Corky Carroll

Holiday gift ideas for that cool surfer in your life

Every year at this time I like to help out all of you out there who are asking yourself that age-old question, "What do I get my SURFER husband, son, daughter, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend friend and/or whatever, for Christmas this year?"

This, being the beginning of the official shopping season, seemed like the perfect time to write this so you all can get a good jump on the list before all the good stuff is gone. But first, as this is also Thanksgiving weekend, I want to send out a monster thanks to all of you who read me here each week.

I am in shock you don't have something better to do but I am glad you don't. Please keep reading so I can keep writing.

The hard part about doing a gift idea list for surfers each year is that for the most part the great gifts for surfers do not change much from year to year. It would be easy to just copy last year's list or the year before. But I will try to tweak it a bit this year to give you a little variety in your choices.

I will start with the most expensive gifts and work down. As always it's hard to beat a surf trip for the ultimate gift for that surfer in your life. Normally this is where I blatantly plug my own surf adventure package in Mexico. But this year I am going to suggest an alternative. I have been hearing very good things about the Morro Negrita private surf island in Panama. They offer a reasonably priced surf week with nice accommodations and a number of good surf breaks to choose from. Information can be found at

Other great surf packages would be the Costa Azul Resort near Puerta Vallarta,, the Corky Carroll surf camp in Costa Rica,, and of course coming to Mexico to hang with me for a week, These are all good choices plus way mellower and less expensive than the standard trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean.

Then of course there is always a new surfboard. Bla bla bla. That one is too easy and I am sure that you already figured that one out. But, just as a clue to help you pick out the right one, DON'T try to pick out the right one. Let who ever you are getting the board for pick it out.

Surfers are extremely personal about their choice of boards and it's just a better idea to give them a gift certificate or surprise them with a visit to the surf shop of their choice and then spring the gift on them.

After that the range opens up to include a whole world of clothing and surf accessories. Board bags are good. Surfing videos and books. Car racks. Beach cruiser bicycles, Hawaiian shirts, surf trunks, skateboards, and just about anything else you can find in a surf shop works just fine.

There is also the great Clark Foam green long-sleeved Christmas shirt that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Any surfer would love one of those. You can get one from WWW.CLASSICSURF.COM.

Also this year I was thinking that for the slightly older and more refined surfer a nice thought would be a piece of "Surf Art." There are a number of great artists these days who offer amazing paintings, sculptures and other forms of surf-related artwork that would make an amazing present.

Like the new John Severson "Surf Fever" edition acoustic/electric guitar from Fender Guitars. It's a great instrument at a fairly low price and looks totally cool. I just got one myself. Of course an original painting would be a very special present too or a cool print from one of the great surf photographers.

Heck, I'd be stoked to get a coffee mug or a few bars of wax. You never can go wrong with bars of surf wax as stocking stuffers. Surf leashes work well for that too as well as sunblock and sunglasses.

Cheap rubber sandals are cool to get too. Yeah, nice elegant ones are great but all surfers use the cheapies for going to the beach.

If your surfer is also a skateboarder a really good pair of skate shoes, like etnies or one of the other cool brands, would be perfect.

And, as a last thought for those of you who have a surfer husband or wife, a packet of "surfing passes" would be cool. That is where they can get out of some other planned event in the case the surf is good. Surfing spouses would LOVE that.

Good luck and have a wonderful holiday shopping season.


Originally posted Monday, December 1, 2008 at the OC Register