’17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Men’s Surf

Our editors curated and personally tested some of the most exciting, innovative, stylish and just plain fun products that Summer 2017 has to offer. Here are our top picks for men’s surf.

Byrd Hair bath Trio ($58)

Photo: Byrd Hairdo

Why we chose it: Everybody needs to shower every once in a while. But even post-wash, it’s nice to still feel like you've just gotten back from the beach.

Why we liked it: Byrd Hairdo is the go-to for beach life hair care, and their trio of shampoo, conditioner and body wash are the perfect set. All three use sea kelp as a main ingredient, plus a healthy dose of sea salt. A summertime feel no matter what the season, this trio needs to find a place in your shower.

Tester tip: The Purifying Shampoo and Lightweight Conditioner will give you that beach hair feel without a dunk in the sea. But if you're looking for something a little more malleable, grab yourself some of their Matte Pomade to finish off your look.

Catch Surf Stump x Chippa Wilson Pro ($260)

Photo: Catch Surf

Why we chose it: When you buy a new surfboard, it’s a serious thing. But with the Catch Surf Odyssey Stump (Chippa Wilson Pro Model) we quite literally just wanted something to have some fun on. Less thinking, more playing.

Why we liked it: It simply made us smile. If you’ve never gotten on one of these boards, you need to. Perfect for summer all-day beach days, the Stump made us feel like grommets all over again, but still allowed us to draw the occasional critical line and even lay into some proper turns. While we’d certainly toss this in the classification as a “groveler,” that’s precisely the role that it plays so well.

Tester Tip: We opted for the quad set up. While the thruster might cater more to the top-to-bottom surfer, we just wanted something that could fly down the line … and when slotted in the pocket just right, this thing flew.

Leus Towels Pineapple Paradise ($32)

Photo: Leus

Why we chose it: For a fun, stylish, light summer towel with unique photo prints curated from our favorite artists, athletes and influencers including the likes of Conner Coffin and Brian Bielmann.

Why we liked it: The Pineapple Paradise print in particular has a fun, bright design that sets it apart. The towels are a bit thinner than most, and the perfect size to fit in your backpack and bike with to the beach without being too bulky.

Tester Tip: These towels are 100% cotton, so be sure to hang dry to keep from shrinking.

Nixon Base Tide Watch ($100)

Photo: Nixon

Why we chose it: We were looking for a smart surf watch that didn't break the bank.

Why we liked it: With a very simple interface and a variety of color options, the Base Tide is user-friendly and stylish. The patented locking looper prevents the band from sliding around on your wrist by securing the strap and loop. Water resistant up to 300 meters, it's more than sufficient for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, spearfishing and more.

Tester Tip: We wrote a full review of the Base Tide when it released, read it here.

Original Watermen Compression Short ($48)

Photo: Original Watermen

Why we chose it: It's always a good idea to have the versatility of a pair of compression shorts if you spend lots of time in the water.

Why we like it: This low-drag pair of swim shorts can serve as training shorts for the pool or ocean underneath boardshorts or a wetsuit to prevent rashes. Fast-drying and providing a silky smooth level of comfort, the Watermen Compression Shorts can serve a multitude of functions for any waterman.

Tester tip: A pair of Watermen Compression Shorts is the perfect alternative when swimming laps (for those who cringe at the thought of wearing a banana hammock).

Patagonia RØ Hoody ($65)

Photo: Patagonia

Why we chose it: We were looking for something we could wear in the water that would protect us from the elements, add a little warmth, provide some storage and also look good in the process. The Patagonia RØ Hoody fit the bill.

Why we liked it: Having worn a plain t-shirt and boardshorts for years, our tester had no idea how nice it was to have the added fit, flex and protection of a polyester/spandex shirt (with an awesome hood and bill for additional protection), not to mention the zipper-closure stash pocket on the back. Keep everything from keys to sunblock to wax safely stored right on your back. The RØ Hoody was a great companion on our daily paddles.

Tester Tip: Make sure to get a size that fits snug. You’ll be much more comfortable in something that isn’t bunching up and moving around.

TCSS Jumbled Surf Jacket ($110)

Photo: The Critical Slide Society

Why we chose it: Every surfer needs a good jacket in his or her wettie arsenal. We prefer a front zip, and the style masters over at TCSS make one that just looks oh-so rad.

Why we liked it: For those warm days when the wind is up, and straight boardies just won’t cut it, this jacket is the ticket. Made from 2mm Ultra Flex neoprene and smoothie rubber, the Jumbled Surf Jacket slips right on and feels so buttery. TCSS gives us an old-style look, with modern function.

Tester Tip: Take care of your jacket. Be sure to wash it with fresh water and hang dry in the shade. You’ll want to make sure this one lasts.

Xcel Infiniti Comp S/S Springsuit ($185)

Photo: Xcel

Why we chose it: Because it’s time to lose that fullsuit, that’s why. Xcel’s newest Infinit Comp Springsuit looked so buttery and comfy, we had to get this one in our arsenal for the summer.

Why we liked it: Xcel’s commitment to quality is tough to beat. As a suit that’s designed for maximum stretch, the Infiniti has no seams from chest to knees. It really did flex so, so well. The glued and blindstitched seams are well manufactured, and the 100 percent UltraStretch material feels snug and soft on the body.

Tester Tip: Unlike many other wetsuit companies out there, we found Xcel suits to be true to size, so whatever size you’re used to wearing should fit like a glove.

Check out more gear reviews from the 2017 Summer Gear Guide:

'17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Men's Boardshorts

'17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Skate

'17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Women's Surf

'17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Travel Bags

'17 Summer Gear Guide: The Best in Hiking