Gear Insider: Summer Survival Guide
It’s summer in the United States. Dog days, as they say. Groms return to school, tourists return to their inner homes, parking spaces are slowly freeing up. However, days at the beach are still very important, so I’ve put together a list of gifts that I think will make yours ideal.
Not all of them are necessities, notice. Many are just props. Some might even be called excessive. Still, I highly suggest packing these products for your next sunrise to sunset outing by the sea. You’ll be glad you did.
Longboard | One piece swimsuit | Sunglasses | Beach towel | Sunscreen | Bathrobe | Straw Hat | Umbrella
Photograph by Billy Watts
Imperfect Madera Model Longboard
If I go to the beach, I’m going to have some kind of personal watercraft in my hand. (I’ve never been able to master the art of sunning the buns anyway.) And since lazy, waist-high waves reign supreme in the summer months, I can’t see anything wrong. better to bring to the beach than a simple classic. – finned longboard.
Lately, I’ve been loving my 9’4″ Madera log hand-shaped by Micah Wood for Imperfects, a San Diego surfboard and apparel brand run by fellow shaper Mike Lynch. A traditional square-tail noserider, this piece of foam and fiberglass gets me through every section with ease – and even on microwaves some might consider undulations Even surfers who prefer low volume boards can benefit from a bit more weight for smaller days, and the team at Imperfects would be more than happy to set you up with a mid-length or custom longboard.Who knows?You might be converted.
Melted Swim Prickly Pear Cap Sleeve One-Piece
Over the years, I’ve seen many surf brands market their “surf swimsuits”, which were basically repackaged versions of the classic bikini, with varying levels of coverage. While these styles work fabulously for some women and I fully support people wearing whatever feels comfortable in the water, some of us need a little more support and prefer not to flash people while surfing.
Fortunately, with the influence of retro fashion as well as an increased awareness of sun safety over the past decade, a new breed of wetsuit has entered the chat. One-piece swimsuits with sleeves have exploded in popularity, and New Zealand-based women’s swimwear brand Fondu has some adorable options. Designed by talented longboarder Tanya Kerr, the wetsuits look to the past for vintage-inspired silhouettes and to the future with eco-friendly materials. My personal favorite is the Prickly Pear One-Piece, which features short sleeves and a flattering cut through the hips. I feel supported, protected and cute as hell in my Fondu costume. Plus, it doubles as a bodysuit with shorts for after-the-beach bevvies with the girls.
RAEN Nikol Polarized Sunglasses
I suffer from migraines, often triggered by too much bright light, so I’m not kidding when it comes to eye protection. A recurring guest on Surfline Gear Insider, RAEN has frames for all style preferences and face shapes, so I can’t help but recommend them to anyone who hears it.
As a self-proclaimed sunglass collector, I continue to seek out these Nikol frames day after day. I think my other sunglasses are starting to get jealous. The bright papaya color goes with any outfit, and yes, they’re polarized for those long days of staring at the sea. I have friends with all kinds of facial bone structures, and the Nikol seems to suit them all. But don’t just take my word for it; you can take a virtual test drive on the RAEN website.
MAYDE Sorbet rainbow napkin
Beach blankets are essential for any day at the beach, but what about the fluffiest, cutest beach towel around? Super absorbent, comfy for midday naps, and pretty enough to use as a bedspread, MAYDE’s Rainbow Towel will probably be the best beach towel I’ll ever own. It’s made from ultra-luxury Buldan cotton (from Turkey, so you know it’s nice) and features fluffy dots of pastel-colored goodness.
Be warned, however, that these towels don’t come cheap. At $100 a pop, it’s a luxury item that’s by no means necessary for a day at the beach – your souvenir towel from a surfing contest 15 years ago will probably do the trick. This one is just really, really sweet.
Super goof! Solar cream
Unicorns are real. Atlantis exists. And there’s a reef-safe spray sunscreen that stays clear and doesn’t leave a super sticky residue: Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C (try saying that five times fast). Super goof! must employ a whole troop of magicians to make so many amazing sunscreen products that not only work well, but are actually fun to apply. Plus, their packaging is very adorable and millennial-friendly.
I have been a loyal member of the Supergoop! cult since they tried their fan-favorite Unseen sunscreen, which I swipe, slap, and apply every time I leave my house. I always carry five or six of their products in my beach bag these days, including the aforementioned Body Mist, Poof Part Powder SPF 35 (you do NOT want to have a sunburned scalp), and the Every. Only. Face. Watery Lotion SPF 50 for midday touch-ups.
by kvp Sunset Dress
The Encinitas-based brand, by kvp, carries an essence of leisure. Short for designer/surfer Kelsey Van Patten, by kvp creates low-impact linen styles that technically aren’t pajamas. But neither are they not pajamas. Each of their products is made just south of the border in small batches to reduce waste, and they are anything but ordinary. With matching bottoms, shirts, jumpsuits and bathrobes (with pockets!), these beautiful one-pieces serve as lounge wear, festival gear, party style and, of course, beach cover-ups. I love my evening dress by kvp to keep the sun off my shoulders – and to make me look like a chic lady who drinks chardonnay by the sea all day without a care in the world. Dress for the job you want and all that jazz.
Natural straw hat Made by Minga La Ranchera
I’ve been told “coast chic grandma” is having a moment. I also heard that the “cowboy style” was in fashion. Here is a fabulous hat that is both. Made by La Ranchera de Minga straw, this hat puts the yes in my hawthorn, and probably also fits into the vibe of seaside grannies. With a brim wide enough to protect my face and upper body from the sun’s vicious rays, as well as a leather strap for windy days, I don’t think I could ask for much more from a sun hat.
Made by Minga is based in San Diego, but founder Emily Rathmanner has all her products created by hand by artisans in Ecuador’s highlands, using their traditional sustainable processes. From straw and wool hats to leather goods, this brand aims to showcase the talents and collaborative spirit of the artists who create them, while offering functional and beautiful products to its customers.
Business & Pleasure Co. Vintage Gold Vacation Beach Umbrella
Finally, the often forgotten but always appreciated parasol. Every group of friends needs an organized person who doesn’t forget to bring the ‘brolly’, which can extend a day at the beach by several hours. Now I grew up with CVS/Rite-Aid/Walgreens beach accessories. Our umbrellas were $8.99 and did the job. In fact, my mom probably still has the one she bought when I was a brat refusing to reapply my sunscreen. I never thought in a million years that I would buy into the hype of a high end umbrella.
But if you’re going to go all out for a beach gift, Business & Pleasure Co. has some absolute nuggets. Their Vacation Beach Umbrella is my top pick, because at seven pounds there’s still an extra schlep, but the Premium version clocks in at an extra two pounds (and a hundred dollars). It’s super easy to install, is made of UPF 50+ material and has fun little fringe that hangs down the sides. As a bonus, when you’re lounging under this awning, you’re shielded from the envious gazes of other beachgoers.
Check out the other Gear Insider editions:
Family Beach Day Essentials | From Dawn Patrol to Desk Patrol | Big Wave Dave XXM-Surf Starter Kit | Holiday Gift Guide | East Coast Hurricane Hunting Essentials | Off-Grid Indonesia Surf Trip Essentials