key in wetsuit

Where To Store Valuables When Surfing?

A question all of us face at a certain point in our lives – where to store the keys when surfing?

Well, not all of us are fortunate enough to live right by the sea where we could hide the keys under the floor mat or a secret spot around the house, and take a stroll to the beach.

Unlike any other sport where you can stash the keys and valuables in your pocket or in the locker – surfing requires spending most of the time in the water. Needless to say what the saltwater does to electrical car keys and conventional keys in the long run.

Fair enough if you have a good quality pocket in your boardshorts, and you have a non-digital car/home key – you’re good to go. Well, not all our cars and homes are equipped with face-recognizing technologies yet, so take a look at the alternatives many surfers are facing as well.

Most surfers are concerned about:

  • Lose their keys into the deep blue ocean.
  • Someone will break into their car.
  • Someone will nick the keys from the shore.

Where do you store your keys when surfing?

  • Bring them with you. Preferably in a waterproof bag.
  • In a padlock that’s locked onto the car or any other solid material.
  • Bring it with you in a wetsuit leash.
  • Leave the keys to your partner/coffee shop
  • Leave them inside a towel or a wetsuit bag ashore.
  • Good old car tire.



1. Bring the Keys With You

Use the integrated pocket in the wetsuit or boardshorts, and if possible, add an extra string attached to the key for safety.

That obviously works with a standard, non-electric key. For extra security, you could tie a knot over the keychain so it would not come loose, or simply loop the existing string through the keys.

key inside a wetsuit pocket strapped down
Some wetsuits have a key pocket. Check if you have a hidden pouch too.
removable internal car key
Some modern car keys have this simple feature.
waterproof bags
I’ve used those are these are not as great for surfing. Use only inside of an extra plastic bag if using those.


Where else?

When using a chest-zip wetsuit, there’s a large extra pouch on the entry.

I’ve used a rubber string around the neck, and on the other end are the keys, tucked in a plastic bag. As I have no electrical keys at the moment, the plastic bag (re-used cereal container) prevents keys from damaging the wetsuit as well. If the keys start to rust over time – you simply brush it off with a metal scraper.

key in wetsuit
Rubber string + velcro strap + plastic bag

Any ideas where to store keys in a back-zip wetsuit?

Let us know in the comments.


DRFT Waterproof Leg Ankle Pouch

Another great solution is to store larger items such as cash, keys, and anything else you can imagine. This is a great solution because the location on the ankle doesn’t get hit in any possible way when surfing. You can simply attach the leash on top or the bottom of this pouch.

leg ankle pouch for keys
Bulky, but that’s one way to do it.

Check Price at


2. Get a Cheap Runabout

Here we go with the pros and cons of having a good and expensive car, especially when you are a true-hearted surfer. Leaving the keys on top of your tire won’t work anymore if you feel bad about your car getting stolen. I’m sure many local scums are aware of this trick by now.

  • Get a vehicle that you can afford to lose.
  • Grab a ride with your surf buddy. Then it will not be your problem.

Please take it with a grain of salt.

cheap car with surfboard on its roof



3. Leave the Car Doors Open

You could simply leave the doors open and hide the keys and valuables inside the car.

I’m sure there are way more spots to hide the keys inside, than under the car. This method is obviously only effective when you don’t have any valuables inside. When leaving the doors open, it’s really your best bet to park the car somewhere where you could keep an eye on it.

car with a surfboard hanging out of the roof


4. Get a Padlock/Lockbox

Padlocks are widely used among surfers. The only reasonable, safest, probably most used method on this list.

Where to lock the padlock when going surfing?

Just be creative – anywhere is fine as long as the lock gets attached to something solid. Most used spots: Wheel spoke, door handle, tow-bar, roof-rack, etc.

padlock for car keys


5. Leave the Keys to the Nearest Coffee-Shop / Life-Save Club

Usually, where there’s surf with some beachgoers, there must be an outside coffee shop around. And, of course, a great coffee right after the enduring session sounds good already.

coffe shop at a beach
Coffee and food trucks know their way around when it comes to ‘parking their business.


6. Hide the Keys in the Sand

Find a good spot around the car, or at the beach. If you are planning to hide them inside a shoe, let’s hope for the best that a random stray dog won’t see it as a toy.


7. Go Keyless

Get yourself a partner who enjoys walks on the beach. Zero stress there.




Car / scooter key hiding solutions for surfers:

  • Padlock
  • Top of a tire
  • Leave the doors open and hide inside the car
  • Find a spot under the bumper. Just make sure no one’s watching when you are hiding the keys

Bring the keys with you:

  • Chest-zip wetsuit + waterproof bag
  • Inside a leash

Leave them onshore

  • Just hide them in a bag, towel, or shoes
  • Leave them at a local coffee shop where you preferably are going to grab coffee anyway


Read next

Surf Lock Guide

7 Major Dangers to Surfing

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Surfer

Published by:

I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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