I’ve always thought that, as a beach gal, I was pretty easy to shop for when it came to the holiday season – a few bars of surf wax, some sea glass jewelry, and I’m set until next year. Yet from the male perspective, it is apparently more complex than we ladies think. One boyfriend just handed me a leash – unwrapped – for Christmas, and last year my husband gave me a pair of child-sized board shorts that wouldn’t make it up past my thigh. So to ensure that your wife, girlfriend, or that cutie across the surf shop get the lovin’ they deserve this year, I’ve compiled a few, easy (last minute!) ideas for that special, ocean girl in your life. Plus, true to my gift giving rules, these options focus on local, handmade, and/or sustainable items/companies. As I always say, a happy surfer girl makes a happy couple!
1. Ocean-Inspired Jewelry
The perfect piece of ocean-themed jewelry tastefully screams “I’D RATHER BE IN THE OCEAN RIGHT NOW, BUT INSTEAD I’M GONNA SUCK IT UP AND JAM AT THIS HOLIDAY PARTY.” True story. Handcrafted locally on Maui, Kamera Jewelry is defined by its “beach chic” feel, and the he’e (octopus) necklace is already on my wishlist. For the eco-conscious girl, try Nurdle In The Rough, which turns plastic pollution from Big Island (Hawai’i) shorelines into stunning necklaces and earrings. It’s jewelry with a message, and will definitely spark conversation about marine debris. Betty Belts, based in Ventura, CA, speaks almost exclusively to wave lovers. Donna von Hoesslin, the creative mind behind Betty Belts – and wife of surf photographer David Pu’u – has developed three exclusive lines: Upcycled Surfboard Resin Collection, Sea Glass Collection, and the “Wave” Collection. In fact, I’ve already splurged on my own pair of wave earrings.
There is no such thing as having too many bikinis. Ever. Online E-gift cards make this an easy, no hassle option, are great if you’re in a major time crunch, and leave the fun part up to your lucky lady. Patagonia is known for its corporate responsibility model, and Roxy now offers sporty bikini tops made from recycled fabric. Maui girls get their bikini fix from the local Pakaloha line, specializing in cheeky cuts that also stay fixed while surfing. For those brands that lack gift card options, a “Buy Your Own Bikini” coupon is a creative idea. Point your special someone towards Fayette Bikinis, a made-to-order bikini line based in Florida, KaiKini Bikinis made on Kaua’i, or Acacia Swimwear, designed by Lyndie Irons – the wife of the late surfing icon Andy Irons.
3. T’s and Other Cute Things
Lauren Roth Art is based in Hawai’i and pumping out some really unique, trendy shirts, bags, hats, and other important beach wares. Maui Thing is another exceptional, local boutique, with beach styles not exclusive to Maui girls. Through Instagram perusals, I have also discovered Otaheite Hawaii, a classy boutique that includes everything from jewelry to dresses to – my personal favorite – the wana pareu, a perfect throw for sunny beach days.
4. Surf Essentials
You can’t go wrong with the basics (towels, leashes, a new board…!), and bars of wax are perfect stocking stuffers. If you’ve got an “ocean hugger” on your hands, consider giving a Surfrider Foundation Membership. Membership includes the gift of supporting healthy oceans, waves and beaches, as well as a t-shirt and 20% off Swell.com, where you can find water bottles, sweatshirts, and even an upcycled change mat.
5. The Gift of Stoke
While surfer girls are as excited about gifts just as much as anyone else, the reality is, we really love spending time in the ocean. We’re pretty easy when you get right down to it, so don’t feel like you have to splurge – just grab a board and meet us at the beach. And maybe throw in a nice dinner with a cup of hot cocoa afterwards.