For years, people have said, “I want to try surfing.” That’s not new. Recently though, there’s a growing community of pathfinders and trendsetters that have begun to say, “I want to try surfing…naked.”
In a kind of multifaceted movement of body acceptance and reckless abandon, people have started to ditch their clothes and paddle out au naturel. The potential consequences are definitely palpable — intense sunburns, hefty fines, and hoards of people who are either disapproving or a little too curious — but the potential benefits are endless. Here is your go-to introduction on nude surfing.
How to Prepare (Mentally)
When surfing becomes nude surfing, it becomes as much of a mental sport as a physical sport. Conquering the waves and getting thrashed around in the water is one thing, but doing so in the full-blown buff is a totally different ball game. The first part about preparing for nude surfing is to know that starting out is the hardest part. The actual act of taking your clothes off is the toughest, but it only gets easier from there.
Try going with a group of friends, especially people you trust, so that you’re all in the same boat. Believe us, nude surfing alone comes off a bit weirder. Prepare by establishing ground rules with your friends including judgments, where you can look, and where you can’t. And remember that if you have body image issues, this is the time to leave those in the parking lot.
What to Pack
The minimal packing list is arguably one of the best parts about surfing. Unlike snowboarding, mountain biking or any other adventure sport, surfing requires very little money and equipment. And, as you’d imagine, that only becomes more so the case with nude surfing. Sunscreen is an obvious item. Even if it’s cloudy outside, those UV rays will still be shining through and landing on your sensitive spots. Consider one of these Ocean-Friendly Sunscreens that apply smoothly and stay on without any hassle.
Also, just because you’re naked doesn’t mean you have to skimp on some techy surf gear. For everything from magnetic gadgets that repel sharks to tide watches and GoPro mounts (you may want some footage), these Surf Gear Reviews will help you make the most of your nude surfing excursion. Other than that, we definitely recommend bringing a leash. It may be a bit embarrassing if you need to paddle in to fetch your board on the sand in front of onlookers.
Places to Go (And Places to Not)
It’s safe to say that there are places where nude surfing is completely acceptable, and other places where it is entirely, absolutely, completely, by-all means off-limits. Some of the best spots around the world for catching waves in the buff include San Diego’s Black’s Beach, France’s La Graviére, Spain’s Zurriola, and Australia’s Maslin Beach. For a more thorough rundown on where to go, check out Nude Surfing: Where to Hang More Than Ten. Plus, if nudist travel as a whole is new to you, Your Introduction to Nudist and Clothing-Optional Travel will give you the skinny on everything from hot springs and resorts to general rules of thumb.
If you happen to get caught surfing naked in a place where it’s not allowed, be sure to comply with authorities. Nudist communities around the world (like the American Association for Nudist Recreation) work tirelessly to keep their members in good standing with each country’s jurisdictions. Anything you do to harm the reputation of nudists could be detrimental to those who are avid naturists.
Lastly, for some inspiration on the matter of nude surfing, read up on Australian surfer Felicity Palmateer’s movie “Skin Deep,” and learn how she is leading the charge on nude surfing as both an art form and a fun recreational activity.