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Going for a surf but wondering where to hide your car key or fob? The best way to keep your car key safe while you surf is by putting it in a hide-a-key and attach it to your car. In this guide, we’ll show you the best key lock options and tell you what to look for when buying the right one for you.
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The best car key lock options for surfers
HitchSafe HS7000T Key Vault
The Hitch Safe Hs7000T turns you car’s hitch into a small safe. Most cars and four-wheel vehicles come with a hitch or tow ball already installed. This is an all-metal key vault that converts that hitch into a small but strong safe where you can place keys, money, and other valuables while you enjoy the waves. Constructed from high-impact aluminum, HitchSafe offers a secure location on your vehicle to store spare keys and other personal items as most people won’t even notice the vault. You can hide keys and other valuables in plain sight by easily installing the safe vault in seconds and setting a 4 number pin combination.
If you’re traveling without a car and don’t want to stash your keys and valuables onto the beach, you can take them with you into the water. This would’ve saved our trip to Honolulu where we left all but our hotel room key back at the hotel! Hidden in a towel, we were constantly glancing at whether or not it was still there during our surf. The Submerge Wallet comes with a card holder and has a waterproof zipper and a strap to adhere the wallet to your arm. And while it is pretty waterproof (we’ve tested it), it’s best to use this for metal keys, cash, and credit cards–just for peace of mind.
With a larger capacity than other safe vaults in the same range, WordLock Key Lockbox is an absolute beast that offers grade 4 security with reinforced hardened steel shackle, solid aluminum locking head, and 301-grade stainless steel body which is built to withstand hammering and sawing. The oversized storage container can fit car keys, credit cards, large car keys, and even garage door openers. The best part about the lockbox is that it opens with a letter combination padlock which makes the passcode easier to remember than a 4 digit combination. Scroll through our list of surfer slang for some password inspiration.
Truth be told, this lockbox might be the most versatile lockbox on this list. Not only you can attach it to your car’s door handle, but you can also attach it to a fence, a railing, or anything in your car’s undercarriage. The preset combination portable key safe comes with a 6-inch cable lanyard that loops back over the locking bar to attach the lockbox to anything. The Master Lock features a 1-3/4-inch wide metal body for durability. The size of the storage box is relatively small but enough to store keys, cash, jewelry, and coins.
The people at Igloohome have been making smart locks and lockboxes for a while, and they keep getting better every time. Designed for hassle-free safety, Igloohome Smart Lock Box 3 comes with a large safe space where you can store your car keys, house keys, and access cards. The weather-resistant lockbox can be opened using a custom PIN code and also has a Bluetooth capabilities that allows you to open it using a mobile app. It comes with two rubber-coated hardened steel shackles that can be attached to your car’s door handle, a fence, or a pole. Another great enhancement in the Igloohome Smart Lock Box 3 is the use of a USB-C port that is protected behind a rubber flap for charging and recharging.
With smooth edge construction and corrosion-resistant protective paint, the Master Lock 5400D is made of a high-strength zinc alloy, solid steel, and resists crushing, sawing, and prying. It is a reliable and popular option for many surfers and even many property owners. The set your own combination lockbox can be attached to your car’s door handle, your home door’s knob, a fence, a railing, and much more. It portable, secure, and reliable and can be easily installed in seconds with the shackle.
With Shapers Key Safe Car Pad Lock, Shapers have made a sturdy 4 digit surf key lock for your keys and other valuables. Easy to use and hold, this hide-a-key is especially useful when you can’t feel your hands after a solid winter session. With its smart build, it can firmly secure door handles, roof racks, and car rim tires. The weatherproof and scratch-free casing will protect the key lock mechanism in harsh weather.
With an overall height of 5 inches and width of 3.9 inches, this hanging key storage lockbox keeps your personal items safe and secure while being easily locked around door handles, gates, or any other stationary item. Secure and tamper-proof, Cocoweb’s key storage lockbox offers a heavy-duty zinc alloy frame and a personalized 4-digit combination lock, keeping your keys and cards safe at all times. So simple attach it to your car door’s handle or a fence and hit the waves worry-free.
At high-theft surf spots, thieves have managed to find their way into just about every type of car key lock box. In this case, you’re better off taking your key into the water with you by attaching it to a cord loop within your bathingsuit/wetsuit. If you have a fob, consider getting a valet key made. Or, you can put the fob into a waterproof pouch and tuck the lanyard pouch into your wetsuit.
Some car insurance providers won’t cover you if you use a hide-a-key or car key lock and your car is stolen. If this is the case for you, you might have even more incentive to take your car key into the water with you.
Fob key vs. traditional metal key
One of the most common problems surfers have is hiding their fob near their car, as many modern fobs will unlock a car if its in close proximity. We recommend having an old school valet key made for the car door. Then, hide the fob in a double-walled metal thermos to keep it from triggering the unlock sensor.
Some surfers also recommend wrapping the fob in aluminum foil, though we’ve yet to give this one a go for ourselves.
How do most surfers hide their car keys when they surf?
Car key locks are popular all around the world among surfers. But, depending on how safe and crowded the surf spot is, some surfers risk keeping their key hidden in a towel on the beach. Or, they simply tuck the key into the undercarriage of the car. There are also hassle-free magnet boxes that attach to the undercarriage, perfect for discretely hiding car keys.
Tips for hiding your car key on your car
If you go the hide-a-key option, put your car key somewhere not obvious, like the undercarriage or roof rack area. Thieves tend to go for the easiest and most obvious choice, and often don’t want to be caught snooping around a car if they can help it. If you have a truck with a truck bed, there are often holes in the truck bed itself that could be perfect for hiding a car key.
Tips for hiding your car key if you don’t have a car
If you don’t want to take your car key out into the surf, you have a few options for keeping it safe on the beach.
Recently, we’ve seen a social media post advising surfers to hide their car key in a diaper and put that the diaper somewhere on the beach. Nobody will touch it, right? We think this is too risky. You never know who will brave the baby diaper and throw it away with good intentions of cleaning up the beach.
You can invest in a key lockbox and hang it on a nearby fence–ideally next to shrub/plants that doesn’t see a lot of foot traffic. This will keep your car key safe, away from your car, and ideally somewhere thieves don’t target. You can also take a waterproof key holder, like the one from Submerge, into the surf.
Place your key inside of an old opaque sunscreen bottle, then hide the sunscreen bottle under a towel. We don’t recommend leaving an old sunscreen bottle out to be picked up or tossed into the trash by a beach comber.
What tips do you have for hiding a car key while you surf?