You’re a wakeboarder (or a wakeskater, or a wakesurfer, or something else – maybe all of the above), so you’ve likely already got the gear you need most: board, bindings, rope, handle, vest, etc. But what about the other essentials? What about the gear that rounds out the summer experience of being on the water, traveling around to different lakes or rivers and enjoying the fun that is our wake lifestyle? That’s where we’re here to help. We’ve spent years doing all of the above and below you will find a list of some of our favorite gear that we wouldn’t travel without, whether it’s a walk down the dock in your backyard or an international trip to an exotic wake park.
Dakine – Split Adventure Backpack
With 38 liters of storage, the Split Adventure pack from Dakine is one of the best we’ve ever used. And we’re not saying that lightly. We’ve tried every type of backpack or carry-on luggage you can imagine. Will a roller get you more storage? Probably. But do you always want a roller if you’re already rolling a board bag? The Split Adventure has plenty of space for a couple changes of clothes, the necessary electronics like a laptop and tablet, and more. Our version features a Cordura fabric exterior, making it more durable and weather resistant. And everything you see in this feature easily packed into the bag.
GoPro HERO 7Black / El Grande / The Handler
MSRP: $400 (HERO7 Black)
MSRP: $60 (El Grande)
MSRP: $30 (The Handler)
There’s no better way to document your riding (and your travels/fun) than with a GoPro HERO7 Black. Not only is it super compact, but it’s easier to use than ever before. With the new HyperSmooth image stabilization capabilities, your riding footage will look better than ever. Combined with GoPro’s Splice app, you can instantly start editing your clips on your mobile device and share them with the world. To shoot good riding video though, you’re going to want a mount. The El Grande is a 38-inch telescoping pole to mount your camera to. This pole is perfect for shooting ride along footage with your friends, whether you’re behind the boat or going for a doubles session in the park. For shooting selfies while wakesurfing, or if you just don’t need the reach of the El Grande, the Handler is a great compact grip. Plus, it floats, so no need to worry about losing your camera.
Dragon – Baile Sunglasses – H2O Floatable
Sunglasses. We all have them. We all need them. We’ve all lost them. That’s why we love the Baile H2O Floatable edition shades from Dragon. With input from legendary surfer Mick Fanning, these sunglasses not only look good, but they float. So don’t worry about jumping off the boat with them on, you’re not going to lose them. To top it off, they feature high-quality polarized lenses and an ultra-lightweight frame that won’t give you nose or ear fatigue if you’re wearing them all day.
Skullcandy – Indy Wireless Earbuds
We live on our phones these days, which means we always need headphones. Cut the cord and score some killer sound capabilities with the new Indy earbuds from Skullcandy. These Bluetooth sound machines are easy to use, even easier to pack and take anywhere, and they feature full microphone capabilities as well, so if you have to take a call while you’re on the boat or the dock, you can do so. For what it’s worth, we’ve made six-hour flights with these bad boys and enjoyed solid tunes the whole way.
Polywog Hybrid Walkshort
Versatile shorts are the best, and with the Polywogs you get just that. Wear them when you ride or when you head into town, or both. These shorts are lightweight, dry quickly, and extremely comfortable. A snap-close back pocket, small, side-stash pocket, and integrated key loop make them even more useful.
Nothing beats a classic, and the Volley shorts are just that. But these aren’t your grandads shorts. While the elastic waist and shorter length harkens to an awesome era, the Volleys feature modern materials that are ultra lightweight and comfortable, whether you’re riding in them or anything else.
Need a comfortable pair of lounge shorts with updated styling and features? The Siesta Shorts are it, and once you start wearing them you won’t want to take them off. Ultra comfortable without being sloppy, the Siestas feature zippered pockets (both sides and one rear)for added functionality and security. And yes, they are great for taking a siesta in.
Bonefish Solar Shirt
We spend lots of time in the sun, which means we need to protect our skin as much as possible. Solar protective shirts are more common (and more functional) than ever, but not all of them look good. The Bonefish from Jetty offers a fun graphical play on a shirt that will help keep you cool and protect you from UV rays with its 55+ rating. Jetty offers a bunch of other styles if the Bonefish isn’t your cup of tea, too.
We always need hats, whether it’s for sun protection, to cover up that messy I-just-finished-riding-and-haven’t-showered look, or for fashion purposes. The Mooring Hat is a six-panel snapback, so it fits a variety of head sizes and shapes comfortably. It’s semi-structured, so it’s not as floppy as a “dad hat,” but not as rigid as a trucker or baseball cap. This means it’s easy to pack because you don’t have to worry about squishing it.
Billabong – Tides Sandal
As wakeboarders, the one thing we wear more than boardshorts is probably sandals. You can’t go wrong with a simple pair like the Tides from Billabong. These are as basic as they come, and that’s a good thing. They’re comfortable and super easy to pack. What more do you need?
Dakine – Pindo Straw Hat
There’s something about a classic straw hat in the summer that just says you’re having a good time. Plus, you’re protecting your face and neck from the sun. Thanks to its elastic headband and chinstrap, the Pindo stays in place better than a lot of other straw hats we’ve worn over the years. And as part of Dakine’s collaboration with surf icon and artist Kassia Meador, the unique art underneath the brim ads unique style to the Pindo.
Salomon – AMPHIB BOLD
While flip-flops are a must, there are also times when we need shoes. Or some of us just prefer them. We set out to find a pair that works well in a variety of settings: on the boat, around the water, walking around town or taking a light hike. The Salomon AMPHIB BOLD shoes check all the boxes. Tons of grip, tons of comfort, ultra lightweight and breathable, and ready to take on whatever water adventures you can throw at them. The neoprene sock structure provides a snug fit, but can also be collapsed so you can wear it like a slide, and the BOA lace system makes putting them on a breeze. Think of these as the most versatile summer shoes you’ve ever had.
OtterBox – Elevation 20 Tumbler
Whether it’s blazing hot out on Lake Powell or a chillier morning in Minnesota, staying hydrated is key. Tumblers are a dime-a-dozen these days, but our choice is the Elevation 20 from OtterBox. Of course, it keeps your drinks cold (or hot, depending on what you put in it), but it’s also rugged and features nice contours that make it easy to hold. To top it off (literally and figuratively) we added the Hydration Lid (MSRP: $15) to make this the ultimate easy-to-pack tumbler. The Hydration Lid has a screw top for easy access to your liquids, while the integrated handle makes it really easy to carry with your hand or clip to a bag. The Elevation 20 also fits perfectly in the mesh side pockets of our Dakine pack.
Mission – Tuko Towel
Tired of bulky towels that take up space when you’re trying to pack and stay wet when you need them to be dry? Check out the Tuko Towel from Mission. Made of a lightweight microbfiber, the Tuko towels are more absorbent than standard cotton towels, but more compact, which means they take up less space and dry faster. Plus, the integrated snap strap allows you to hang them on a tower or board rack for even easier drying (or for rolling up to pack). That’s what we call a win-win-win, and it’s why we’ve always got a Tuko with us whenever and wherever we ride.
SunBum Mineral Sunscreen
MSRP: $15 (3 oz. bottle)
MSRP: $12 (FaceStick)
If you’re wakeboarding without sunscreen, we hate to break it to you, but you’re doing it wrong. Sunscreen is as essential an item as you can have, and SunBum makes some of the best. We’ve tried lots of the years, but these days we’re loving the Mineral SPF50 bottle variety. This is a new offering from SunBum, and not only is it their most natural creation with a Zinc base, it’s easy to apply, more environmentally friendly, and it works really well. The FaceStick version is a great, easy-to-pack complement to the lotion for when you need to reapply on the go.