If these were available for stand up boards 9'6" and smaller, I'd buy one right now. Check this thing out.
I especially like the part where he chucks the 50lb suitcase onto the board and says, "Oooops". Kind of like when the 300lb United luggage handler plants his size 15 boot right into the guts of your new $1500 stand up board. It'd be sweet if you could stuff an additional prone board in there too.
For better or worse, here it is: The Last of the GEAR GEEK!
19. Ipod and Sony Sound Canceling Headphones: Our return flight out of Zihuat. was brutal... all of Club Med loaded up and each one was packing at least one toddler. Gnarly. At one point, even the four Coronas ("On the house" said the shell shocked flight attendant), couldn't dumb down the cacophony.
At this point, you just want it all to go away... and it does when you slip these puppies over your flaps and redline your 'pod (my recomendation? The SteelDrivers- some of the best bluegrass out there). Instant bliss. The combo is so effective that I peacefully missed out on the projectile vomit episode that went down a few inches behind my head. If you've got the big bucks go with the $400 Bose version but if you're like me, and don't like to travel with things you can't bear to lose, pick up this Sony headset for about $40.
20. and 21. A lesson from two trips ago: Always bring more than one paddle... and pad it up. I use full length paddle bags and haven't had a problem since my first run down south.
20b. Oops, I listed the number 20. twice! No problem, check out the O'neill, SPF 30, long sleeve rashguard. The best thing about this particular model is the back zip. You can stuff all kinds of things in there for a long day of paddling: Powerbars, small bottles of water, car keys.
One thing to remember about rashguards in the tropics, they're not just for sun protection. At certain times of the year, beaches can become infested with jellyfish or, even worse, broken up pieces of stinging jellyfish. The second option is horrible, you'll never see the stinging part before that branding iron burns itself in. Ouch. When it get's bad it can drive you from the water, that's when you'll be glad that you brought the long sleeve version; you've effectively up-armored yourself. Surf on.
22. Tropical Wax: be sure to rewax before you get to your destination. Best spot? The air conditioned comfort of your living room (try waxing up on a hot day in the tropics- no dice) Throw on Beyond Blazing Boards and mix up a gin and tonic. Shoot, it's like date night- just you and your board. It's good to be a grom again- especially on the eve of a surf trip.
Hot tip: Bring a couple of extra bars for the local kids- a little regalo goes a long way down south.
23. and 24. Buy good boards! Here's my trusty travel quiver: 9'4 Stand up and 6'4 quad fish, both boards made by Tim Stamps up in Seal Beach. I'm pretty well covered with what I've got here. The only gap I've got is if it gets super, hollow, heavy and scary. At that point I pull the cap off a couple of Pacificos and plant myself in the shade- it's good to know your limits.
25. FCS 9'6" Stand Up Travel Bag: I haven't found a better bag out there. This one comes with an interior paddle bag and velcro fasteners. The bag is well built, looks good and is big enough for me to stuff my two boards (and the 6'4" is even in it's own bag inside the FCS!) and two paddles inside of it. The inflatable SOMA bag looks good but until they've made a SUP version, this one will be the go-to.
26. DaKine Day Bag: This one's for my 6'4". On my last trip down, I super wrapped the fish in bubble wrap- kind of a pain. Kelly Kraus told me to just stuff it the board in it's own bag and pack it- what a great idea! The big plus is that when you've got to chuck your board in the back of some local's pickup for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to that forbidden, mysto point break- your board will get there intact.