If it's your first time (or your 50th), I wanted to share some items I recommend you have with you when you head to the beach to catch some waves. Some of these may seem like basics, but they are important and you shouldn't forget them.
1. Sunblock. The ever important skin protection. Sun Bum is one of my favorites - you can get yourself the one shown above by clicking here http://amzn.to/1sOJJkx.
2. Wetsuit top or rash guard. The wind can get chilly when you're wet and comfort is important - that's why I always recommend bringing a wetsuit top or rash guard, even if the water is warm. That's especially true in those early morning sessions. A rash guard works great on those hot days. It'll help protect you from the sun as well as keep wax off your skin.
3. Wetsuit cleaner. DO NOT USE DETERGENT. This is important because it will break down the rubber and lose it's elasticity. This is the one pictured above and one of my favorites - http://amzn.to/1TxW6Yg. If you are looking to save money, you can also just rinse with fresh, cool water.
4. Your favorite surf T for when you're out of the water. Captain Obvious reminds you that this should be super comfortable. I love the Patagonia slim fit t-shirts.
5. Your favorite sun-blocking hat. Truckers are always cool because they let your head breathe. That sun will sneak up on you after you get done in the water.
6. Sandals or beach kicks. The sand gets really hot in the sun so you'll want the protection. You definitely don't want to be the guy wearing sneakers in the sand.
7. A beach towel.
8. Board shorts. Billabong's All-Day trunks (shown above) are made from recycled bottles, which is awesome and should be supported.
9. Nice cold BEER. Nothing better after a session than a cool one. Local beers are always preferred. Just be sure to follow local rules and always, ALWAYS carry out with you what you bring in. Protect the beach.
Last, and MOST IMPORTANT, the two things that can't be pictured.
Bring a smile and take a lesson.
Surfing is about having fun. Some will find a spiritual connection, others will test themselves at their physical limits. But in the end, you should be happy doing it. Most of us won't be pros and you shouldn't be slapping the water in frustration. It is hard. Lessons will help tremendously, as well as protect you and others while you learn. NEVER be too proud to own the fact you are a beginner. The good attitude will help get you through those first few waves.
Obviously, you'll need a board, but I recommend renting and testing some things out before purchasing your own. Talk to the locals in your area. Talk to the instructors. Ask me questions. That will come once you've figured out that this is something you want to invest your time and energy into.
Get out there and have fun!