#1 Packing Tip:
Check in one bag. You want minimal luggage. I have one board bag and one backpack, and by minimising my luggage I also only take what is absolutely necessary. Everything fits in those two bags. This is a huge help when you’re transiting – you’re not dragging a big luggage bag and a heavy backpack and a huge board bag. Only having a board bag and a backpack means that you can have a small hire car, you can fit your stuff in a boat, etc. Just be more realistic when you pack.
The must-have board is a standard shortboard. If you get stuck you can ride that in lefts, you can ride it in rights, and you can ride it when it’s big. Lately I’ve also started to make sure I always have a twin fin in my board bag, that helps keep it fun. You can get away with those two boards just about anywhere you go.
How to fight jetlag:
Don’t get into the afternoon nap. You have to push through. The one-hour nap can be so satisfying, but it’ll really throw you off. Stay awake until 7pm. If you can make it to 7pm then you’re in the clear and you’ll adjust to the time zone pretty well.
I always have two of the same boardshorts, so all of the footage looks the same. The Mirage 3/2/One boardshort is my favourite right now.
I also always travel with pocket booties. With 1mm pocket booties you can run across the reef, fold them up and put them in your back pocket. They’re so good to have when it gets low tide on the reefs.
I always forget headphones. I can’t tell you the amount of $10 headphone sets I’ve bought at the airport. Or, if I remember the headphones then I forget the adapter. Also, zinc and sunscreen.
Surfing equipment you need to bring extras of:
You always need more zinc and more wax. If you run out of zinc then you’re going to get sunburnt, wherever you are in the world. And wax? Well, you never want to be “that guy” that’s borrowing wax.
Always. I used to have year-round travel insurance, but now I have one with my credit card, so I just fill out the form when I’m on the plane and lock it in. You hear way too many horror stories, and shit happens when you’re on holidays.
Best tip to navigate in a country where you can’t speak the language:
I recently got onto the Google Translate app. You can download it when you’re in Wi-Fi or on your data in your country, and it works without internet once it’s downloaded. If you’re really struggling you can speak into your phone and you’ll get the point across, and you won’t run a huge phone bill either. You feel like a kook but it helps when you’re desperate.
Sunscreen or zinc?
Definitely zinc, but I recommend both. Sunscreen then zinc. I always wipe my nose or put my wetsuit on, and when I come in from a session I realise that there’s nothing left protecting my skin. Sunscreen up first and you have a little hidden layer in case your zinc wipes off.
Quick fix for board dings:
I travel with a little resin kit to clog it up. If it’s not that bad I’ll just run it with a ding in it. And if you want to feel better about it, you can always put a sticker over the ding. I’m not sure how much that actually helps, but it makes you feel better...