, Electric’s JJF12 sunglasses are ideal for outdoor hobbyists. The frames are made of Rilsan, a lightweight bioplastic, and nose and temple grips prevent slippage. The JJF12s include removable eye cups that block out sun, sand, water and dust. The lenses are made from strong, lightweight polycarbonate and are coated to reduce scratching and repel water, sweat, dust and oil. Additionally, the blue-light lenses are polarized and offer 100% UVA/UVB protection. Durability, high quality and fashion wrapped into one gift — who needs to choose function over fashion when your surfer can have both?

$220 at Electric

Sometimes you don’t know where exactly your surfer might go to find waves. It may be a windier part of the coast or an area that isn’t known for the friendliest locals. FCS’ Kanulock lockable tie-down straps can help ease surfers’ worries about their board’s safety atop their vehicle. The 8-foot-long straps feature 2.5 millimeters of cut-proof braided stainless steel and key lockable buckles. Ideal for up to three shortboards, two longboards or one stand-up paddle board, these tie-downs can be applied to any car roof rack.

$90 at FCS

Pickle Wax Remover kit

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

This mean, green wax-removing machine with cheeky branding has been around for decades. The Pickle Wax Remover kit can be a nostalgic or novelty gift, and it’s a lifesaver when you need to remove nasty five-year-old surf wax. The kit contains one “pickle,” a neon-green case that fits in the palm of your hand and is stuffed with surfboard foam shavings, and a wax comb. Word to the wise: If your skin is sensitive to surfboard foam, wear gloves when handling this Pickle.

$12.50 at Team Chow

Solarez’s Polyester Econo travel kit

Your surfer’s “magic” board gets some new dings that need to be fixed ASAP before the next swell. But the fantastic repair shop is 10 miles away, which in L.A. time can mean an hour‘s drive. First, make sure their board has been sitting out of the water with enough time for those dings to dry up. Then, surprise them with Solarez’s Polyester Econo travel kit, which features acetone-free prep pads, 60/240 grit sandpaper, a 2-ounce tube of Solarez fiber-filled putty and a 2-ounce tube of Microlite putty encased in a snap-closed box.

Solarez’s resin cures in the sunlight quite quickly, and faster ding repair equals more water time. This kit is designed for polyester resin-based boards, but Solarez also sells kits for epoxy resin-based boards.

$27.99 at Solarez

Surfer’s Warehouse surf brush

(Sara Lindsay / Surfers Wharehouse)

No matter how hard your surfer tries to keep the sand out of the car, some always still manages to slip through the cracks and suddenly make the car start to look like Arrakis from the movie “Dune.” Surfer’s Warehouse’s surf brush is a handy tool for brushing off feet, beach gear, pets and more. It has long, durable and soft bristles and comes in both long and short sizes as well as bright green and pink bristle colors. Sneaky sandcastles don’t stand a chance.

$20 at Surfer’s Warehouse

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