The focus for innovation is easy-to-use, go-faster, further and harder kit. Here’s our pick of what to wear – and ride – when the waves are good.


Dick Pearce Surfrider bellyboard

Dick Pearce Surfrider bellyboard, £55
Dick Pearce Surfrider bellyboard, £55

This Newquay-based brand has been making beautiful handmade plywood bellyboards since the 1960s. Unlike the modern equivalent, the bodyboard – often made from non-recyclable polyester foam and discarded after a handful of uses – the bellyboard will last a lifetime. They are also available in shorter sizes for kids, and are good to use from around the age of six. From £55, dickpearce.com


FreeWing GO wing foil

FreeWing GO wing foil, from £529
FreeWing GO wing foil, from £529

More accessible, easier and arguably more fun than kitesurfing, wing foiling is the latest wind-powered watersports craze. This handheld kite has a compact geometry, which makes it suitable for all levels of rider: it’s easier to get up and get going, the shorter wingtips don’t catch the water, the handles are convenient and the windows are good for safety. Here is a beginner’s guide. From £529, freewing.star-board.com


Outerknown Apex trunks by Kelly Slater

Outerknown Apex trunks by Kelly Slater, £154
Outerknown Apex trunks by Kelly Slater, £154

Surfing legend Kelly Slater is behind this brand, which makes great looking boardies from a lightweight four-way stretch recycled polyester that makes for good mobility, plus they’re stitch-free and quick-drying, so perfect for all watersports activities. £154, outerknown.com


Red Paddle Co 11’0” Compact MSL PACT board package

Red Paddle Co 11’0” Compact MSL PACT board package, £1,449
Red Paddle Co 11’0” Compact MSL PACT board package, £1,449

This new inflatable all-rounder has a split deck pad allowing it to fold down the middle and into a backpack that’s half the size of other comparable boards. This is achieved without a sacrifice in performance or durability, plus the length enables longer paddling adventures. £1,449, red-equipment.co.uk


F-One Phantom Carbon Plane

F-One Phantom Carbon Plane, £1,020
F-One Phantom Carbon Plane, £1,020

A Swiss Army knife-esque piece of kit with good speed and manoeuvrability – and capability at lower speeds – ideal for both foil and wing surfing. It comes in various sizes for different weights, abilities and conditions, and can be paired with the brand’s Rocket Wing or Rocket Surf boards to unleash its full potential. £1,020, f-oneworld.co.uk


Picture Organic Dome 3/2 FZ wetsuit

Picture Organic Dome 3/2 FZ wetsuit, €319.99
Picture Organic Dome 3/2 FZ wetsuit, €319.99

Eco-sensitive brands are spearheading the switch from traditional, petroleum-based rubber wetsuits to options made from natural, tree-sourced rubber. This one provides another alternative as it’s made from a non-petroleum-based synthetic foam: a mix of limestone and recycled tires. It’s a summer wetsuit with glued, blind-stitched and fully-taped seams (for longevity and warmth) and stretchy panels under the arms for freedom of movement. €319.99, picture-organic-clothing.com

Passenger Wild pullover changing robe

Passenger Wild pullover changing robe, £64.95
Passenger Wild pullover changing robe, £64.95

Use this for a quick change on the beach or to keep warm after a long session in the water. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the outer layer is water-resistant, while the inner, towel-like layer is cosy. £64.95, passenger-clothing.com


Xcel 3mm Split Toe Comp boots

Xcel 3mm Split Toe Comp boots, £48
Xcel 3mm Split Toe Comp boots, £48

Thin yet durable, these boots are glued and blind-stitched with a sole just thick enough to protect when walking over rocks, whilst remaining thin enough to ensure a good feel on a board. £48, xcelwetsuits.co.uk


Fliteboard Pro 2.2 eFoil

Fliteboard Pro 2.2 eFoil, £9,125
Fliteboard Pro 2.2 eFoil, £9,125

Little compares to the sensation of riding an e-foil board and this newly released model is equipped with corrosive-resistant titanium battery cells offering a range of up to 40km, with speeds of up to 55km/h. There are also four Flite Schools in the UK for those new to the sport who want to give it a go. £9,125, eu.fliteboard.com


Firewire Mashup board

Firewire Mashup board, £725
Firewire Mashup board, £725

With a wider nose and generous volume, this new-design board is great for all levels of surfer – fun to use on sloppy, waist-high British swells but also on waves just over head-height. The construction – a light EPS foam with paulownia and balsa wood rails – makes for a hardwearing option loaded with performance. £725, firewireuk.com 


Oar Board SUP Rower travel package

Oar Board SUP Rower travel package, $2,200
Oar Board SUP Rower travel package, $2,200

Convert any paddleboard into a single scull in as little as five minutes with this rig. It uses a sliding rigger system, meaning the rower’s weight remains centred on the fixed seat, near perfectly replicating the sensation of a regular rowing boat. The kit comes with everything you need: straps, two-part, carbon-fibre sculling oars (for ease of transport) and a wheelie bag. $2,200, oarboard.com


Advanced Elements convertible Elite kayak

Advanced Elements convertible Elite kayak, £1,140
Advanced Elements convertible Elite kayak, £1,140

Convertible for either tandem or solo paddling, this easy-to-set-up 15ft inflatable kayak is a go-to for coastal or river day trips. The triple-layered material is highly durable, and the cushioned, high-back seats are comfortable – plus, the built-in aluminium ribs on the bow and stern help with tracking to maintain your heading. £1,140, advancedelementskayaks.co.uk


RS Zest sailboat

RS Zest sailboat, £3,495
RS Zest sailboat, £3,495

This new, compact sailboat is easy to sail single-handedly yet has plenty of crew space, happily accommodating three people. The stable hull design combined with simple rigging also makes it effortless to handle for youngsters, so it’s a great choice for a family boat. £3,495, rssailing.com


Arena Cobra Tri Swipe Mirror goggles

Arena Cobra Tri Swipe Mirror goggles, £56.36
Arena Cobra Tri Swipe Mirror goggles, £56.36

A good choice for open-water swimmers and triathletes, these comfortable and watertight goggles have a mirrored tint for use in sunny conditions along with an anti-fog coating claimed to be ten times longer lasting than alternatives. The interchangeable nose bridges also ensure a snug fit. £56.36, arenasport.com


Florence Marine X short-sleeve trainer shirt 

Florence Marine X short-sleeve trainer shirt, £65
Florence Marine X short-sleeve trainer shirt, £65

This technical T-shirt is made from a sun-protected polyester UPF30+ fabric, yet is antimicrobial – ideal for activity-filled sunny days on the water. £65, florencemarinex.co.uk


Helly Hansen HP Foil V2 sailing shoes

Helly Hansen HP Foil V2 sailing shoes, £100
Helly Hansen HP Foil V2 sailing shoes, £100

With an open-mesh material for quick drying and good breathability, coupled with a very grippy outsole, these are great for moving around a deck. £100, hellyhansen.com

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article