Gear Gear-and-Gift-Guide-for-River-Surfers

Published on December 1st, 2016 | by RB Team


24 Best Gift Ideas for River Surfers

Here are 24 inspiring gift ideas that will put a smile on every river surfer’s face. In this unique guide, we share the most amazing gift ideas for the river surfer in your life!

1Always Stay On Top – PFD / Impact Vest

A PFD (personal floating device) will keep you floating, when you hurt yourself or lose consciousness. Especially in high-volume rivers with unknown hazards (e.g. whirlpools that may hold you down for a while) a PFD is a good idea. When looking for a life jacket, make sure it’s not too old, properly sized and adjusted. If you fear that a PFD would restrict your movement too much, look for a low volume/profile vest or an impact vest.

2Stay Warm In The River – Booties, Gloves and Hoods

When conditions get cold and wild there’s no way around a winter wetsuit that keeps you warm. But if it gets really cold, booties, gloves and a hood are compulsory. Protecting from the cold means investing in quality gear that keeps the water out and your body warm and comfortable. In the last years, surf science has evolved and there’s a large variety of winter gear out there. If it comes to keeping your feet and hands warm and toasty get quality booties and gloves. If you want to avoid these awful “ice cream” headaches and protect against Surfers Ear, cover your head with a neoprene hood.

3Wear The River Surfing Stoke – Riverbreak Apparel

Revamp your wardrobe and wear your love for river surfing loud and proud with Riverbreak Apparel. We’ve got tees and tanks, hoodies and sweatshirts – the perfect gift for every Riverbreak fan out there! Cheers and happy holidays!

4Use Your Brain, Protect Your Head – Helmets For River Surfers

In river surfing even a small mistake can be fatal. If you get hit by your own surfboard or if you hit a rock you can lose consciousness and drown. A helmet is the best protective gear you can wear. To ease your way into becoming a responsible river surfer, we’ve compiled this buying guide for river surfing helmets for you. Be sure you look after your head – it’s the only one you have!

5The Thicker The Warmer – Winter Wetsuit

If you want to get the most out of a winter river surfing session add a quality winter wetsuit to your wish list. Or, have a surf mate who’s always cold? Gift him a thick winter wetsuit that will stand up to the job of keeping him warm. The thicker the warmer! In the winter months, most river surfers use a 5/3 or 5/4/ wetsuit, a neoprene thickness that offers warmth and protection in cold water. Leading wetsuit brands have developed wetsuits that will keep you surfing even in the deepest, brisket depths of winter. Popular winter wetsuits include the Rip Curl Flash Bomb, O’Neill Psycho, Hurley Fusion or Xcel Drylock. If you care about your ecological footprint, the Patagonia Yulex neoprene-free wetsuit is something for you. Patagonia takes renewable natural rubber from hevea trees which helps reducing deforestation and CO2 emissions in manufacturing.

6For a Safer Escape – Quick Release Waist Leash

Today, most river surfers agree that leashes should not be used in rivers. But if you absolutely insist on wearing a leash, consider getting a quick release waist leash rather than an ankle leash. Waist leashes are attached around the waist with a belt, the release mechanism is on the belt and reachable with either hand, so you can safely disengage from the leash when you are in trouble. Replacing your ankle leash with a quick release waist leash can significantly improve your river surfing safety. Here’s a selection of leashes that feature a quick release waist belt:

7Show Off Your Stick In Style – Surfboard Wall Rack

A surfboard wall rack is the perfect gift to display your pride and joy when you’re not in the river and want to keep your board safe. There are different types of surfboard racks: horizontal and vertical racks, racks for one or for several boards, metal, wooden and PVC racks. If you’re looking for a wooden, horizontal wall-mounted rack to show off your favorite board, something like COR’s Single Surfboard Rack or the Hawaiian Gun Rack might be your best choice. To store up to four surfboards either vertically or horizontally, the Northcore Quad Rack is one of the options. If you’re a river surfer handy(wo)man, why not building your own DIY surfboard rack? You can find plenty of inspiration online.

8A Quick Fix For Your River Surfboard – Ding Repair Kit

Having the right ding repair kit is an important part of being a river surfer because even the most careful surfer will, sooner or later, find a crack on his favorite stick. Fixing a ding early is the best way to ensure the longevity of your board, protecting it from water and humidity. To make surfboard repair hassle free, Solarez or Big Ding repair kits provide a quick and easy solution for both, polyester and epoxy boards. If you need to fix dings more often than normal and you care about your skin, nerves, lungs, brain cells and eyes – invest in safety gear: Wear a dust mask when sanding, and wear gloves and a vapor mask when working with resins.

9A Visual Explosion of River Surfing Moments – Dieter Deventer’s Book “River Surfing”

Coffee table books have long been a wonderful gift idea, but this book by Dieter Deventer, one of Munich’s first river surfers, is something special. In this book River Surfing: River Waves from Munich to the Amazonas Dieter takes us on a journey to the biggest and most scariest river waves on the planet, spiced up with interviews with iconic river surfers and early pioneers such as Elijah Mack, Björn Richie Lob, Gerry Schlegel, Petra Offermann, Quirin Rohleder, Matthias Ramoser, Stefan Hornung and Quirin Stamminger. A timeless gift that every river surfers will want to flip through over and over again.

10Build Your Own River Surfboard – Surfboard Shaping Kit

Ever thought of riding your own self-shaped river surfboard? Give (or get) the gift of shaping your river experience with Greenlight’s Surfboard Shaping Kits. Deluxe kits with all the materials, tools, instruction, and support are available as well as materials-only kits if you have already started shaping your river board style. There’s no feeling like the pride and stoke of riding your own shapes! Our readers get 15% off with discount code RIVERBREAK at

11Reincarnated Wetsuits – SUGA Yoga Mats

Are you a yogi or know a yogi in your life? SUGA yoga mats are manufactured from 100% recycled wetsuits and make an excellent gift for everyone who cares about our rivers and the environment. A great way to keep our worn-out wetsuits out of the landfill!

12Surf. Rinse. Repeat. Make your Wetsuit Last Longer – Wetsuit Shampoo

Even if you rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after every river surf session, it will benefit from an occasional wash with a wetsuit cleaner. And so will your boots, gloves, hood and other neoprene gear by the way! There is a number of different shampoos out there, all specifically designed for wetsuits. They help thoroughly cleaning away any dirt, chemicals and bacteria and remove the stink without damaging the neoprene. Two of the most popular cleaners are Rip Curl’s Piss Off Wetsuit Cleaner and McNett’s WetSuit Shampoo. Hurry up and make your wetsuit shine again!

13Good Morning! Enjoy Your Daily Dose of River Surfing with Riverbreak’s Coffee Mug

Start your day in style with this Riverbreak mug. Our ceramic mug is what you need to help fuel your stoke and get you through the day!

14River Surfing Inspired Art – Pen and Ink Shirts

Here’s the perfect gift idea for anyone who loves fine pen and ink drawings: river surfing inspired apparel, designed by Adam Baranec. Adam is a passionate river surfer, husband, father, and occasional surfboard shaper. He creates beautiful pen and ink drawings (e.g. The River Wave, The Tree Wave) that can be printed on several types of shirts, including t-shirts, hoodies, long-sleeved shirts and more. Get yours here at Northerfin Art Shop.

15Pimp Your Board – River Surfing Fins

Fins play a crucial role in surfboard performance and that’s why switching your fins can greatly enhance your river surfing. They are responsible for carving, turing, setting a rail, speeding up and slowing down and it’s worth wile to start experimenting with different fins and configurations.

At shallow river waves you want to choose smaller fins to avoid grinding your fins into the rocks below and damaging your fin box. Also, if you’re into this loose and skatey feel, pick smaller fins like the FCS Knubster, Futures Middle Finger (TMF) or HIDRO fins. If you’re looking for fins that are safe, durable and ideal for beginners go for fins that are made from a more flexible material, such as the FCS Softflex fins for instance. If you’re surfing on deeper, more powerful river waves, classic FCS Glass Flex, FCS Performance Core or Futures fins are the best bet. Picking the right fins can be difficult, but as a river surfer, you really can’t have too many sets of fins!

16Two In One – Change Mat and Wetsuit Bag

A change mat that doubles as a wetsuit bag is the perfect gift if you want to keep sand and dirt off your wetsuit and your car clean and dry after a river surfing session. Simply change on the open, waterproof mat, leave your wetsuit on the mat and pull the strings to convert the mat into a wetsuit bag.

17The Perfect Balance Trainer for River Surfing – Indo Board

Every river surfer can benefit from better balance and posture. A balance board is a fun and challenging way to sharpen your skills, get fit and improve agility, strength and coordination. Make sure your fitness and surfing doesn’t suffer because of these long lay days and add the Indo Board to your wish list!

18Spread the River Surfing Stoke – Riverbreak Sticker Pack

Wanna spread your love for river surfing and Riverbreak Magazine? Then get yourself a Riverbreak sticker pack perfect for your surfboard, bicycle, laptop, water bottle or wherever you find a cool place to share the river surfing vibe. Best of all, these stickers are there to stay. They are weatherproof and resistant to fading, scratching, tearing, and water. Get you pack here!

19Better Safe than Sorry – First Aid Kit

We hope you won’t need to use it but a first aid kit is an essential for any outdoor activity so it makes a great gift for any river surfer. Consider getting a first aid kit with a waterproof case to keep the supplies clean and dry when taking the kit to the river. There are several waterproof first aid kits on the market.

20Gift Yourself a Dry Wetsuit – Magnetic Hook for your Car and Slide Hanger

Don’t know where to dry your wetsuit on your river surfing road or camping trip? Then check out this Hook up hanger, a rubber coated magnet hanger to stick on your car’s hatchback or any other flat metal surface.

Beware of hanging your wetsuit by the neck or using conventional shoulder hangers though! The weight of your wetsuit will stretch it out of shape. Rather find an extra wide and strong coat hanger with a bar across the bottom and hang your wetsuit over the bar by the waist to prevent stretching. Alternatively get yourself a long, open ended pants hanger or a hanger specifically designed for wetsuits like the HangPro™ SlideHanger™.

21The One Must-See Movie for River Surfers – Keep Surfing DVD

Gift the surfer in your life the champion of river surfing flicks: Keep Surfing. Björn Richie Lob’s ode to river surfing tells the story of six very different characters from Munich’s legendary river surfing community. This gift is not just a DVD, it’s also a pledge to spend two hours of your life watching this flick with your river surfing mate. What a great way to spend a comfy lay day on the sofa!

22Carry your Board in an Upcycled Billboard – Rareform Surf Bags

If you need a new bag for your favourite river surfboard and like the idea of reusing what’s already here, a Rareform Surf Bag is the gift for you. Each bag is a one-of-a-kind product, made from a unique vinyl billboard. The durable eco-friendly boardbags feature corrosion resistant zippers, heat-reflective lining and foam padding. And on top of all that they look just great. And the best of it all? Riverbreak readers get 20% off with promo code RIVERBREAK20 at

23Treat your Ears with Protection – Ear Plugs and Hoods

Exposure to cold water can lead to ear infections and the so called surfers ear (extosis), a condition where the bones in your ear canal grow, making the ear canal narrower. Extoses develop over years and can lead to recurrent pain and outer ear infections and even require surgery. River surfers who surf in below freezing temperatures are at particular risk. So make sure you treat your ears and wear ear plugs and a warm neoprene hood in cold water.

24Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Shops are already closed and you have still no idea what to get for your river surfing mate? Don’t worry, we’ve got some great last-minute gift ideas that don’t require a stressful trip to the mall:

  • Take your mate on a river surfing road trip and explore waves beyond your local spot. An old map or pages from a road atlas can easily be turned into a DIY gift card for this present. Quality stoke time guaranteed!
  • We all know that there’s nothing like a handmade gift. So how about crocheting or knitting a beanie to keep your friend warm after an icy river surfing session? There are plenty of tutorials for beginners and pros online that guide you step by step.
  • If you aren’t into knitting or crochet but still want to impress your mate with a handmade gift, a surf fin hanger is an alternative for you. Be inspired here!
  • Print out a photo of your friend from your last session and frame it.
  • Invite your friends to a river surfing movie night with popcorn and beer, zap through all these great river surfing clips on YouTube from around the globe.
  • Wanna treat someone special with personalized attention but a wrapped gift is not your style? Tag a river surfing photo of your friend on Instagram with #riverbreak and make him famous!

Don’t like any of the above? Then your best and only option might be to buy your surfer friend a gift card for his or her favourite (online) surf shop.

Brought to you by

RB Team

The editorial team of Riverbreak is a loose connection of passionate river surfers. As a group, we strive to give the larger community a voice on an international level. Our mission is to connect river surfer around the globe.

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