Want to rule your local beach volleyball court? This is what you’ll need.

Jeff Kaulbars would never have guessed that a spontaneous game of beach volleyball would lead him to pursue the sport at a competitive level. Now, he plays two-man beach volleyball in the AAA division, training up to five days a week.

Kaulbars rose to the elite level in only four years. In 2013 he took third place in the AAA division at the Dig The Beach Volleyball Tournament, one of the nation’s largest beach volleyball events. He credits his ascension in the sport to coach Josh Vogelbach, who urged him to up his agility game with cross training and plyometrics.

While Kaulbars loves competing, he says part of the fun of beach volleyball is the camaraderie with other players. “The community is great! One of the benefits of the tournaments is that you get to meet different kinds of people, and I have close friends from the sport.”

Although Kaulbars will be 40 in September, he doesn’t anticipate giving up the sport anytime soon. “Because you are playing on sand it’s much easier on the back and knees than playing sports on hard courts,” he says. “I know of a few guys that are over 40 to mid 40s and still compete and play in the ‘Open’ division and they are in great shape and do well.”

 Gym Bag Items

1. Spalding Beach Volleyball. (Duh.)

2. Voodoo Floss Band. This rubberized band is used to apply compression to athletes’ trouble spots. Unlike compression clothing, the Voodoo Floss Band can be wrapped over specific muscles, and the user can control the tightness.

3. Coppertone 30 SPF sunscreen. “I use either Coppertone or Banana Boat. Typically I apply lotion first thing [before playing] then use spray-on sunscreen [the] rest of [the] day. I found Neutrogena Sport Face gives the best protection for face, ears, and neck.”

4. Pump and needle. “The change in temperature affects the air pressure in [a] ball. Having a pump handy makes it easy to adjust air in hot and cold temps.”

5. Water. “I drink about two gallons of spring water on a typical tournament day.” (Kaulbars is old school and chugs it out of a milk-gallon type container.)

6. iPhone and speakers. “I use these for access to volleyball specific drills and training ideas. I also use Spotify for jams.”