Step by step guide to choosing a surfboard
Whether you are an experienced or beginner surfer, it doesn’t matter, knowing how to choose a surfboard can make a huge difference in how you maneuver waves successfully.
Choosing a surfboard can be quite a difficult task because of the vast array of surfboards which are being sold in the market today. There are many types of surfboards which are made for different conditions, weights and skill levels. If you choose the wrong surfboard, you will end up having a difficult time while surfing on the water. This step by step guide is designed to make it easier for surfers to choose the right surfboard for their specific needs.
When you use this guide, you will end up saving money and time by getting rid of small mistakes that come with purchasing a surfboard.
There are different factors you should consider while choosing the right surfboard, which includes your time and ability on the water. The following are other factors you should consider while choosing a surfboard.
The length of the surfboard
The first factor you should consider while deciding which surfboard to buy is the length of the surfboard. A beginner should be going for a board which is longer and wider, which gives it more volume and helps you paddle onto a wave and then stand up more quickly. The shorter the surfboard, the easier it is to turn but harder to learn on.
Once you progress, you can go for a shorter board in smaller waves which will make it easier to turn and manoeuvre. Once you have improved and the waves get bigger, you can opt for a step up surfboard (which is a board usually 4 inches longer than your short board) which will handle the conditions when the wave has more power. This type of board is still easier to manoeuvre.
The shapes of surfboard
Choosing the right shape surfboard is dependent on what skill level and the type of surfing you want to do. Whether this is surfing small mushy waves, sucky barrelling waves or big waves with consequences.
SHORTBOARD (For Intermediate to Advanced Riders)
Typically known as a standard surfboard and what “most” people ride. These have a distinct pointy nose with a defined shape. Usually, a shortboard is considered under 6’6. A shortboard is all about performance, being able to do quick turns, tricks and ariels. These are not usually regarded as suitable for beginners as they lack floatation due to the refined rails and are for more skilled riders who surf waves up to 6 feet.
FISH SURFBOARDS (Beginner to Advanced)
A fish surfboard has a wide swallow tail with a thick rail that adds more volume to a board to surf smaller mushy waves. These suit those that are learning to surf or for those that are experienced and want to have fun on those smaller days. Generally, we would encourage a learner to go for an epoxy fish surfboard as these are packed with flotation and have added strength which is a bonus when learning.
When choosing the size for your fish surfboard, you ride it 4 Inches shorter than your normal shortboard size. A learner would go for a bigger size for added volume.
MINIMAL (Beginner to Advanced)
A Mini-mal is considered as a shorter longboard. These boards are a lot easier to manoeuvre on a wave but still have the feeling of riding a longboard. Not as quick to turn like a shortboard, but have a generous volume which leads to the ability to paddle onto a wave and get up easier than a short surfboard.
These are generally 7 to 8 foot long and are becoming increasingly popular amongst kids and adults learning to surf.
LONGBOARD (Beginner to Advanced)
A Longboard is a traditional shape with a full nose and tail, typically over the 9 Foot length.
These boards are easy to paddle onto waves but are not as maneuverable as all your other board shapes. Great for those who want to ride long point breaks or fuller waves. Increasingly popular for the older generation because they are easy to paddle and have a lot more volume than a shortboard.
Softboards are great to learn to surf on. They are made up of a soft material with loads of volume. They come in sizes from 6 foot to 9 foot and are very popular for a beginner board as they are forgiving if you should fall you will land on the foam material. These boards are used for smaller days. A lot of surf schools will use a soft board to teach a beginner to surf.
The construction of the surfboard
Surfboards come in different construction such as epoxy, soft board, and fibreglass surfboards. Epoxy surfboards are made from epoxy resin and have an EPS foam core. These surfboards are usually lighter and stronger. Fibreglass surfboards are the most popular type of surfboard construction because this is traditionally what all surfboards were made from. Softboards, on the other hand, are cost-effective surfboards that are made for beginners and are made up of an EPS foam with soft material around the surface.
The process of choosing a surfboard can be quite overwhelming because there are many types of surfboard available in the market. Using the above factors as your guide can help simplify the process of choosing a surfboard. There are other variables to look at, but following the above method can make the process easier.