DIY Save-A-Surf Kit

I’ll admit it- I’m always a fool for lovely new surfing accessories and innovations. Other “hard core” surfers won’t readily admit being dazzled by the next new thing, but I love looking at the advancements and creativity in the field of surfing. I just think it’s fun, and it makes it more fun for everyone, hopefully.

Ventana Surf Box

Recently, I saw this really nice, fancy pants Save a Surf Box from Ventana Surfboards recently. It’s super classy, unlike me. I thought it had a lot of smart features in it I could emulate in a DIY version. Hey, mine’s not made from the finest Vineyard Caskets in Napa Valley, but it just MIGHT get stolen from the CB Pier Drunk, so there’s that.

I wanted to make one even smaller, with the contained items more suited to me. Here’s the parts:

Leash Loop

Make a paracord leash loop using the tutorial here.

Leash loop from 550 paracord

The Container 

I used a fairly small prescription bottle for the container, with a locking lid. Drill or punch a hole in the top of the plastic lid to accommodate the leash loop through the top, without allowing the double knot to pass through the top.

Standard Rx bottle with a safety latch

You can either cover the bottle by using stickers, or paint the bottle with paint pens. You don’t have to do this if your bottle is tinted, though. Just remember that you’ll have money, wax and duct tape in this, so you may want to keep direct sun and prying eyes off of it (plus, it just looks less script bottle, kinda). If you paint the plastic, give it a light sanding before painting to help it stick better. Use a sealant coat over your paint job when you finish.

Sanding off the logo and the surface a bit with some 320 grit

I did put a sticker on the outside of the bottle, but I still wanted to cover it better. Here’s my crocheted cover, artfully crafted while slurping Diet Coke on the patio. It’s made from the finest procured nylon cording Hobby Lobby had on sale….whatevah.

It’s like a tiny “Le Sac”. Remember those?!?


I didn’t want to just dump screws in here without encasing them in something, so I used a bit of clear packing tape and cut a notch to make an easy tear of each pouch. I put 3 FCS, and 1 single fin screw (thumbscrew head,no screwdriver needed).

Lay the screws on the sticky side of the tape, then fold over onto it’s self

Cut notches in the tape to allow the pouches to be torn open easily

Allen Wrench or Fin Key

Self explanatory. You can also use a fin key if it fits.


I took a small piece of my hardest Tropical wax and wrapped it in a hint of cling wrap. The reason I use the hardest wax is that for modern formulations, I’ve read that harder wax covers more temperature ranges. So, I guess I don’t need to worry about changing it out in the Emergency Kit as often then. We’ll see.

I only could fit a small nugget of wax in the kit, so I warmed it up a bit with my hands to make a small cylinder, like with modeling clay.

Wrapping the wax just in case the car gets too hot!

Duct Tape

The duct tape I have comes in a little different form. Some smaller hardware stores sell it this way, larger craft stores sell it like this. It’s a “sticker sheet” of duct tape. Quite handy.

You can get this in many prints now.

Using these sheets, I cut a small rectangle in case I get a ding on the surfboard and need to seal it in a pinch. Nice bright color too, it’ll remind me to take care of the boo-boo.

Alcohol Wipes

If I do get that aforementioned surfboard ding, I’ll need to clean off the board before putting duct tape on it. Alcohol wipes are really handy for that.

Always handy to have

They’re also handy if you need to clean a ding on YOUR body. Which brings us to…


Just one, like in the movie Endless Summer.

Cash for a Big Gulp

I know the classy Save a Surf Box has a beer bottle opener, but if I am without my 64 ounces of heavenly diet soda fountain refreshment at all times, things can get ugly. This is for the safety of the beachgoing public.

I put $1.25 inside, enough for a Diet Coke mug refill, and if I need it, I can use the quarter as a screwdriver for my Beater Board to remove the twin fins if I want.

The quarter is folded inside the dollar- kinda Origami


That’s a lot of stuff!

So this Save a Surf Kit contains:

  • Leash loop
  • Allen wrench 
  • FCS screws
  • Single fin screw and nut
  • Piece of duct tape for dings
  • 2 Alcohol swabs
  • Cash/Quarter coin (Softboard fin screw remover)
  • Band Aid
  • Wax Nug

Tryin’ to go for the nautical look

Here ya go, ready to stash in da car or da bike. Its a little Martha Stewart, with a little West Coast Rollin’ baby….

Stewart’s ridin’ dirty

DIY Leash Loops

Leash loops are the forgotten little part of the surf equipment ensemble that can screw your day royally.

They are the most likely to break, get lost, almost be worn through, and then they are never available when you need them. And that is when you’re getting ready to go paddle out. Right. Now.

I’ve actually hand-braided cord on a disk in the past to make mine, but, here’s a cheaper, faster way of making a crazy amount of them in no time. Keep a few for yourself in the car, put some in with wax and a wax comb as surfer’s stocking stuffers, or give them out in the lineup after you burn fellow surfers on waves. Always a nice gesture, Kelly Slater would say “it’s a good thing”. 

Anyway, I picked up some 550 Paracord at the craft store. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, even Wal-Mart has this stuff since doing the paracord survival bracelets are so popular. I picked up 25 feet of green for $2.99 with a 40% coupon (almost EVERY craft store has one of these, USE it!), so, with tax, it was a little under two bucks.

25 feet of fun!

For each leash loop, I measured out around 18 inches, give or take.

Getting ready to cut 18″ long lengths.

I wanted to ensure I would have enough to fold the 18″ length in half, then make a DOUBLE overhand knot on each one, leaving about a 1″ tail of the two bitter ends. Bitter end is a nautical term. Seriously, look it up, nautical stuff’s pretty cool! 

A double overhand knot for this loop is much more secure- it can’t wiggle and back out like a simple overhand knot could.

Folding the length in half to 9″.

Double overhand knot Part I.

Double overhand knot tightened up, Part II.

It’s better to have the leash loop too long than too short, for those who might complain about  it smacking the rail- it can be tied lower AND….

It needs to be singed (burnt) on the ends with a lighter or the ends will fray. Some leash loops will singe the ends together and squish the melted nylon into the knot to secure it. This is fine if you know the length you want. Otherwise, singe the ends separately (OUTSIDE or in a well-ventilated area, preferably with a mask!) to finish the loop.

I made 16 loops, so much Aloha to share for only two bucks. That translates to 16 waves I get to snake….hmmm…

That’s a lot of leash loops. In green.