Surf’s Up, Style’s On: Men’s Surfing Fashion And Gear

As much as surfing is about catching the perfect wave and enjoying the thrill of riding it, it’s also about having the proper gear to enhance the experience. So, when looking for the latest surf fashion and gear for men, it’s necessary to consider style and functionality.

Before, surf fashion was seen as a form of subcultural identification, where surfers wore distinctive clothing to demonstrate their affiliation with the surfing community. Men embraced the “surfer” style but often denied its significance and downplayed it as merely a way for outsiders and novices to show their subcultural identity.

However, as years go by, surfing fashion and gear have made their way into mainstream culture and men’s lifestyle magazines. Most surf clothing is improved using the latest fabric technologies to ensure durability and performance in the water while keeping them on-trend.

In this article, we’ll explore the essential surfing gear for men and the current trends in men’s surfing fashion and gear. So, the next time you hit the waves, you’ll be well-equipped while looking good.

Essential Gear for the Modern Surfer

Modern surfers often embody a unique blend of traditional surfing culture and the influence of modern technology, sustainability, and inclusivity. They often strive for high proficiency in riding waves, executing maneuvers, and understanding ocean dynamics. Yoga, meditation, and other wellness practices are often integrated into their routines to improve their performance and overall quality of life. 

Many modern surfers are environmentally conscious and advocate for protecting coastal ecosystems. They often engage with their local surf communities through surf clubs, events, or charity initiatives. They understand the importance of preserving and nurturing the culture and camaraderie. 

Thus, surfing isn’t just about riding the waves. It’s a lifestyle that embraces the elements and reflects your personal taste. Hence, you must know the best surfing fashion trends. Retail brands offer a wide range of clothing and accessories. Ensure to choose high-quality boardshorts, wetsuits, bikinis, hoodies, hats, etc.

The right gear is essential when surfing to achieve optimal performance while staying safe, especially under demanding and changing weather conditions.

Here are some vital pieces that every modern surfer should have in their wardrobe:

Wetsuits and Rash Guards

man wearing Rash Guards

When you’re constantly engaged in water activities such as surfing and diving, a wetsuit and/or rash guard is your best friend.

Nowadays, various technological improvements to wetsuits offer comfort, flexibility, and insulation. A steamer wetsuit is ideal under cold weather conditions as it provides full-body coverage and keeps the wearer warm like steam does. It’s often made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber known for its excellent insulating properties and helps trap a thin layer of water between the wetsuit and the skin.

Many wetsuit and rash guard materials also often have built-in UV protection to shield surfers from the sun’s harmful rays while they’re out on the water. This added layer of sun protection is essential to prevent any potential skin damage and reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. However, if you require more protection in terms of thermal insulation and full-body coverage, wetsuits are a better option than rash guards.


Of course, no surfing gear is complete without the surfboard itself.

There are many types of surfboards that you can get, depending on your skill level, the type of waves you’ll be riding, and your preferences. Shortboards are perfect for experienced surfers who want more maneuverability and performance in steeper, faster waves. On the other hand, longboards are ideal for beginners or those who prefer a more relaxed surfing style in smaller, slower waves. Funboards, also known as hybrid boards, are great for surfers who want the best of both worlds — a mix of the maneuverability of a shortboard and the stability of a longboard.

Leashes and Traction Pads

Other surfing essentials are leashes and traction pads.

Leashes are crucial for safety as they keep the surfer and the board connected, preventing the board from drifting away and becoming a potential hazard to other surfers or swimmers. There are different leash designs available depending on the type of board you’re using and your preference. Some have quick-release systems for emergencies, while others have thicker cords for stronger waves.

Traction pads are essential for maintaining control and grip of your surfboard. They are typically made of textured rubber material and are attached to the board’s deck. This textured material provides additional traction, allowing riders to perform maneuvers and turns with more stability and control.


surf fin

Fins, also known as skegs, are essential for the surfboard as they help with stability, maneuverability, and control when catching waves.

Like surfboards, leashes, and traction pads, several types of fin designs are available that cater to different surfing styles and wave conditions. Some popular fin setups include the thruster (three fins) and quad (four fins). You can customize your surfing experience with different fin sizes and shapes to achieve the desired level of performance and responsiveness in the water.

Men’s Surfing Fashion Trends

Surf fashion has constantly evolving trends, just like the sport itself. Here are some current men’s surfing fashion trends to watch.

Boardshorts and Wetsuit Designs

Boardshorts and wetsuits continue to be a staple in men’s surfing fashion. Many options are now made with quick-dry materials and innovative closures for comfort and convenience.

More sustainable options are also available, made from recycled materials to minimize their environmental impact. Of course, there are also more stylish patterns, vibrant colors, and bold prints to choose from, allowing surfers to express their style in and out of the water.

Performance Shirts and Rash Guards

These two surfing gear options have become increasingly popular in men’s surfing fashion.

Performance shirts and rash guards offer protection from the sun’s harmful rays and are comfortable for long periods in the water. They are typically made with lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials to help keep you cool and dry.


When you’re off the waters but walking along the shore, you still want to stay protected while looking stylish.

Sunglasses are essential accessories for any surfer and beach-goer as they offer UV protection for your eyes and complete your beach look. Hats and caps are also popular accessories to protect your face from the sun and keep the glare out of your eyes while adding a fashionable touch to your outfit.

Trendy waterproof watches and activity trackers are also excellent accessories for surfing. They can keep track of your surf sessions, measure your performance metrics, and even provide tide and wave information to help you plan your next session.

Embracing the Surf Culture with The Right Men’s Surfing Gear

Surf culture is a unique and vibrant subculture that goes beyond just the act of riding waves. The fashion and gear surfers embrace as part of their identity make the activity even more special.

Surfers’ distinct casual and laidback style is reflected in men’s surfing gear fashion trends. And now, they are better than ever with advanced technology and a focus on sustainability.

So, the next time you hit the waves, ensure you’re equipped with the right surfing gear and the most fashionable men’s surfing clothing and accessories.

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