Going from living in the Big Apple and working a corporate job to dancing with waves in Costa Rica, my daily gear has gone from high heels, pencil skirts, and leather purses to flip-flops, bikinis, and a waterproof backpack. Over the past several months, I have found some new gear and tricks to help survive the elements here in Costa Rica. So just in case you were wondering what to pack for your next surf adventure or tricks of a surfer chick, check out the below. Be sure to stay tuned for new new great products and tricks as I get my dirty paws on them.
Board sock: When you get a new stick, you gotta protect it in style. Enter the stylish board bags custom made just for you by Annie at PurksEmporium
Bikinis that stay on: When you start surfing, you quickly learn that you need to have the right bikini, otherwise you will be giving the lineup a free show. After some research and personal product testing, I have found that the best type of suits that stay on are the cross-back tops and the bottoms that have, well, skimpier coverage. Why the smaller bottoms? My theory is there is less fabric for the white-water to drag down. Talk about some toasty buns! Check out the suits made some of my favorite brands: Calavera, Dkoko, Mi Ola, and Del Toro, all of which have Costa Rica roots.
Nikon DSLR and iPhone: I never leave the house without a camera (or two). After taking what seems my thousandth sunset picture, I decided to bring my photos to life and make my own postcards, inspired by Mother Nature. Just saying…these gems are a perfect way to brighten up the day of all you cubicle dwellers…
Yoga mat: As I learned the semi-hard way, yoga is essential when you are surfing a lot. Somehow I went almost a month without practicing and coincidentally strained my back and neck. All the paddling, arching your back, and wipeouts require some good stretching. Plus, being bendy has some other advantages as well….like being able to touch my toes!
Stylin trucker hat: When you are as fair as I am and live 10 degrees North of the Equator, sun protection is essential. Sometimes though, sunscreen is just not enough. And all the squinting from the bright sun looking for next wave is sure to cause some forehead wrinkles. After 9AM, I pretty much always surf with a hat. I know y’all must be thinking how I keep the damn thing on? Magic my friends. 😉
Skin-So-Soft: Not only a moisturizer, Skin-So-Soft doubles as bugspray. Buh-bye mosquitos.
Pañalito: Another product that does double duty; Pañalito is the Costa Rican version of diaper-rash creme. But, do to its high content of zinc oxide, it is a great, thick sunscreen that stays on. I apply it to my scar and recently started rubbing it in on my ears and hands to make sure I have extra protection on these more exposed and sensitive body parts. Of course, you can use it to treat rashes caused by surfing.
Leave-in conditioner: After living in Costa Rica for almost a year, my hair has been exposed to a lot of sun and salt water. After a surf session, my beach-blonde locks scream for moisture. After every surf session I put leave-in-conditioner in my hair and a couple times a week I deep-condition my hair in the shower and leave the conditioner in until I remember to rinse it out.
Braided hair: One day I decided to braid my hair before paddling out and I soon realized my hair was not a tangled mess after getting out of the water. The braid helps to tame my locks and not dry out my hair as much. And the added benefit of a ponytail braid is it helps keep that trucker hat on…