Written exclusively for Raglan Surf Company by Lucy Galbraith
The pohutakawas are out, work’s about to finish up for the year and the shops have been playing carols for at least two months. It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas.
We don’t believe Christmas is about the gifts. It’s about family, friends and way too much food. But if you do want to get a lil something for the surfer in your life and you don’t want it to end up on Trade Me or worse, in landfill, we got you.
This is our comprehensive guide of what to give every type of surfer to bring the Christmas chur.
The Hippie Surfer
The hippie surfer is no longer just some hairy, log-riding van-dweller. They’re generally just surfers who give a shit about the ocean - which we’d like to think is all surfers.
Stuff their hemp stocking with a tube of reef friendly Earth’s Kitchen sunscreen, or Patagonia’s Worn Wear patches which are not only practical but weirdly fun.
If you know this person really well, both Futures and FCS have eco hardware to enhance their stick. Both do bio-fins and FCS also provides a decent eco legrope. All proudly made with sustainable materials and ethical practices.
If none of that fits the bill, Yvon Chouinard’s “Let My People Go Surfing” is always a popular choice. It’s a memoir of the legendary founder of Patagonia that’ll inspire any reader to do better in the world.
The backpacker is easy. They don’t have room to lug around big gifts and it’s pretty likely you’ll never see them again. A handful of stickers, a shower and a feed will be more than enough to share the Christmas spirit.
If you really like this person (or don’t want to let them use your shower) you can’t go wrong with the classic Raglan Surf Co Block Tee. It’ll look great among the tie-dye and crochet of Byron Bay, where they’ll probably end up living for a while.
If they aren’t in a rush to get to ‘Straya, and frothing to get some kiwi barrels, the New Zealand Surf Guide makes a brilliant travel companion and souvenir.
If your relationship only extends as far as them smiling at you while dropping in on the wave of the day, don’t be a Scrooge and send them in. Instead give them a peace offering in the form of a voucher from Green Wave! They cater to all levels which help increase your nomadic friend’s rippability while educating them if they display any snakey behaviour.
Grommets are the best to buy for. They will lose their minds on any surf related gift, especially if they haven’t had to wash your car for three years straight to earn it. If they have a board already you can give them the FCS II Julian Wilson Aircore Grom Tri fins or a mini sized grip or leash. Anything with a pro’s name on it will increase your gifting-game immeasurably. It might even lead to them offering to do the dishes a few times (don’t hold us to that).
For a more practical gift go for a Yeti lunchbox. Not only will keep their sandwiches cool, it’ll ease your conscience if you want to leave them at Manu all day while you surf Indi’s.
If your grom is too young to shred you can still work on their stoke levels during bedtime stories with Hubi’s Surf Atlas.
Last but not least, load their Christmas stockings up with wax, wax-comb, Zinc sticks and stickers. If they don’t own a board yet you can bond over teaching them to wax yours.
The “pro” (aka advanced surfer) is the hardest person in the world to buy for. They’re way more in tune with their gear and only really care about surfing. Our recommendation is to just bite the bullet and get them a new SB19, or even better (and way safer bet unless you know them right down to the degree of their rocker), get them a voucher for a custom Hughes board.
Seriously, that’s probably all they want. But if that’s totally out of the question, pick them up a mixed box of beers or spritzers from our award-winning friends at Workshop Brewing and a surf mag. They might not be able to get out of Chrissie lunch for a surf, but they can sip an IPA and pretend they’re in Indo while “spending time” with the whānau.
The Accident-Prone Over-Frother
We all know at least one of these and while we’re not sure if Raglan Medical does gift vouchers, we do have a few ideas that could increase their (and their surfboard’s) life expectancy a bit.
Sunscreen is always a good option for these guys, they’re usually so fizzing to get tubed that they forget to screen up. If they have a tube of Surfscreen in their kit they’re way more likely to avoid that lobstery post-surf glow. A surf hat is also a good shout.
Creatures of Leisure’s Hardwear board sock is made with heavy-duty canvas and features a padded nose, making it a thoughtful gesture for those that seem to get all their dings when they’re out of the water.
If they’re the super unfortunate type, FCS Pod x Sharkbanz will keep Jaws at bay with its magnetic shark deterring technology.
Another thoughtful offering is a tube of That’s It, a natural Manuka-oil-based range that comes as a lip balm, first aid gel or high-grade everything oil that’ll help heal any wounds, sunburn or rashes.
He learnt to surf on the equivalent of a fridge door during the coldest winter in a hundred years, and had to walk from Hamilton bare-foot whenever he wanted to go for a paddle. And after spending years driving you and your mates to chase barrels and compete in chocolate-milk sponsored comps, he’s still full of stoke.
He’ll probably tell you all he wants is to share a Christmas surf and a six-pack of Waikatos, but we know he’d be pretty chuffed with a shiny new Hughes board. The Link is the perfect stick to increase your dad’s stoke, subtly sneaking in a bit more width and volume to give him that extra paddle power while still holding heaps of manoeuvrability.
The Mum Surfer
We don’t want to stereotype too much, but we all know which parent generally tells the hundred-year-storm yarn and which one always makes sure the snacks are packed and our ears are sun-screened even though we’re in our thirties. All while still managing to find time to sneak in a surf.
Mum’s are similar to groms in terms of easily-pleased, but maybe a bit less enthusiastic and way more likely to wash up after you. She definitely deserves a new board, but best to bring her in for a chat as she’s probably too modest to tell you she rides a more advanced board than you.
Women Making Waves is a stunning book that’ll inspire and delight anyone in the family, especially mum. It’s full of beautiful photography and incredible stories honouring the trailblazing women of the water.
If your surfer mum is less booky and more of a “still-hits-the-yottie-when-Cindy-plays” mum, kit her out in some Doc Martens. The sandals have the added bonus of having 1 inch soles so she can protect her feet from the dreaded black-sand-burn we all know too well.
If we’ve missed a surfer or these options haven’t got you covered, pop in and see us. And most importantly have a very merry, stoke-filled Christmas.