Beach essentials

14 Beach Essentials for an Active Day on the Sand

For some people, time at the beach means hours of guiltless relaxation. A chance to get stuck into reading that neglected book. An opportunity to wind down, take in the rays and rejuvenate. For the rest of us, however, beach time equals non-stop fun and games! So if you’re the type of beach-goer that shudders at the idea of sunbathing for 8 hours straight, then you need to make sure you’re set up with a very different set of beach essentials that the sun-worshippers out there.

This list of beach essentials is for all you active folk. It’s full of stuff we never go to the beach without. And because of that, time at the beach is always active and always a blast!

14 beach essentials for active beach-goers

Bikini

A supportive bikini

If you plan on diving around on the sand or playing in the sea, then ladies, don’t even think about going near the beach without a supportive bikini. You’ll need something that is comfortable, won’t ride up your backside, and will hold you in place no matter what you get up to. If it looks gorgeous and doesn’t give you horrendous tan lines, then all the better!

Find the latest price at:
REI | Patagonia


Spikeball

Spikeball

Those of you who’ve visited Cool of the Wild before will know just how much we LOVE Spikeball. If there’s only one game you take to the beach then it should be this! It’s inclusive, fast-paced (if you want!), competitive and highly addictive. You just need four people, some space on the sand, and plenty of energy. Be sure you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, though, as once you get spiking you’ll be at it for hours.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Sunscreen

Waterproof sunscreen

When your beach day is filled with fun it’s easy to forget to protect yourself against the rays, especially when you’re in and out of the water all the time. So be sure to invest in good quality waterproof sunscreen. It should be easy to apply and rub in and should stay put when you’re in the water. If it does this well, then you’ll also avoid it dripping into your eyes as you sweat during your third hour of Spikeball!

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


snorkel set

Snorkel set

If all the adrenaline of beach games is getting the better of you, then hop in the water with a snorkel and mask. Snorkelling is not only one of the best ways to explore the submarine world just off the beach, but it can also be very relaxing! Cruise around spotting weird and wacky underwater wildlife, and discover hidden coves along the coastline.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


An insulated water bottle

Hydroflask
Staying hydrated is key to enjoying a fully active day at the beach. But 1 litre of lukewarm water just ain’t gonna cut it. Fill up a 2 litre insulated bottle, however, and your thirst will be quenched all day long with ice-cold refreshment.

Want something smaller? Check out these other insulated bottle options.

Find the latest price at:
REI | Hydroflask


Cool bag

Soft cooler backpack

Packing a filling and nutritious picnic is key to a good day at the beach. If you plan to keep playing all day long then fill up a cooler with energy-filled goodies (and maybe a few sneaky beers for sunset?!). Most coolers are cumbersome and heavy to carry. So to make sure you can carry all your other beach essentials, opt for a backpack cooler. Skimboard under one arm, volleyball under the other. Sorted!

For other soft cooler options take a look at our guide to camping coolers.

Find the latest price at:
Hydroflask


Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses

Stylish sunnies should be on the beach essentials list of every sun-lover. But any old glasses won’t do for you active types. Firstly, they should stay on your face when you bust out that hero dive on the volleyball court. They should also be polarised for extra protection against the sun. And if you really want to make the most out of your sunglass wearing experience then grab a pair of Smith ChromoPop shades. These lenses make beach life look even more wonderful. And yes, the colours really do pop!

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry


Beach robe

Changing robe

Changing out of wet swimwear at the beach is no easy feat. At least not while maintaining any sort of dignity! And when you’re in and out of the water constantly there’s bound to be more than one costume change during your day at the beach. A towelled beach robe, however, has you well and truly covered. They’re super cosy to warm up inside as the evening air cools, and they also double as a mat to sit on.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Waterproof backpack

Waterproof backpack

The beauty of a good waterproof backpack for a day at the beach is that it doesn’t just keep water out, but is also highly effective at preventing sand from creeping in. But the best bit? At the end of the day when your swimwear, towel, wetsuit and rash vest are saturated you can sling them all inside your waterproof backpack and it won’t get you and your dry clothes all wet again. Probably the most practical and under appreciated beach essential out there.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Rash vest

Rash vest

Although designed for surfers to prevent their skin from being irritated by their boards, a rash vest is also very useful for active beach goers. Wearing one will take away the chill when the water is just that little bit too bracing to swim comfortably in only your swimwear. They also provide UV protection for those with sensitive skin, or if you’re out snorkelling in the sun for hours. And if the surf’s up (and you don’t need a wetsuit), then you’re all set!

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Frisbee

Frisbee

Beaches are made for chucking a frisbee around. Hero dives are inevitable, as are erroneous throws into the laps of snoozing sun-bathers. To prevent such blunders be sure to give yourself lots of space, throw in the shallows away from people, and of course, make sure you have a decent disc. There is no other option (in my opinion), than a good old 175g Ultra Star. Spot the Ultimate player.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Skimboard

Skimboard

For those who prefer solo activities at the beach, try hopping on a skimboard. They are light to carry and are ideal for practicing your board skills if the surf isn’t delivering. You’ll need a flat beach and very shallow water (1-2cm) to skim the board along. Jump on, fly along, bust out some tricks and hop off as the board stops or reaches deep water. Fun! (Once you’ve gotten over the fact that you’ll probably deck it on the hard sand over and over).

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Watershoes

Water shoes

If you’re the curious sort with a fascination for what lurks in the caves and rock pools of the coastline, then you’ll most certainly enjoy your beach explorations more in a pair of water shoes. They should be quick drying with drainage holes and grippy soles. Ideal for messing around in the water on pebbly or rocky beaches.

For other water compatible footwear options take a read of our camp shoes article.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Volleyball

Volleyball

Hit the beach with a volleyball and you’ve nailed your entertainment for the day. Aside from the fun of a serious game of beach volleyball (which basically has your whole afternoon taken care of), you can also use it to play soccer, show off your keepy-ups, or for some good old-fashioned catch and throw. And if you manage some down-time on your epic day at the beach, then a volleyball makes for a surprisingly comfortable headrest too.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


If you’ve managed to do everything an active day at the beach has to offer then you may need to factor in some enforced down time. So maybe just add a book to your beach essentials list — just in case.

But if you’ve still go energy to spare then you certainly need to check out our beach games article for more ideas on how to have the best day of games at the beach, ever!

However you choose to spend your time at the beach, may it be a fun-filled happy time for all.

You may also like

Open Menu