7 must-have surf gear items, according to professional big wave surfer Jeff Clark

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Must have surf gear
Jill Robinson/Business Insider

  • A day spent surfing requires more than just a pair of boardshorts and a freshly-waxed surfboard — especially if you're in an area with cold ocean water and beaming sun. 
  • From a wetsuit that'll keep you surfing for hours to booties and rashguards intended to protect you from the elements, we rounded up some must-have surf equipment recommended to us from big wave surfer, Jeff Clark. 
  • A big wave pioneer who cut his teeth on the legendary wave known as Mavericks, Clark also shared with us some insight on the industry of surfing, his company, , and how it felt to surf one of the biggest waves in the world all by himself. 

For more than 15 years, only one person could say they surfed Half Moon Bay's legendary break known as Mavericks, one of the most dangerous waves on the planet. After first paddling into the wave at just 17 years old, surfer Jeff Clark had the wave all to himself — until the big-wave surf community caught wind of it.

Though Clark now shares the wave with anyone brave enough to paddle out to it, his pioneering of Mavericks led him to be one of the most renowned and respected big-wave surfers in the world. Aside from his on-wave ability, he also contributed to the industry by introducing the first four-fin big-wave surfboard. Though he designed it for use at Mavericks, the setup is one of the standards for big wave surfing worldwide.

11选5精准杀号法Clark's resume as a surfer and board shaper has done nothing but grow since those early days, and he's now one of the most recognizable names in the sport. We caught up with him to chat about his surf company, Mavericks (of course), and to get his recommendations on some must-have surf gear.

Business Insider: What's new for you that people may not know beyond your connection with surfing Mavericks?

Jeff Clark:11选5精准杀号法 About 13 years ago, I was having trouble with my body and it impacted my surfing. It's not that I forgot how to ride waves, it's that my body just wouldn't let me get to my feet as easy to do what I've done for more than 40 years. At that time, I started stand-up paddleboarding and SUP surfing, and I got really into it.

Then, more recently, I got into hydrofoil surfing and I've partnered with F4 Foils to develop foil boards that work well with their hydrofoils. Ultimately, I've constantly adapted to surf conditions and my body, because I love anything that puts me in the ocean riding waves.

BI: As a past host venue for big wave contests, Mavericks has been dormant for four years now. With recent changes going on, what's your involvement with Mavericks and do you see any possible future contests being held there?

JC: My friend, Chris Cuvelier, and I started a new format with . We want to highlight Mavericks and the women and men who surf it, bring awareness to how sponsors can get involved to work with surfers, and educate people about safety and water rescue training. Our goal is to promote unity, inclusion, equality, and environmental stewardship.

Instead of having a one-day contest with limited participants, we're making it a performance-based video and photo contest where athletes, photographers, and videographers can submit their best Mavericks surf content all season long (November through April).

BI: You own Mavericks Surf Company and shape your own boards. What's important to you about surf gear?

JC:11选5精准杀号法 I've spent 45 years shaping and designing boards for riding one of the biggest waves in the world, and have a particular viewpoint on what works and what doesn't. Everything I carry at is something I believe in and what I use most on a regular basis. This includes wetsuits from Hyperflex, traction pads from Pro-Lite, and even polarized shades from Oakley.

Updated on 7/8/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the copy for each piece of gear selected, checked the availability of each product, and updated the prices, links, and formatting throughout. 

For keeping warm in cold water

Hyperflex jumpsuit
Hyperflex

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When it's too cold to surf in bare feet, these neoprene boots from Solite are the next best thing. The custom heat-molding process involves filling them with boiling water for a few minutes, rinsing them out, and then putting them on with an included thermal sock to mold to your foot.

11选5精准杀号法The boots have an integrated split toe, so you won't get caught on your leash while surfing. An included arch strap secures your foot in the boot for minimal delay between foot movement and board response, too.

For staying on your board

Balaram surf gear
Balaram

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In warmer surf conditions that don't require a wetsuit, rashguards keep the sun off your skin while on the water. This Carve Designs rashguard is made from an 82-percent nylon and 18-percent spandex blended material and is stretchy enough to move with you without restricting movement.

The quarter-zip version offers the option for more protection from both the sun and your board. The rashguard's color-blocking detail makes it easy to mix and match with swimsuit bottoms, shorts, or leggings, too.

For relaxing on the beach

Cobian sandals
Amazon

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You may not wear these while surfing but the Oakley Turbine Rotors are optimal for the rest of your outdoor life. Prizm Polarized lenses filter glare when you're on or close to water and do well to increase contrast and visibility, too.

11选5精准杀号法The lenses also filter out 100 percent of UVA/UVB/UVC and harmful blue light. Thick arms at the hinge site help block errant light, further reducing glare, while ear and nose grips keep the glasses on your face, no matter how much you're perspiring or still wet from surfing.

For keeping yourself clean post-surf

Rinsekit
REI

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