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Monday, October 1, 2012
DaKine Section Wet/Dry Bag $130

By Jake Howard
ESPN.com

Da Kine
Keep your dry stuff dry and let your wetsuit fend for itself, DaKine's Section bag is as well designed a surf bag as you're going to find.

Admittedly, I didn't expect to run into Micah Nickens from DaKine at the Hurley Pro last month. Earlier in the summer we'd talked about getting some kind of gear review going. He was raving about a new wet/dry bag DaKine had just come out with, so we gave it the green light. Soon The Section bag was on my doorstep and ready for field testing.

"What are you doing with your computer in there?" he demanded as Slater rode to his 50th. "You're supposed to have a wetsuit and some ice and beer in that bag. It wasn't made to carry your computer to a surf contest."

It was a fair analysis of the situation, and I would have much rather been somewhere else with a wet wetsuit and six pack slung over my shoulder. But the point is, backpacks are an easily overlooked piece of equipment that endure a lot of wear and tear, but don't always garner a lot of attention. We carry our surfing lives down to the beach in them, and a good bag can make a big difference. You don't want to be getting wax on your iPhone, or let your wetsuit's brine seep into your wallet. Keeping things clean, organized, and most importantly, dry is key.

The Section covers all the bases. With 2,470 cubic inches of storage space, it's well thought out and durable. The big section of the bag is water-proof with a roll-top closure. Unlike a lot of other bags of this ilk, this one doesn't seem to have any leakage issues. After totting my computer around Lowers like the nerd that I am, I did eventually transition it into surf service, and am glad I did. With the cold-water season rapidly approaching, it's nice to know managing wet gear's not going to be a problem.

There's also a big storage compartment that you can use to store your lunch, your towel, your hoodie, whatever. On the bottom of the bag is an insulated cooler pocket, perfect for a sixer of ice cold refreshing adult beverages or something. A fleece-lined pouch is designed to cradle your sunnies. Another plastic-lined pocket is for the wax, to keep everything clean and grease free. It's a versatile pack.

Even when weighed down with a day's worth of beach stuff the comfort of the shoulder straps holds up. They don't bite or wear unevenly. They distribute the weight evenly, saving fatigue in your shoulders ... which means you can paddle more. And thanks to a handy, albeit stealth, bottle opener built into one of the straps, contents of the cooler pocket are never without requisite tool.

"You can take that bag anywhere in the world," marveled Nickens at the Section's versatility and durability.

"Anywhere in the world." That sounds nice. My bag's packed.

See the specs and more details at DaKine.com.