Surfing Basics – Finding the Right Board

Oct 15, 2013
Surfing Basics – Finding the Right Board

After learning how to surf from an instructor with a rented board, the obvious next step is buying your own. However, if you are unsure of what type you need, it can be a difficult purchase. Choosing the right board will allow you to have a better ride, but if you choose the wrong board, you can expect to wipe out often which can really discourage you and cause you to abandon the sport altogether.

When choosing a surfboard, the first rule is to make sure that the surfboard is the right width, length, and thickness. Remember that there are different types of surfboards out there in many different shapes and sizes.

The principle behind the different sizes is that the wider and thicker the board, the more stable it is in the water. If you are beginning to take up surfing as an adult, a rule to stand by, literally, is you should choose a board that is 1 to 2 feet taller than your standing height. Now for kids, you want to get a board that is 6 to 18 inches taller since these boards are lighter.

If surfing for an entire season or all summer is in your plans, then you want to make sure that you get a board that will be able to last more than one season. Since boards can be costly, be sure to pick a board that you will not outgrow in a short amount of time. Also consider purchasing a cheaper one starting out to prevent feeling bad about the dents and dings that the board will usually get.

Getting a used surfboard is a great idea to save money on the surfboard but always be aware of any splits, separations or cuts where the foam is showing. This is a bad sign and it will mean that the board will not last very long. Purchasing a custom made board is always an option. Although custom boards are a bit of an investment, it will be made according to your specification which means that you will be able to have a better feel for the board whenever you hit the water.

When learning to surf, the amount of fins a board has is not a major factor, so don’t worry about it. Fins help in turning, which you will not really use if you are just beginning to learn the sport. And, you need to keep in mind that you won’t be making any fancy twists and turns when you are just starting out.

As you can see, the criteria for the best type of surfboard for a beginner are not really all that complicated. Keep in mind to never fall for the really cool looking board or decide to get a short board to start with. These boards are short and narrow, with thin edges, which are basically designed for doing fancy maneuvers by advanced surfers. Always start with longer, wider and more buoyant.


Once you have mastered the basics, you can always get that cool looking short to show off your new moves.

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