The Best Surf and SUP Gear of 2019
Boards, apparel, and accessories for all kinds of watery pursuits
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Now’s the time when we start dreaming about getting out on the water, whether it’s the surging ocean or placid lakes. Trust this kit to serve you well on any day at the beach.
Vans Soft Top Sandals ($30)
Cushy memory-foam footbeds, synthetic straps, and arch support make the Soft Tops comfy enough for the longest of walks to the beach. Grippy outsoles will keep you upright.
Patagonia Stretch Planing Micro Two-Inch Shorts ($49)
These water-repellent boardshorts have smooth seams to prevent chafing and stay snug with help from inner and outer drawstrings. The lightweight recycled-polyester fabric moves with you for maximum comfort.
O’Neill Psycho Tech 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit ($336)
The Psycho Tech employs light and stretchy neoprene with glued seams for flexibility. The three- and four-millimeter thickness is great in 50-degree water.
Slater Designs X Revolwe Competition Six-foot Leash ($29)
The surf industry continues to develop more eco-friendly products. Revolwe’s leashes are made with Yulex (a natural rubber) and recycled plastic bottles.
DaKine Cyclone II Dry Pack 36 ($150)
This waterproof bag’s roll top, welded seams, and corrosion-resistant zippers are ideal for a salty SUP tour, while the integrated board-carry straps make the slog on the way to the beach more bearable.
Nation Manufacturing Los Dos Fish Surfboard ($675)
For knee-to-head-high surf, this board offers a fast, fun ride. At 2.3 inches thick, it has the float and oomph you need when paddling into waves, while the short, wide design and concave swallowtail makes it easy to control.
DaFin Classic Fins ($110)
The secret to being an all-star bodysurfer? A great pair of fins. These are made from supple Malaysian rubber that delivers a just-right mix of flex for maneuverability and rigidity for power.
Nomadix Ultralight Towel ($30)
This nylon-blend towel is constructed primarily with recycled plastic bottles and packs down to the size of a tissue box.
Hemlock the Chunk Straw Hat ($36)
A colorful twist on the classic straw hat, this well-constructed chapeau comes in fun prints and has a dome-hugging inner lining and chin cord for when the wind gusts.
Olukai Kohana Kai Sandals ($130)
The best sandals are the simplest. Olukai’s slimmed-down Kohana Kai has a seamless strap and a laser-etched footbed—both full-grain leather.
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen ($18)
Unlike other zinc sunscreens, this tinted lotion doesn’t leave your skin chalky.
Oakley Split Shot Sunglasses ($163)
Because we’ve all dropped shades in the drink, Oakley created a steel neck leash for the Split Shot that attaches to hooks in the temple.
Seea Gaviotas Surf Suit ($160)
A mashup of a UV-protective rash guard and a swimsuit, the Gaviotas has recycled polyester-spandex sleeves that are nicely stretchy and roomy for paddling and swimming. The body uses a slightly thicker fabric to provide warmth and light compression.
Outerknown Nomadic Stretch Trunk Shorts ($98)
An update to Outerknown’s original trunks, the Nomadics use lighter fabric and a deeper pocket design. The close-fitting waist won’t balloon when you duck-dive.
Hobie Adventure Inflatable 10’6” Stand-up Paddleboard ($1,099)
With a wide and thick body, this SUP offers maximum stability. Four tie-down points mean you can lash gear for longer outings. The Adventure fits easily into your trunk when rolled up and then inflates to a rock-hard 18 psi in minutes with the included pump.
Kialoa Tiare Adjustable Fiberglass Paddle ($199)
Designed by and for women, the Tiare has an ergonomic handle made for small hands and an 80-square-inch blade for the ideal mix of power and ease.
NRS Zephyr Inflatable Belt PFD ($100)
Not a lot has changed with the Zephyr since it debuted in 2014—and that’s a good thing. The flotation device was made for SUPers to keep their arms and shoulders free while paddling. Pull a rip cord to inflate the belt, then flip it around your neck like a life vest.