How to Hide Your Keys While Surfing? (The Best & Worst Solutions)

How to Hide Your Keys While Surfing

It is a beautiful day, you have checked the surf report and the waves are cranking.

You jump in the car to head to the beach, wax your board and squeeze into your wetsuit, ready to hit the waves.

But what do you do with your car keys?

There are so many surfers in the water, surely there is some hidden secret that you don’t know about.

Hiding your car keys is not an art, all you need to know is where to put them.

Of course, you can take your keys into the water with you, hide them in the car, or ask someone to look after them for you.

Sometimes you may not be sure what the safest hiding spot for your car keys is when surfing.

Keep reading to learn some great ideas, and perhaps they will stimulate some original ideas of your own.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links (clearly marked with ), which means we may earn a commission if you buy something through them, at no additional cost to you.

Taking Your Car Key Into the Water When Surfing

Of course, the best peace of mind you could have when going surfing is to take your key into the water with you.

There is zero chance that someone else will come across it if it is safely secured to your body.

On the flip side, if for some reason you lose it in the ocean, it is gone for good. 

So how do you secure a car key to your body while surfing?

If you are surfing in board shorts you will have noticed a small elastic loop in the pocket.

This can be used to keep a wax comb handy, but also provides a perfect loop for your car key.

Most wetsuits have a similar loop. Depending on the wetsuit, you may even have a small zipped pocket or small pouch with the loop inside.

Simply take your car key, loop it around the elastic, tuck it into your wetsuit and you are ready to go.

The following video shows how to simply do this without risking a knot that may come undone.

If you have an old wetsuit or one without a loop, you can also drop your car key inside of the chest area before fully putting your wetsuit on.

Because your wetsuit is tight, the key will be secure and not move around much. Keep in mind that if your wetsuit is slightly too big for you then this is not a good method to use.

Another method of taking your key with you is to wear a lanyard or waterproof pouch. It is not recommended to wear this around your neck as it can be dangerous.

However, this can be a solution when wanting to take an electronic key into the water with you.

If you choose to use a waterproof pouch, make sure that it is safely tucked into your wetsuit to avoid it getting tangled around your neck.

Alternatively, secure it around your wrist and tuck it into the arm section of your wetsuit.

Review of 3 Options for Taking Your Car Key Into the Water

1. Tie key to elastic loop or wetsuit pocket:

Keep key with you at all timesNot suitable for electronic keys
Key is secure and won’t get lostIf the key falls out, it is gone for good

2. Drop key inside of the wetsuit:

Keep key with you at all timesLess secure than a loop
Not suitable for electronic keys

3. Use a waterproof key pocket:

Solution to electronic keysIf the pouch leaks, you will have a problem when using electronic keys.
Keeps key on your person at all times

Leaving Your Car Key With Your Car When Surfing (5 Solutions)

If you decide that taking your car key into the water with you poses too much of a risk for losing it, you can always leave it in your car.

There are a few different choices when hiding your car key in your car.

1. Wrap your car key in a diaper and hide it under your seat

If there is nothing in your car that can be stolen, then there is no need to lock the door.

If by some chance someone decides to look under your seat, it is extremely unlikely they will decide to open a wrapped up diaper.

2. Leave your key on top of a wheel or under the frame of your car

A more old school approach to hiding a car key, this method is well known and may not be the most secure spot.

However, if you are in a safe area it could be an easy and safe enough solution.

3. Put your key in the exhaust pipe

Another old school tick, but less known, the exhaust of your car is a good hiding spot.

Just don’t stick it too far down so that you can get it back out.

4. Put the key inside the spare wheel

If you have a spare wheel on the outside of your car, simply dropping the key inside the cover is an easy access spot, although not secure if anyone is around to see you do it.

5. Use a combination key lock

Waterproof, secure, and a favorite among surfers, a key lock is a small combination box that can be secured to your steering wheel, door handle, tow loop, or any other suitable spot around your car.

Key boxes are perfect for electronic keys that can’t go in the water. Just don’t forget your combination!

Alternative Places to Put Your Keys When Surfing

If you don’t want to take your key in the water with you and do not feel comfortable leaving it with your car, there are still a few alternatives you can opt for.

1. Leave your key with a close-by cafe or surf shop

If there are surf shops in the area, most will be happy to keep your keys for you.

If you opt for a restaurant or coffee shop, make sure to buy some coffee on the way out as a thank you!

2. Leave your car key with a non-surfing friend

If you are at the beach with people you trust that will not be going into the water, leaving your car key with them is by far the safest alternative.

3. Hide your key under a rock

If you are surfing in a quiet spot with no shops, hiding your key under a rock could be a good solution.

Just make sure no one sees you doing it, and don’t forget which rock you put it under.

4. Bury your key in the sand

Some people suggest putting your key in a plastic bag and hiding it under the sand.

Don’t do this.

Although it seems like a good idea – if there are people on the beach, it may be dug up accidentally. 

You should also keep in mind that the sand under the surface often moves, so your key may not be in the same place that you put it.

This option should be used as an absolute last resort.

What Do You do With Electronic Keys When Surfing?

You now have many ideas of what you can do with your car key while surfing.

Most of which are okay when using an electronic key, others less so.

So what is the best solution for electronic keys?

Using a waterproof key pouch is a great way to keep your key on you in the water.

The downside is that if the pouch leaks, you will have a problem. 

Electronic keys are also usually bigger than manual keys. Because of this, they may feel uncomfortable in your wetsuit.

Leaving your key with a friend or at a shop is a perfect alternative.

The only downside is that if your friend decides to swim, there is nowhere for your key to go. 

As far as leaving it in a shop, because your key is electronic, all they need to do is go outside, click the button, and they will know exactly where your car is and have full access.

So make sure you trust the person you leave your key with.

Using a combination key lock box is by far the safest solution when dealing with electronic keys while surfing.

They are safe and do not require you to take anything into the water with you or rely on anyone else to keep your keys safe. 

The only potential downside of this is that not all the boxes will be big enough for all electronic keys, so make sure you get the measurements before buying them. 


Arriving at the beach with your car on a day with perfect surf and not knowing what to do with your keys can really be a mood killer.

There are so many places you can hide your car key, from in the water with you, to with your car, to various spots around your location.

Whichever you choose is up to you, but know that the safer you feel about your choice, the better your time in the water will be.

Keep in mind that these are only suggestions and you can think of a few of your own hiding places.

Remember, the more original the idea, the less chance there will be that someone looks there.

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