Ready, set, play! Four Southern California pro surfers-turned-test panel put a dozen new toys to the test.
Writer Sarah Latta
1 of 25Photographer David Tsay
Meet Our Surfers!
These guys took time out of their busy pro-surfer schedules to test this year’s top beach toys for us!
From left: Brad Ettinger, Nathaniel Curren, Associate Features Editor Sarah Latta, Austin Ware, and Mike Losness
2 of 25Photographer David Tsay
Brad Ettinger: Proudest moment: achieving a perfect 10 at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii
Nathaniel Curran: Underwent multiple surgeries before coming back to win the 2008 U.S. Open of Surfing
Austin Ware: Travels nine months out of the year for contests and teaches surfing when he’s home
Mike Losness: Known for his on-the-water aerials, also designs items such as board shorts for surfing companies
3 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
A sleek wooden version perfect for beginners, it's lightweight and lasting. G&S Skimboard 7-Ply, $37, amazon.com
4 of 25Photographer David Tsay
On the Water
“I thought skimboards were for young kids, but this one held my weight with no problem.” —Brad
5 of 25Photographer David Tsay
Looking for Waves
A lightweight board like this one allows Brad to effortlessly glide across the water.
6 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Digital Camera Swim Mask
Snorkel hands-free while you go finding Nemo up to 15 feet deep. This mask has a built-in digital camera that takes five-megapixel photos. The Digital Camera Swim Mask, $100; hammacher.com
7 of 25Photographer David Tsay
With his mask on, Mike is ready for everything that comes into view.
8 of 25Photographer David Tsay
“We travel internationally for contests, so I’d love to have this mask to take photos of all the exotic fish.” —Nathaniel
9 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Battery illumination keeps night horseshoes from turning into a game of hide-and-seek. For weight, fill each with sand or water once you hit the beach. Impact LED Illuminated Horseshoe Set, $13; target.com
10 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Waterproof Video Camera
This pocket camera is waterproof up to 10 feet, has slow-motion playback, and offers a built-in setting to reduce sun glare. Kodak Playsport Video Camera, $150; amazon.com
“Now I can capture evidence of a wave I told all my friends about and somehow no one saw!” —Austin Ware
11 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Beach Soccer Ball
A beach-tastic version of the classic soccer ball—only it doesn’t soak up water and is soft on bare feet. SELECT 20-654 Beach Soccer Ball, $19; amazon.com
12 of 25Photographer David Tsay
“It’s lighter than a normal soccer ball and a great way to warm up the legs before a surf.” —Mike
13 of 25Photographer David Tsay
The ball’s soft texture is ideal for cool tricks on the beach.
14 of 25Photographer David Tsay
The boys start an impromptu soccer game on the beach before they get their surf on.
15 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Magnetic Playing Cards
Play a game of war with cards—not the wind—with a magnetic board that keeps flexible metallic cards from flying away. Magnetic Playing Cards, $40; kling.com
“I will never have to chase them down the beach! This is epic.” —Mike
16 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
The smaller, lighter, and more colorful little brother of the everyday football has a hollowed-out center and finger holes that make it a smart choice for young beach bums. Oball Football, $9; rhinotoys.com
17 of 25Photographer David Tsay
“It’s half the size of a regular football and waterproof—perfect for ocean games.” —Nathaniel
18 of 25Photographer David Tsay
Get your competitive side in full swing with this addictive game. Teams of players toss bolas—made of colored golf balls—onto rungs to win points. Ladder Golf, $60; laddergolf.com
19 of 25Photographer David Tsay
“This is serious fun for hours. I can definitely get hooked on this—no pun intended!” —Austin
20 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Designed by a 12-year-old from Destin, Florida, who wed a skimboard with a boogie board, this new toy lets kids slide safely across the water’s edge on their knees. Shore Surfer, $40; shore-surfer.com
“Perfect for kids who are too young to stand on a skimboard. The handles make it easy to hold on safely.” —Brad
21 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Play catch on the sand with these waterproof toys that bounce balls high in the air. OgoSport Mini Super Sports Disk Set, $24; amazon.com
22 of 25Photographer David Tsay
This versatile toy works for many sports—try volleyball, baseball, and tennis.
23 of 25Photographer David Tsay
The sports disk’s stretchy center can launch balls up to 150 feet!
24 of 25Photographer Ted Tucker
Part kayak, part surfboard, this epoxy resin-and-fiberglass board lets you sit down to surf the waves! High Performance Waveski, $1,050; waveski.com
25 of 25Photographer David Tsay
That’s a Wrap!
Even after their day of fun, their own boards are still the number one toys in these surf boys’ hearts. After a full day of testing, the boys show off what are still their most prized beach toys: their surfboards.