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How To Buy Your First Surfboard

Surf Tips General

How To Buy Your First Surfboard


N 52° 23’ 33.46’’ E 4° 54’ 14.25’

Buying your first board is by no means an easy decision. There is a whole lot of sentimentality behind it because, after all, this is the board you will learn on. It will also be the board that makes you fall in love with surfing. It will become your prized possession and it will come with you on all your biggest adventures. A bit like the wands in Harry Potter, your surfboard will choose you. Just kidding, you have to choose the board yourself but in a way the board has more say than you think. Your skill set determines which board you buy. So if you were to buy a board designed for experts when you are just beginning, you will notice that the board does not agree with you and your need to float.

The Basic Guide to Buying a Board

Surfboards op het strand

How often do you surf per year:

  • 7 days of the year or one surf trip = Foamboard.

  • 14 days of the year or two surf trips = Foamboard, Longboard or Minimal.

  • Every Month= Longboard, Minimal, Magic Carpet.

  • Every Week = Big Shortboard or literally any board you want.

One of the frequent problems of surfboard shopping is that as a beginner you have very little knowledge of what you specifically need. That’s why you are often at risk of being sold a board that it too advanced for your skillset.

When buying a board, Volume is key.

It is all about the buoyancy level that you will have when out at sea. The larger the volume the more buoyant. It is important for begginers to have enough volume to be able to practice snapping up and placing your feet in the correct position. Therefore Foamboards offer you the best platform to practice the basics. In all honestly, when your at this level you probably shouldn’t be buying a board. You would be better suited to going on a Surf camp that lets you rent Foamboards. That way you can learn with an instructor and get to grips with the essential skills of surfing.

How Are Surf Boards Measured

Boards are measured in litres as too the volume that they displace. For example, a beginner board generally should be above 60 litres in order to offer enough support. Whereas a professional performance board would usually be somewhere around 25 – 35 litres depending on the height and size of the athlete. Kelly Slater for example would typically use a 24 litre board measuring abou 6’1 x 18 shortboard. This requires expert level technique to stay a float and it requires the correct waves to go with it.

Best Surf Board for Beginners

  • Foamboard:
    • Pros: Cheap, Soft, Buoyant and Easy to catch most waves
    • Cons: Big and heavy, Cant be used in tall waves, difficult to paddle against the tide.
    • Brands: Swell, Alder, Liquid.
  • Fiberglass Longboard:
    • Pros: Youll learn on a hard board, faster, can surf head high waves.
    • Cons: Heavy, wont fit in your car, airlines don’t except them.
    • Brands: NSP, Cortez, SkinDog, Bilbo.
  • Minimal:
    • Pros: Smaller, easy to carry, easier to paddle, easy to make progress on.
    • Cons: Harder to catch waves than above, tricky to turn sometimes, not as fast.
    • Brands: NinePlus, Suftech, McTaish.
  • Magic Carpet:
    • Pros:  Lighter, can use in all wave conditions, you can surf it forever.
    • Cons: Less volume, more effort to catch waves, flat nose.
    • Brands: NinePlus, Ripcurl.
  • Fish Board:
    • Pros: Affordable, Eye catching design, duck dive under waves, small wave versatility.
    • Cons: Hard to catch waves, need a master duck dive to get out in water.
    • Brands: Hard to find for beginner level.

For more information please go check out the guys at Newquay Surfer, they have a good grasp of the basics. All the best guys, good luck with your purchase !

Chris

I am a Journalist, Photographer & Musician from North London. I arrived at SurfaWhile after finishing my Masters in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. I aim to find and write about the hidden gems of the surfing world to inspire your next surf holiday as well as interviewing exiting talents in our international surf community.

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