How to plan a surf boat trip
Boat trips are the ideal choice for those seeking unforgettable surfing adventures. If you're planning to sail to remote and idyllic offshore locations, read our tips for enjoying the surf travel experience to the fullest.
Whether you're on a luxurious private boat or cruising in a commercial charter, you'll need to adapt to a different reality in which land is not always within swimming distance.
Surf boat trips are fun and memorable, but not everyone fits the mold. You'll live surrounded by water with a 360-degree view of open ocean for a few days or weeks.
That is why boat trips truly are all about the waves you surf - mushy reef breaks, fast barreling point breaks, or small roller for first-timers. It doesn't matter as long as they're perfect.
Today, the most popular surf boat trip destinations are the Maldives, Mentawai Islands, Fiji, and Tahiti. There are hundreds of tour operators and agencies, and the competition between them is fierce.
They will sell you tropical paradises with uncrowded lineups, experienced local guides, and boats with a broad range of amenities and facilities.
But don't let them fool you with false promises. The truth is that you'll find surfers from all corner of the globe trying to get their share of rides in the "secret" spots you'll visit.
The good news is that surf boat trips are an incredible, mind-blowing experience. You'll collect stories, images, and episodes that will stay in your mind and heart for the rest of your life.
Modern surf boats have everything you need to feel comfortable and connected to the world - WiFi, private and shared cabins, TV, DVD players, and versatile outdoor decks will allow you to socialize, eat, drink, play the ukulele, and enjoy the sun alongside other fellow surf explorers.
Surf boat agencies offer multiple trip packages for the solo traveler, groups of friends, and family. Confirm that insurances and emergency hotlines are arranged and available in case anything comes up.
Here's a list of five questions you should ask your travel agency or charter company before booking the surf boat trip of your dreams:
1. Who's the crew? Are they experienced sailors?;
2. Which boat will you be on? Is it an old watercraft, or a high-end yacht?;
3. What are the scheduled stops for surfing? Which surf breaks will you surf?;
4. How crowded are the spots included in your traveling plan? Will you enjoy a fair share of rides?;
5. Who's the chef and what will the food be like? Are there any meals for people with food intolerances and allergies?;
For a surf boat trip to an exotic location, you'll need:
1. A good surf book: there will be plenty of time in between surf sessions;
2. A smartphone and a solar charger: stay connected to the real world, and share your experiences with friends and family;
3. Sunscreen: the sun will hit you all the time, whether you're surfing or relaxing on the boat's deck;
4. A decent DSLR camera: ask someone to photograph you while you're surfing, and get the picture you've always dreamed of;
5. A surfer's survival kit: paracetamol, antiseptic wipes, bandaids, waterproof tape, latex gloves, saline solution, and cotton tips can be useful;
Finally, the mindset for a boat trip:
1. Get your body and soul ready for the open ocean experience: eat well, exercise, and visualize the journey - there will be nothing but water around you for days;
2. Prepare for sharing spaces with people you don't know: confined spaces can be uncomfortable, onboard bathrooms may be awkward;
3. Prepare for seasickness: focus your eyes on the horizon, get fresh air, and avoid intense smells;
4. Prepare for rough seas: storms, huge swells, and high winds may appear from nowhere;
Now that you're ready, book the surf boat trip of a lifetime and prepare to wake up in front of the wave of your dreams.