So, you have successfully rearranged your life! You’ve sub letted your bedroom, rented out your house, promised the wife and kids a vacation to Hawaii, sent your dog on a romantic vacation with his girlfriend, turned off your cell phone, re directed your mail, set up and auto response for your work email that says – “Have fun sitting at a desk while I’m getting barreled!! Suckers!!!” You’ve put all of your bills on automatic payment, spent hours on the phone with your favorite shaper, and even longer hemming and hawing over your new shapes. You’ve updated your passport or have at least 6 months remaining before it expires. The airline ticket is booked and you are ready for your epic Mentawai Surf Retreat! Now what?
Well, time to start packing! It’s best to start early. If you have an extra bedroom, that’s great! Or any corner of your house will do. I recommend laying everything on the floor in organized piles. This is a great way to avoid the common last minute rush. The rush where I drive circles around my town collecting sun screen, wax, that extra leash I forgot on the first round, snacks, vitamins, whatever it may be… and then I stuff them blindly into my board bag that just keeps getting heavier, until I have to sit on top of it to force the zipper closed. Then, stressfully drag it to the truck and tie it down as I rush to the airport. Only to have to unpack the bag because it’s too heavy!
This is a great place to say. DO NOT OVER PACK! Do not over pack your board bag! Packing too much stuff into your board bag is a great way to spend unnecessary money on over weight fees. Also, creating a heavy board bag is a great way to piss off your friendly baggage handlers! They already have a hard time being nice to your bags, handing them a 35KG 7ft board coffin does not go over easy. Most damage happens to heavy board bags vs. coffins just filled with boards. Keep your board bag as light as possible.
OK, now lets talk about what exactly to bring and not to bring. We already covered the illusion that stuffing everything into one board coffin is easy. It is Not. It will piss you off, and make you sweat. Instead. Pack the board coffin, pad the boards with a few strategically placed t-shirts, towel, sarong, and maybe even a pillow to protect the nose rocker. If you really want to be safe, go to your local hardware store and buy a few foam pipe insulators, slice them down the line and slide them on your rails of your favorite boards. Pack a separate duffel bag or wheelie bag, and a small backpack with essentials for the plane. You’ll be happy to have the pack later in your adventure for day trips.
I will make 2 lists, one for surf related supplies and one for having a good time in Indonesia:
- Leashes: 1 Big Wave, 3 regular (NOT comp)
- Board Shorts – 3 or 4
- Fins at least 1 set for each board
- Fin key
- Wax – Base coat and Tropical. Sometimes the water is so warm it’s best to just use Base Coat
- Wax Comb
- Rash Guard or t-shirt. I like to wear long sleeves to save the time on sunscreen.
- Reef Boots. Sometimes you will want them. Cutting your feet is not fun.
- Sun Block and Aloe
- Zinc and SPF chap stick. I like to keep these in my pocket for the extra long sessions.
- Ding Repair kit. Solar Rez is a life saver sometimes!
- Optional – Fishing lures, Snorkel gear, Fins, Dive light and bag, Spear gun
Good things to have (not surf hardware)
- Sunglasses! I like to have a back up pair since I am sure life with out polarized lenses is just not as nice.
- Passport and a copy in a separate place (with you and at home) MUST HAVE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS UNTIL EXPIRATION.
- Airline ticket!
- Cash (crisp NEW bills are best. Do Not even fold them in half)
- Credit cards and debit cards. Make sure they magnetic strip is in good condition, and not too scratched. They have a very hard time swiping bad cards, even though they work in your home country. Make sure you alert your credit card companies and banks that you will be going out of the country so they don’t think they have been stolen.
- First Aid kit: Betadine or Hydrogen peroxide. Neosporin. Waterproof band Aids. New skin.
- Long sleeve shirt
- Light weight pants
- Long socks for the plane
- Flip Flops
- T shirts (3-4) you probably will not even wear one that often
- Rain Jacket
- Bathroom Bag, Prescriptions, Pain meds and Vitamins
- Dry bag or Ziploc bags, Pelican case.
- Headphones, Ipod, Chargers, USB, AUX
- Camera, Memory Cards, usb stick
- Walk Shorts
- Walk Shoes
- Mosquito Repellant
- Energy bars and snacks
Just remember to have fun while your packing for your epic Mentawai Surf Retreat! Do a little at a time and really really try not to over pack. I promise you will find your life a lot less complicated, strive to only bring the essentials. Welcome to life in board shorts! Enjoy it!!!