The Inertia Health Editor
Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

The Inertia

We all know coconut oil is great for you. The health world has entered into a coconut craze the last two years, and at times, it can be a little overwhelming. Although coconut oil probably can’t solve all your problems, it can solve quite a few. Here are 25 of the most epic and unexpected uses for coconut oil that relate to surfing.


Soothe Sunburns

Get a little fried at the beach? Get out of the shower only to see a lobster staring back at you in the mirror? Coconut oil can help. The oil has been shown to be great for relieving burns. It helps calm the irritated skin, and it moisturizes to minimize peeling.



Remove Unwanted Wax

On most websites this is used related to body hair waxing, but for the sake of this article, it’s applied to surf wax. It’s sticky, at times it’s icky, but wax is a necessary pain in the a$$ when it comes to surfing. To remove wax from unwanted surfaces (boards, board bags, the seat of your car, etc.) use coconut oil. Smear coconut oil onto the area, and then wipe to remove with a warm wash cloth. Voila. Wax on, wax off.


Prevent and Protect Chafed Skin


We’ve all experienced the pain and discomfort of chafing. The situation is especially unbearable when you’re on a tropical surf trip or when you’re trunking it for the first time after a long winter. Instead of using Aquaphor or that weird cow udder stuff, slap on some coconut oil. It can help prevent chafing altogether, and it can protect areas already irritated.


Guard Scratches and Cuts

This isn’t effective for deep wounds, but it can be really effective for superficial scratches and scrapes. Apply a little bit of coconut oil to minor wounds. The oil forms a protective barrier, which keeps out harmful bacteria. This is a great trick to prevent infection when paddling out at a less-than-pristine surf break with rock/reef scratches on your feet.


Heal Bug Bites

Next time you find yourself being eaten alive by mosquitos on a surf trip, slap on some coconut oil. The oil helps alleviate itching, which will allow the bite the chance to heal without you scratching at it relentlessly.



Repel Bugs

In addition to soothing the bites you already have, coconut oil can be used to repel insects. Combine it with an essential oil like peppermint, rosemary, or tea tree for a powerful, all-natural DIY insect repellant.


Sticker Remover

For all you sponsored-up shredders, coconut oil is great for removing stickers. It helps removes the unsightly sticker gunk that gets left behind on the nose of your board.


Clean Out Your Ears

As surfers, our ears take quite a beating. Whether it’s the cold causing the ever-dreaded surfer’s ear, or a brutal wipeout sending saltwater and sand into every bodily crevice, the ocean isn’t always kind to our ears. Use a Q-tip lightly dipped in coconut oil to help clean wax (and sand) out of your ears.



Keep Body Odor in Check

Coconut oil has lauric acid, which kills the bacteria that causes stinky sweat. You can apply a little bit of coconut oil to your armpits as an all-natural deodorant. You can also massage your feet with coconut oil before bed. Leave your feet coated and put on socks. The oil will kill bacteria causing bad foot odor, and it will also leave your feet soft and moisturized. The person next to you on the plane/boat/bus will be grateful.


Get Rid of Lice

Ew. As someone with incredibly thick hair, nothing grosses me out more than lice. Unfortunately, the reality is that you can’t always stay at the Four Seasons when you’re traveling to score surf. If you find yourself scratching at your scalp, use coconut oil. Coat the hair from the root to the tip, cover your head with a cap or towel, and let the oil sit overnight. Comb through the hair and rinse the next day. It’s believed that the oil will literally suffocate the lice at night, and then you can easily comb out any offenders the next morning.


Protect Your Skin With Natural SFF


DO NOT use coconut oil for a 4 hour surf session in tropical waters. That being said, if you find yourself really desperate for some sun protection, coconut oil has a natural SPF 4. That’s basically nothing, but if you’re abandoned in the desert with nothing but a jar of coconut oil, go for it.


Start a Fire

The next time you need to start a driftwood bonfire for either A) survival purposes or B) s’mores purposes, coconut oil can help. Soak some cotton balls (or anything similar) in coconut oil to help get your fire started. The balls will burn for about 5-10 minutes, so they can help generate enough heat to get the kindling and larger pieces of wood burning.


Soothe Your Stomach

Traveling to get waves invariably requires you to eat some weird sh*t. In Mexico, that may translate into Montezuma’s Revenge. In Bali, it’s known as Bali Belly. While you’re pretty much at the mercy of the local gods when it comes to bad stomach bugs, for more minor stomach pains and indigestion, coconut oil can come in handy. Ingesting some of the oil may be able to soothe your stomach.



Clear Out Those Sinuses

Feeling congested after inhaling half your weight in saltwater yesterday? Coconut oil makes a mean vapor rub. Combine it with tea tree oil and rosemary oil, and you’ve got yourself some powerful, homemade Vick’s. Rub the stuff on your chest and underneath your nose to help yourself breathe easier.


Boost Your Immune System

Whether you’re exposed to weird bugs on the road or just facing some polluted waters at home, having a strong immune system is always to your advantage. It has been shown that eating coconut oil can improve your white blood cell count. Since these are the little guys that are on the front line of defense against illness, this translates into a substantial immunity boost.


Supercharge Your Smoothie

Looking for a way to make your pre-surf smoothie even healthier? Add a tablespoon of coconut oil. The oil gives your body a serious energy boost because the body uses the medium-chain triglycerides in the oil as a direct energy source, rather than storing that energy away for later.



Add it to Coffee or Tea

Coconut oil adds a little flavor and creaminess to your dawn patrol beverage. Feel free to add a drizzle.


Lubricate Your Guitar Strings

Coconut oil keeps your guitar strings lubed up. Whatever that means.


Skin Care for Legends


Surfing in the sun and saltwater for upwards of 20 years can be brutal on the skin. If you find yourself looking a little weathered, coconut oil is an all-natural anti-aging cream. Applying oconut oil can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, especially in the delicate areas around the eyes. It’s even been shown to help increase collagen production.


Skin Care for Groms

That thick coat of sunscreen you wear religiously might be giving you some acne. If you’re hoping to look your neck-tanned, freckled best for the school dance, use coconut oil to clear up any unwanted blemishes. Clean your face as usual, then apply a thin layer of coconut oil. Let the oil sit for an hour (or overnight) before gently rinsing. The oil will calm the irritation and redness, allowing your Zinka-induced acne to appear much more civil.


Nourish Your Lips

Ah, the salty, peeling, cracked lips of a surfer in summer. While they serve almost as a badge of honor, most likely your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/chick at the bar doesn’t enjoy kissing your crispy lips. Remove peeling, dead skin from your lips with a coconut oil and brown sugar lip scrub. You can also slap on plain coconut oil for instant moisture.


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