by Corky Carroll
This weeks column is one I do at this time every year to try and help those non-surfers out there who are trying to buy gifts for the surfers in their lives and have no idea what to get them. Some of these suggestions are the same ones I mention every year, but are very solid choices and I am taking into account that many non-surfers who are reading this probably did not read last years or any before that. I am going to start out with the least expensive and work up to the most.
Let’s kick off with “stocking stuffers” and things that don’t cost an arm and two legs. Surfers always need items such as surf wax and surf leashes. I would say you can’t go wrong with both of these, but you can. Surf wax must be the proper blend for the water temperature where the person will be surfing. If it’s for here in Orange County in December I would go with “cold water” wax. With the surf leash you will need to know what size board the person rides. Leashes come in all sizes, normally in six-inch increments going from very short boards all the way up to very long boards, and also in thickness relative to the size of surf the person will be riding. As a general rule of thumb the size of the leash should be about the same size and the length of the surfboard.
For adult surfers, who might enjoy a cocktail now and then, Jose Cuervo has just come out with a Limited-Edition bottle of Cuervo Especial Silver to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Cuervo Classic Surf Contest. It sells for $26 and is available in most stores. Also, in this same price point range, there are two new books that would be great gift ideas. One is former World Champion Fred Hemmings new work titled “LOCAL BOY.” This is a memoirs kinda deal dealing with Freddys life growing up surfing in Hawaii. Fred is a great surfer and story teller, super good read and is available at Barnes and Noble. The other is an amazing surfing cook book from former SURFER magazine editor Jim Kempton. It’s called “FIRST WE SURF AND THEN WE EAT.” This is a great collection of first-hand surf adventures and very flavorful recipes that Jim has come up with and collected through a lifetime of surf travel and adventures all over the world. It’s a tasty read and available on Amazon.
I have to mention items such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats and other surfwear that your surfer might like to wear. These are always great gifts, just get the size right. Surfers like stuff big. Nobody ever gets my size right. I have very wide shoulders, probably from a lifetime of paddling out, and if the shirt is too small it binds under my arms and chest. I am sure other surfers have this same issue. I like a 2xl, or 3xl even better. But people almost always give me a L or xl, which I can’t wear. Bummer to get a shirt you really love but doesn’t fit.
Moving up in cost there are always wetsuits, and of course, surfboards themselves. Now both of these items are fantastic gifts, but also not easy to buy because it is so important to get the correct size and model. Obviously with wetsuits the persons physical size is key, but also the type or suit. Surfboards are much harder as each surfer has his own preference. Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) fall into this same category. You need to either know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly what your surfer wants as far as size, shape and most of the time brand. A really good idea for these items is a gift certificate. Let them pick it out, safe that way.
Lastly, and yes this is the part where I get to plug my own thing, would be a surf trip. All surfers love to travel, especially in the winter when it’s cold here in Orange County. Tropical destinations are at the top of the list. And a great choice would be a surf adventure with me. Send ‘em down for a week to stay at our casa on Mainland Mexico with my beautiful wife and I. We offer a totally all-inclusive surf trip that covers everything other than airfare. For info email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are tons of other ideas, but this is all I have space for and pretty much my top picks for this year. I hope it helps you and that you and the surfer, or surfers, in your life have a great Holiday season. And, just in case you were wondering, I like and am happy to accept gifts of any kind.