Ocean & Earth

australia's surfing coast

from eden to bondi, to byron bay & beyond

What to wear

What to wear - // Australia's surfing coast //

What to wear in the surf depends on your personal style and the important factors of how comfortable and warm you want to be in the water.

Leading Australian surfwear brand,
Ocean & Earth recommends the following tips.


A good wetsuit protects you against cool water temperatures and the wind chill factor. Wetsuits are not meant to be fashion items - it's all about comfort, flexibility and warmth.

Here's what to look out for:

  • Make sure it fits properly. If it's too loose you'll be cold; too tight,you'll feel suffocated; too stiff, you'll be restricted in your movement;
  • Look for quality brands that fit comfortably and have flat or taped seams;
  • Get the right thickness. For NSW water temperatures, you'll need a 2mm short-sleeve steamer in autumn/spring and a 2-3mm sealed seam steamer in winter;
  • Look after your wetsuit. Rinse your wetsuit in fresh water after every surf and hang it on a clothes hanger in the shade. Watch out for sharp rocks and barnacles which can tear your suit.


Good purpose-built boardshorts are essential for avoiding wax rash.

Rash vest

Lycra 'rashies' save you from uncomfortable rashes and good quality ones also offer some UV protection. If you don't have a rashie, a tight fitting t-shirt will suffice.

Bikini or one-piece?

A one-piece is a good idea if you want to save yourself the risk of losing your bikini in the surf. A bikini with a rashie and boardshorts is also a good option for the girls. (Remember to tie your hair back too).

Sunscreen and hat

Make sure you stay sun smart with SPF30+ sports sunblock. A surf hat with a strap is also a good idea.


As a beginner surfer it's important to start on a stable platform so that you can easily catch a ride, get on your feet and most importantly, have fun. If you come across a sales person selling you a board 'just like Kelly Slater rides' don't do it. Steer away from shortboards until you are ready. The best options to start out with are a soft board or a long board. Make sure you can pick your board up easily.


Boardcovers protect your board in transit. If you are travelling on public transport or by plane, you will need a heavyweight cover. If you are travelling by car a lightweight cover for the roof of your car is fine.

Leg rope

A leg rope is the rope tied to your leg and connected to your board to save you from losing it in the surf or hitting another surfer with an out-of-control board. It should be about the length of your board, but also depends on the size of you, the waves and your board. Ask a surf shop for advice.

Wax creates a grippy surface to stand on. Make sure you remove and reapply the wax every season.

Surfboard Grip

The textured pad glued to the tail of the surfboard provides extra traction and cushioning for your foot. It is advised to only apply grip to new boards.


It is advisable to transport your surfboard on the roof of your vehicle rather than inside. You'll need flexible Soft Rax to protect your board.
Handy hint:
It is important to purchase wax that best suits the water you're surfing in, after all it is what binds you and the board together.