Whether you’re still in at the beginner surfing skill level, or you are a more advanced surfer interested in a broad look at your gear options for the 2017 season, this ultimate surfing gear guide for 2017 is going to offer a full 360-degree perspective on all aspects of equipping for this amazing sport. As most surfers of virtually any skill level will probably know, surfing is a sport that presents tremendous variability in terms of locations where the sport can be practiced, and each of those respective locations can present wildly different conditions and gear requirements. With that being said, one of the first steps in understanding and applying the importance of reviewing surf equipment options before making purchases is going to be completely understanding the dynamics and typical seasonal conditions for your home-base surfing spot.
For example, if a surfer lives all the way up in a place like, let’s say, British Columbia in the high Pacific Northwest, their gear requirements are going to be vastly different from a surfer who spends all their time practicing at a general location like Southern California. Without delving too deeply into specifics just yet, we can definitely say that the surfer in British Columbia is going to require a different equipment profile that is likely going to include a much thicker than average full wet suit potentially up to 6/5mm, with the addition of gloves, boots, and a hood for full coverage. That would compare to our Southern California example, where for most of the year a basic rash guard or nothing but board shorts could suffice, and where even in the dead of winter a 3/2mm or 4/3mm full wet suit should easily do the job. This basic example serves as a primer for understanding how variations in climate, weather, sea surface temperature, and other conditions can basically determine what kind of equipment profile a surfer is going to need.
In the same way weather and temperature can determine the type of wetsuit (or lack thereof) necessary for surfing a given location, the type and size of wave breaks at a given surf spot will occasionally end up determining the type of surfboard needed to optimally surf there, but not always. With that being said, one of the most critical aspects of any surfer’s gear and equipment profile is obviously going to be their actual surfboard, but which type of board is the right one? The first step in determining which type of board a surfer is going to want to ride is to consider one’s surfing style. For quick, snappy, reflexive, technical surfing, a shortboard surfboard is going to be the optimal decision since it offers the fast responsiveness and maneuverability necessarily for cutting-edge technical and trick oriented surfing.
For more laid back, stable, and generally less technical surfing, a longboard surfboard can be a perfect option to consider. For those rare surfing animals we call big wave surfers, a board known as a “gun” or big wave gun surfboard is going to be the tool for the big wave trade. There are also large, soft, forgiving surfboards that are basically designed to be training boards, and for beginning surfers this is going to be a great option more often than not. This is meant to be a basic overview for surfboard variations, and does not necessarily include every single variety known to man. It is a template for understanding the basic dynamics of surfboards, and how there are overarching board designs intended for each respective school of thought in surfing.
Another important aspect of closely reviewing 2017 surfing gear options before making purchases is definitely the establishment of an overall budget, unless of course there is the rare and fortunate exception where money is no object. For most surfers out there, planning a surf equipment budget will be a necessary step, and for this reason we have to introduce the all-important dynamic of whether to source new or used surfing gear items. The age old New vs. Used debate applies in so many instances, but few places is it more relevant than within the realm of surfing equipment items. Although the newest 2017 surfing gear is going to be a first choice of many, and for those people we will be including a range of brand new 2017 equipment items, the reality of some people needing to supplement their equipment items with some used gear is a fact of life that we will be accommodating somewhat in this 2017 ultimate surfing gear guide.
Just to go over the used gear avenue for the benefit of those surfers who have a budget requiring that at least some of their surf equipment be used items, we will now look at the basic pros and cons for used surfing equipment. Starting out with the pros, it is clear that sourcing at least some of your surfing gear in 2017 from a used source is going to save tons of money most of the time. The simple fact is that when sourcing used surfing equipment, it becomes possible to not only find incredible deals that offer prices far below MSRP, but also to further negotiate and be more flexible with a seller to reach even more sizable discounts. This benefit can actually be a necessity for those surfers on a tight budget in 2017, and so it is wise not to overlook this.
Those are some major benefits of buying some of your 2017 surfing gear from a used source, but it is also smart to think about the cons as well. Surfing equipment is generally going to need to be very durable and structurally sound in order to hold up and last a long time against the elements, and when buying used it can be difficult or impossible to know just how compromised that board, wet suit, or pair of boots actually is. You might think you got an amazing deal on a used surfboard, only to find out later that it is riddled with minuscule stress cracking that compromises the integrity of the board. Sometimes it is best to simply not gamble and just bite the bullet and pay a bit extra for brand new 2017 surfing gear items, but that decision is obviously left up to each individual to consider.
Another somewhat more superficial category to consider when browsing through the multitudes of 2017 surfing equipment items and boards is going to be the style or aesthetic one is looking for, and the brands and manufacturers that most closely fit that style. Whether we are talking about wetsuit variations, board shorts, individual neoprene rashguard tops or bottoms, or any other kind of surfing apparel, there are so many different companies and styles out there that it can become a daunting task to narrow down to the exact perfect selections for each individual surfer out there. More importantly, different surf companies that produce boards will tend to have different shaping styles and dimensional profiles, so doing a fair amount of research into which companies produce the optimal board shaping for your own personal surfing dynamics can make all the difference in terms of achieving truly great board feel and control on the wave.
A really hot shortboard surfboard heading into the 2017 surfing season is definitely the Clay Marzo Mad Cat Shortboard by Superbrand. This is a fairly expensive board, but it is well worth the professional design and shaping, which was influenced by surfing expert Clay Marzo. This shortboard is highly versatile, and is available in a wide variety of different sizing dimensions so that people of different body sizes can find a perfect fit. Available in a 5’8’’ length, 5’9’’ length, 5’10’’ length, 5’11’’ length, 6’0’’ length, 6’1’’ length, and a 6’2’’ length, the 2017 Clay Marzo Mad Cat Shortboard definitely offers an optimal size for most surfers.
The graphics and overall aesthetic on this board is really eye-catching, while managing to be minimalistic all at the same time. Featuring a planet looking orange sphere centered in the board’s graphic, there is also a sea green colored section on the lower part of the surfboard for an attractive look that blends in well with the blue-green tones of the ocean. This is a professional class shortboard that handles a wide variety of wave breaks quite well, capable of tacking even mushy type waves, all the way up to multiple overhead pounders with agile confidence. This board is designed to have a bit of additional width built into the nose that makes paddling a much more efficient and powerful exercise, making the task of timing a setup easier to target than ever.
Equipped with fuller than average and very boxy rail sections, the 2017 Clay Marzo Mad Cat Shortboard is a forgiving technical surfboard that can offer both power and finesse simultaneously. There is a wider forward end outlining, and a high performance rocker construction on the 2017 Clay Marzo Mad Cat that makes powering through wave after wave a seemingly effortless practice at times. Featuring a single to pronounced duplicate concave design, the shaping on this board is cutting edge but also vintage shaping style. Retailing at around $600.00 right now, the Clay Marzo Mad Cat is without a doubt a shortboard to consider heading into the 2017 surf season.
Designed specifically for professional level surfers by well known shaper Adam Fletcher, the 2017 Burnside model shortboard is an extremely impressive surfboard that truly exemplifies the state of the art in shortboard surfboards as of 2017. The Burnside is a shortboard that has been crafted using the inputs from a wide variety of professional level surfers, and in this way it rides in a very practical fashion that offers optimal performance without too many frills.
At this time the Burnside is not available in too many different sizes, although with a 5’8’’ length, a 5’10’’ length, and a 6’2’’ length available, many people will be well suited by this elite shortboard surfboard. Another minimalist aesthetic shortboard, the Burnside shortboard by Adam Fletcher offers riders a faded striping effect on the tail end of the board that creates a plain, balanced effect. It definitely isn’t the wildest looking graphic designed shortboard out there, but if performance is what you’re after the Burnside is absolutely perfect for the 2017 season.
With a single concave design built into the Burnside shortboard, it is a surfboard that offers very high stability and power in the back foot or tail end of the board giving a surfer confidence in a wide range of wave break types. This is basically an innovated, yet conventional shortboard given that it has pulled-in, well tapered nose and tail sections allowing for rapid course changes and cutbacks. At around $625.00, the Burnside shortboard by Adam Fletcher is another fairly expensive board, but definitely worth it if a new and professional grade shortboard is on your wish list.
For a typically much more relaxed surfing experience, a longboard surfboard might be the best option for those surfers who aren’t necessarily interested in doing tricks like snaps, cutback, or even aerials for the experts. Whether a surfer is at a beginner to intermediate skill level, or even advanced, the art of longboard surfing is one that taps into the more traditional roots of early surfing history.
Although a quality new longboard surfboard is generally going to cost more than a shortboard, for those surfers who are committed to longboard surfing as a primary aspect of their surfing lifestyle there is no substitute for a premium quality longboard. For those surfers who wouldn’t ride on any other board except for an elite longboard surfboard, we have included some great longboard product options for the 2017 season.
One of the most tried and true longboard surfboard designs in the world is back again for the 2017 surfing season, with the Takayama In The Pink longboard presenting a fantastic option for those who are looking for a brand new board in 2017. This longboard offers an incredibly sleek and clean design and shaping, with the overall dimensional ratings of 9’0’’ x 22.5’’ x 3’’ as a standard model. A nine foot longboard is fairly standard in terms of overall length, but there are Takayama In The Pink longboards that are available in slightly longer versions for those surfers who need a bit more board than the average rider.
There is a definitely a reason that when you visit almost any popular surf spot for longboard surfing, there will usually be at least a few Takayama In The Pink longboards out in the lineup. This is no accident, since the ITP is a simply exceptional design that offers riders amazing control and noseriding capabilities on most longboard wave types. Although this board is not going to work very well on hollow wave breaks due to the wide nose section and flat rocker, it works beautifully on breaks that are more conducive to longboard surfing style. Featuring a square tail, a three inch overall thickness, and a 2+1 fin setup design, this is a board that is ready to roll since it includes fins with it as a standard feature.
Emblazoned with a sea green nose section on the Takayama designed In The Pink longboard, and a white lower section, this is a longboard with a minimalist design that looks almost as good as it surfs. The PU/Poly construction on this board will ensure that it retains its durability for a long time, and it will also ensure that it can stand up to some dents and dings without compromising performance. At very close to $2,000.00, the Takayama In The Pink longboard surfboard is without a doubt an expensive, premium longboard. This is definitely one of the best options for longboard surfers who want a new board, and who have the budget to accommodate this world class surfing hardware.
Another exceptional longboard surfboard available for the 2017 surfing season is going to be the Ricky Carroll PLB 9’2’’ longboard. This is a longboard that has somewhat similar shaping and design features when compared to the Takayama In The Pink longboard, with some marked differences as well. The 9’2’’ length on the Ricky Carroll PLB longboard is slightly longer than the standard length when compared to the Takayama In The Pink surfboard, but there are also varying sizes for this longboard as well. Another major reason that the Ricky Carroll PLB longboard is a bit different from other longboards is that it incorporates a rounded tail section, and an overall more rounded shaping on the nose too.
The Ricky Carroll PLB longboard is a great longboard option for 2017, especially if a surfer is looking for a longboard with a slightly thinner profile. At 2.75’’ of thickness, the Ricky Carroll PLB longboard is a bit thinner than average, but not by much. This longboard is another one built using a PU/Poly construction, and offers riders a high degree of durability over time. The width on this board is 22.5’’, giving it a fairly average width overall.
Featuring a unique 4+1 fin setup orientation, with the fins included with purchase of the Ricky Carroll PLB longboard surfboard, this is a longboard that offers fantastic control on the wave face. Retailing around $1,050.00, the Ricky Carroll PLB longboard is an awesome product option for the 2017 surfing season, and it is significantly more affordable than other longboards without sacrificing very much quality at all.
Despite the reality that big wave surfing is really relegated to the true expert surfers out there, there are enough people who want to ride bigger waves that it is helpful to include a gun surfboard section for the 2017 season. A gun surfboard is a type of surfboard that is really only necessary in massive surf like what might be encountered a spot like Mavericks in Northern California or Waimea Bay in Hawaii, and it is designed to give a surfer increased traction and stability on a gigantic wave.
Featuring a much more narrow and sharp nose section than an average surfboard, as well as increased board thickness, a gun surfboard is expressly designed to not wobble on a towering, almost vertical wave break. The narrow and sharp nose design and generally bigger length on a gun surfboard is intended to keep the board’s rails firmly contacting the water, and is yet one more design feature used to keep the surfboard from destabilizing on the wave surface. To benefit those high skill level surfers who want to know about some good gun surfboards for the 2017 season, we have included some options below.
Starting out with a more traditionally designed gun surfboard, “The Chase” is an impressive gun surfboard that offers a remarkable range of features and available board lengths/sizes. Shaped and built by the expert designers at Xanadu Surf Designs, The Chase is the quintessential gun surfboard offering six different product sizes to choose from. With a 9’2’’ length, 9’6’’ length, 9’10’’ length, 10’2’’ length, 10’6’’ length, and an 11’2’’ length, there are versions of this gun surfboard that can work for surfers of many different heights and body types. This is a gun surfboard that is very vibrant and attractive in its aesthetic appearance, featuring a bright red, yellow, and orange color scheme that really pops out against the typically duller, earthy tones of the ocean.
“The Chase” gun surfboard is aptly named for the purpose of chasing down monster breaks, and it is exclusively built for true elite surfers since they are the only people who can effectively utilize this type of board. This board is shaped to have much more thickness toward the front of the board, allowing for the utmost paddling power into some of the biggest waves on the planet that don’t require a tow-in setup. Available in both a three-fin and a four-fin design, “The Chase” is a gun surfboard that is definitely built to be versatile and accommodative of all kinds of personal preferences. Pricing is highly variable on this gun surfboard since so many design variations exist to be customized by the buyer, but definitely expect to be paying over a thousand dollars for this board.
For those expert surfers who want a gun type of surfboard for their 2017 surfing season, but don’t want a full length gun surfboard, there is a perfect medium available known as the Semi Gun. The Semi Gun, another awesome creation from the folks at Xanadu Surf Designs, is a gun surfboard that features a shorter length while retaining the characteristic sharper, narrowed nose section. In this way, the Semi Gun is a great surfboard for tackling bigger waves, but at the same time also being effective on more mid-sized wave breaks as well. Available in a 6’4’’ length, 6’6’’ length, 6’8’’ length, 6’10’’ length, and a 7’0’’ length, the Semi Gun is a surfboard that can be purchased in a tight range of different sizes.
Additionally, the Semi Gun can also be purchased in a few different tail shaping options including a squash tail format, rounded tail format, or a swallow tail design. The Semi Gun has been successfully tested all over the world by professional surfers, at such noteworthy big wave spots as Puerto Escondido, Fiji, Hawaii, Indonesia, and several others. The Semi Gun can be customized into many different color schemes and visual designs, making this a favorite for surfers who want a crossover between a gun surfboard and a shortboard. While it isn’t exactly cheap, the Semi Gun is a perfect board for experts who want big wave capabilities, while still being able to surf smaller breaks on their board.
Although surfers who live in warmer, more equatorial climate locations will typically not need to worry about including a wet suit into their 2017 surfing season gear and equipment acquisitions, for the rest of us living in cooler coastal climates a wet suit is going to be an absolute necessity. For those surfers who do need a wet suit in order to comfortably and sustainably enjoy their surfing experiences, it is going to be critical to understand the different types of wet suit variations and their corresponding suit thicknesses.
From super thin rash guard type shirts and bottoms, to extra thick 6/5mm full wet suits, there is a massive range of different wet suit options available in today’s marketplace. Understanding which surfing apparel or wet suit options are best for an individual’s requirements can be crucial for optimizing comfort out in the lineup, and it helps to have an idea about which temperatures necessitate certain wet suit thicknesses.
There are a range of variables that should be considered when approaching the selection of a new wet suit for the 2017 surfing season, and some of these variables include the air temperature, water temperature, the average wind speeds at your local surf spot(s), one’s individual sensitivity to becoming cold while surfing, and the level of strenuousness that you experience while surfing. All of these should be taken into account when looking into wet suit acquisition, and additionally there are helpful temperature to wet suit charts that can assist in picking the right wet suit for the job.
When the water temperature at your local surf spot tends to be over 72 degrees (F), then no wetsuit or a simple rashguard will be sufficient most of the time. For a water temperature range of 65-75 degrees, a top or “shorty” half-wetsuit can be used, and these will usually be anywhere from 0.5mm to 2/1mm in general thickness. When the water temperature is in the 62-68 degree range a full wetsuit can be used, but for these temperatures the suit thickness should really be no more than 3/2mm. Water temperature ranges of 58-63 degrees will typically demand a full wetsuit with a thickness of at least 3/2mm, and up to 4/3mm for those who get colder a bit easier.
For those times when water temperatures drop down to the 52-58 degree range, wetsuits will usually be 5/4/3mm thickness and this is where auxiliary suit items like boots, gloves, and hoods need to come into play to ensure efficient insulation in the colder water. For those brave surfers who will be surfing in water temperatures that are lower than 42 degrees (F), a 6/5mm wetsuit thickness will definitely be needed. When water temperature is lower than 42 degrees, a full suit, boots, gloves, hood, and taped seals are going to be absolutely critical for safe surfing in frigid water.
80 to 74 degrees
2mm Neoprene top or Springsuit
73 to 66 degrees
2mm Long Sleeve Springsuit or 3/2mm full suit
65 to 58 degrees
3/2mm full suit + booties
58 to 55 degrees
4/3mm full suit + booties
54 to 49 degrees
5/4mm full suit + booties + hood
49 to 43 degrees
6/5mm full suit + booties+ hood
42 degrees & below
Dry suit + booties + hood
Oh Hell No!
For the surfers out there who are fortunate enough to live near surf locations where wetsuits are simply not needed due to warm water temperatures, the hottest 2017 board shorts are worth looking at in order to secure your desired style for the 2017 surfing season. A high quality pair of board shorts can be a warm water surfer’s best friend, and an investment in quality can actually make more of a difference than some surfers realize. For the benefit of surfers looking at premium surfing board shorts heading into the 2017 surfing season, we have included some product options that fit that description.
For the first premium boardshorts product in our 2017 surfing gear buyer’s guide, the Hurley Phantom Block Party Hyperweave Speed Elite boardshorts are truly innovative surfing trunks. The focus here is on the best of the best in 2017 boardshorts products, and in this way, these boardshorts by Hurley are definitely not cheap or especially affordable surfing trunks, but they are the true premium out right now.
Using a proprietary Hyperweave design, these Hurley boardshorts are composed of a fabric that is both relatively soft and elastic, while still being durable enough to handle the wear and tear of surfing. Another proprietary feature on these 2017 Hurley boardshorts is the inclusion of Hurley Phantom fabric that offers an amazing 60% stretch rating, along with a Hurley Dolphin style hem that increases coverage with these boardshorts. At around $150.00, these boardshorts are definitely on the expensive end, but their premium quality can justify the price if you can afford them.
Most likely the highest quality board shorts debuting for the 2017 surfing season, the Quiksilver New Wave Highline board shorts are no joke. These elite surfing board shorts are available in both a white and black color scheme, and they are available in seven different size ratings ranging from sizes 28 through 38. Quiksilver has pulled out all the stops in designing these state of the art surfing board shorts, and a great example of that is in the proprietary Dry Flight coating on these surf trunks. The Dry Flight coating prevents water from getting inside and staying within the fabric, which reduces overall weight and also offering better mobility once the shorts are immersed in the water.
Another awesome proprietary feature on the 2017 Quiksilver New Wave Highline boardshorts is the four-way stretch capability, which allows for superior mobility no matter how hard you are surfing. Among the most amazing features on the 2017 Quiksilver New Wave Highline boardshorts, the laser cut and heat bonded seam designs on these shorts provide superior construction and long term durability. Retailing around $200.00, these 2017 Quiksilver boardshorts are among the most expensive on the market today, but that high price is definitely substantiated by the incredible quality these surfing boardshorts deliver to the surfer.
As even the novice surfer is likely to know, a quality surf wax can prove to be absolutely critical in terms of increasing stability and foothold on your surfboard while riding waves of varying sizes, speeds, and set patterns. A surfboard without any wax can prove to be an exceedingly slippery surface for bare feet to be standing on, and so to improve safety, stability, and overall enjoyment, finding a surf wax that you love is a big step in upping your surfing game. For those surfers gearing up for the 2017 season, check out some examples of premium surf wax products that can help you get the most out of your surfing sessions in 2017.
A classic and world renowned surf wax brand has long since been Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax, and this is a type of surf wax that is extremely popular and highly recommended as we approach the primary 2017 surfing season. Mr. Zogs is a very versatile wax designer and manufacturing company, and they offer different wax formulations for cold, cool, warm, and tropical ocean temperatures. This is a surf wax that gets rave reviews across the world, and they definitely know how to appeal to their customers.
For example, Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax is available in pineapple, strawberry, coconut, and grape scents across each of their available water temperature ratings. Another way in which the Mr. Zogs surfing wax is a cut above the rest is in terms of how versatile it is, meaning it can be applied in both base coats and top coats and be effective in both roles. It is also affordable, given that Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax can be purchased in its many forms for usually less then ten dollars.
Another fantastic surf wax designer and manufacturer is Sticky Bumps Surf Wax, and they have also made our surf wax list for the 2017 season. This is due in large part to the fact that Stick Bumps Surf Wax is, like Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax, highly versatile and available in a broad range of different forms and purposes. From cold, to cool, warm, and tropical water temperature ratings, Sticky Bumps Surf Wax is another brand that has a wax product that works well in virtually all major surfing water temperatures around the world.
Sticky Bumps Surf Wax is another tried and true brand that is enjoyed by surfers all over, and one advantage of their wax products is that they actually offer even more temperature ratings than the standard four, which consist of cold, cool, warm, and tropical water conditions. One example is their Cool/Cold formulation, that seeks to achieve even more precision with regard to how wax performs differently across small temperature variations. This wax is still quite affordable, but might be slightly more expensive at around ten to fifteen dollars overall. Exact pricing will depend on the individual retailer, but ten to fifteen dollars is definitely an expected price range for Sticky Bumps Surf Wax products.