It is true that every beach volleyball player carries around a full, sometimes very disorganized, backpack with them wherever they go. Whether you’re packing for an around the world volleyball trip, your everyday practice, or your upcoming beach volleyball tournament there are some key items you’ll want to include in your backpack. It is essential to be prepared for all occasions, especially if you’re playing in the UK, we all know how unpredictable the weather can be. My name is Anaya Evans I am a current World Tour Player and grew up playing on the UKBT as well as attending college on a scholarship for beach volleyball in Phoenix, Arizona. Because of what I do I am constantly packing and unpacking my bags, so I have some tricks up my sleeve.
So, let’s get down to it, here’s my guide for your beach volleyball backpack essentials:
- Insulated water bottle. Whether you’re playing in extreme heat or sideways rain having fresh, cold water is a blessing. Grab yourself an insulated bottle to always keep your water cool.
- Sunscreen. Playing beach volleyball means we spend plenty of time outside and in the sun. This is great for our health, but we must protect our skin from harmful UV rays. I suggest buying a sweat/waterproof sunscreen, factor 30 or above. This way you’ll only get a red face from playing and not from the sun.
- Sunglasses. Beach volleyball players are known for their obsessive sunglasses’ collections, but they really do make a difference. Make sure your glasses are polarized and come with both a soft and hard case so you can keep them scratch free.
- Sand Socks. Regulating your internal temperature removes external stressors when you’re playing. No one enjoys their soles blistering from the sand or convincing yourself you didn’t just get frostbite in England! So go out and get yourself some quality sand socks or wetsuit boots if you want thicker protection from the cold.
- Sarong or Towel. I love to use my sarong or towel to stretch/meditate on before games, wipe away the sweat from my face during games or even just to de-sand afterwards. You’ll never regret having one in your bag.
- First aid kit. Depending on where you are playing or practicing it may be difficult to get hold of any basic first aid equipment when you need it. Come to the court prepared with your personalized med kit. Some great things to include are tape, band aids, antiseptic wipes or sprays, and any medication, inhalers or epi pens you may need. Having your own first aid kit is extremely useful as you can cater it to your needs.
- Extra clothes. How many times have you played beach volleyball and had to add or remove layers due to the unpredictable weather? Too many to count? Me to! I always bring extra layers with me so that I’m prepared for anything. My pro tip is to pack light/thin items that can be layered on top of one another but don’t take up too much room in your bag.
- Bin bag. This item is simple yet essential. Trash bags can have multiple uses when it comes to beach volleyball. One, they can be used as an extra waterproof if the rain is just too heavy. Two, you can use them to throw all your soiled clothes in after you play, this helps to keep your backpack and car clean. Three, this one is my favourite use, is to take any trash home with you after you’ve finished. Many beaches lack the facilities needed to keep the beach clean but by doing this you can make sure you only leave your footprints behind.
- Snacks. To achieve consistent performance levels, it is key to keep your engine charged. A great way to do this is to always have easily digestible snacks in your bag. Also, no one likes a hangry partner so this is a great way to make sure it’s not you.
- Portable phone charger. Talking of staying fully charged, bringing a portable charger with you is very helpful. After a long practice or tournament, the last thing you want is a dead phone, prevent this by being prepared ahead of time.
- Tripod. Regardless of your level, filming practices or games is very helpful. It can help you learn more effectively or raise questions that you may need answered to keep improving. Having a reliable tripod in your bag will encourage you to film what you do; I suggest getting both a gorilla grip tripod and a stand-alone tripod so you can set it up in any environment.
- Pump and valve. No one likes having a flat ball, bring a pump and a valve so you can adjust any balls you play or practice with.
- Bands. Taking care of your body can be tiresome so make it easier for yourself by keeping both shoulder and leg bands in your backpack. Using bands is a great way to warm up your muscles effectively, it’ll also increase strength and reduce injury.
- Reusable Bags. Keeping your possessions from getting sandy or scratched on the beach is very hard. My trick is to use reusable bags that seal so I can separate my belongings and keep them sand free.
- A notebook and pen. During practices or tournaments, it can be useful to make notes on what you are learning or tactics for your next game. Keeping a notebook and pen in your backpack makes this an easy thing to do.
There you have it, my top 15 backpack essentials for beach volleyball. We hope this information helps you better prepare for your next practice, game, tournament, or trip. Let us know if you have any other essentials that we missed.