We have touched on hitting the pool and surf-related balance ideas now let me offer some travel essentials for you to consider to bring on our Learn to Surf Trip this May.
Zinc sunblock/Good/healthy sunscreen
People have some irrational fears when they think of surfing and in my experience of teaching, the worst I have seen and the only one to almost always come true is some pretty ugly sunburns. I can suggest some awesome brands to use but it’s up to you to reapply as often as possible.
I use the expression ‘protect the money’ a lot when referring to guarding your head as you come up from a wipe-out while surfing but it applies on land too with a hat and sunscreen.
Some suggestions of mine:
The Perfect Sunscreen by Consonant Skin Care
- Manda Organic Sun Paste by Manda Organics – Cool story behind the brand. Developed by Cyrus Sutton a California pro surfer whose dad died of skin cancer. He is a great follow on social media and check his site out here
- Zinka – Coolest colours out there. I suggest blue and white like the Nica flag.
Lastly, I encourage you to educate yourself on the real deal about sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database has over 64, 000 consumer products that they have independently researched and rated. It was also started by David Suzuki and what’s not to love about him. They have awesome info on sunscreen here.
Tunes and Podcasts
Music, beats, tunes, that goodness in ya ear, call it what you want, playlists and podcasts ease the layovers, the take offs, the landings, and all the fun in between, not to mention the fiestas once at your destination. I always theme my playlists like pump up, post surf or applicable for the trip, Toñas and tacos. Here are also some of my fav podcasts.
Ear plugs, eye/ear drops
Ear plugs help drown out the hum of the plane and are are a nice break from hours of headphones in your ears. They also come in handy when you are checking out of the party but the party is still going on.
Eye/ear drops are compact and a must have. A day in the sun and the salty water can be harsh on the eyes. Soften the blow and keep them lubed with a good antibiotic eye drop. Same goes for the ears. Central american waters aren’t always the cleanest after a storm. Keep the canal clean with a pharmacist recommended ear drop.
Pack your fav movies onto your phone/laptop. Nothing beats a few laughs from your go to movies while settling down for the night, on the plane or during some down time on the trip. Some of my surf movie suggestions to get pumped for the trip include:
- Stranger than Fiction
- Endless Summer
- Big Wednesday
Something to Document
Whether you have a DSL-R a disposable waterproof cam, a GoPro or your phone, bring something to capture all the fun this trip! I’ll have my GoPro in the water
A day back pack
Whether it’s your old high school rucksack, a worked in army surplus fav, a hip herschel packable or a vintage store gem, bring a small one for our day trip and to the beach to carry water, flip flops and Toñas for your favourite surf instructors. Wink wink.
Hiking/hard soled shoe
For our volcano boarding/hike excursion, overalls will be provided but bring some old faithful shoes or a pair of hiking boots. Hotel owner and all around hero, Andy has done the hike in Sanuks (flimsy beach shoes) but recommends something comfortable with a good sole.
A rashie is a lycra shirt with a high SPF factor that protects you from the sun but also some chest related irritations that can arise from lengthy sessions of chest to wax friction. But don’t buy one! Surf the Greats is giving guests on the trip their very own.
Something for the Locals
Lastly I am hoping we can all help the local people of Jiquilillo. Some specific helpful item suggestions include powdered baby formula, school supplies and new or gently used closed toe shoes for men and woman. Efforts will support Padre Ramos’ Nicaragua Women’s Cooperative supported by Together Works Society.
By Matty Weiler – ISA Certified Surf Instructor