Beginner Surfers Listen Up! This is the board you start on.

When you're learning to surf, picking the right surfboard is crucial. I know that in the beginning you can't tell the difference between all the different shapes. You can tell that some are long and some are short. You can tell that some are pointed and some are more round. But that's really as far as most beginners can go and there's nothing wrong with that… except that you could pick the wrong board unknowingly and make a huge mistake.

In the beginning, the speed at which you learn how to surf will be in direct proportion to the number of waves you can catch. It's all about wave count and the more waves you can catch the better.

Surfing is probably one of the toughest sports in the world to learn. For you snowboarders, it would be like learning to snowboard in an avalanche, except tougher. There are two moving mediums in surfing, the board, and the wave. And every wave is different. Size, speed, direction, and where the wave breaks can be different for every wave.

Now I certainly don't want to talk you out of surfing, surfing is one of the most euphoric experiences in life, but I do want you to be very aware that picking the right board is paramount to your enjoyment level and rate of improvement.

So where do you start?

Now I know this isn't what some of you want to hear, but PLEASE start on a longboard. Yes a longboard, BUT not just any longboard. All longboards are not the same. Just because you rented one or tried your buddies doesn't mean that they all handle and perform the same. In fact, there are HUGE differences between longboards, especially the ones you typically rent.

I can hear you now, "Can't I start on something smaller? I don't want a longboard." And the answer is yes of course. Just like I could learn how to drive a manual transmission car by driving a Ferrari. Is it possible? Sure. Smart? Not at all.

You didn't learn how to ride a bike on a 21 speed, downhill, full suspension, mountain bike did you? Then why would you try and cut corners here? Because it isn't cool? Come on, really?

Here's the truth.

A longboard is NEVER a bad purchase. Even if you want to move down in size to a smaller board in the future, having a longboard in your quiver is something that all real surfers have. Here's why.

Some days the waves are going to just suck. And what happens when you want to paddle out on a 2ft day with your 6'2" potato chip? You will hate life, you will hate your board, and you'll probably get in an argument with your spouse because you're so moody. (Those who surf know exactly what I am talking about.) For those days you will be begging for a longboard.

The second reason a longboard is never a bad purchase is that you will always have somebody that wants to go surfing with you. Friend, or family, you will want something that they can take out and have fun on. You guessed it, a longboard.

But you have to get the right longboard. Just because the board is long doesn't mean that it's the right one. You will need -

  • A board that is the right length, width, and thickness to float your size and weight.
  • You will want one that paddles easily.
  • One that is stable when you try and stand up.
  • Something that turns great even for being long.
  • And here's the kicker, something that you won't grow out of.
Now that's a tall order for the vast majority of boards on the market but not for us at Degree33. Our Ultimate longboard was designed just for you with all those things that you want and need. That's why our Ultimate is the number one seller we have. Because it is that good. And just to prove it, we throw in a 30 Day "Ride It" guarantee. NOBODY else does that.

So what size should you get?

This is going to be based on your height and weight. Below is a simple graph to help you figure out which size is going to be the best for you. For most size and weight categories you will have two choices. The best choice for you will be based on your surfing goals. If you are just wanting to have fun, then go with the longer one. If you're surfing for the challenge of it, and intend on moving down in board size as fast as possible, then go with the shorter one.
5'0" - 5'6" 5'6" - 6'0" 6'0" - 6'4" 6'5"+
100 - 140 lbs 8' or 8'6" 8'6" or 9' 8'6" or 9' 9'6" or 10'
140 - 170 lbs 8' or 8'6" 8'6" or 9' 9' or 9'6" 9'6" or 10'
170 - 200 lbs 8'6" or 9' 9' or 9'6" 9' or 9'6" 9'6" or 10'
200 - 230 lbs 9'6" or 10' 9'6" or 10' 9'6" or 10' 10'
230+ lbs 9'6" or 10' 9'6" or 10' 10' 10'

 

Here's what a couple surfers have had to say about our Ultimate longboard:

"Got my 9'0" Ultimate board last Wednesday. As a beginner I watched all your videos, waxed her up, and went to the ocean on Sunday. It was amazing. I caught just about every wave I paddled into. My buddies could not believe it. I have finally found my dream board. All the assistance you provided me was awesome. I have a whole new outlook on surfing. Thanks a ton!" - Jeff Holoman Greenville, NC

"I've been out on my new 9' several times and it performs as advertised-easiest paddle I've ever had, very stable but easy to turn.  I'm stoked, and thanks." - Judd Westover Del Mar, CA

"Its been 2 weeks since I purchased an 8'6 from you guys. I wasn't really impressed in the beginning by looking at it... but from the minute it hit the water... WOW, its an amazing board! As I am a beginner, I was able to catch up to my friends that’s been surfing for a few months and I even caught some good size waves on this board! Looking forward to buying another board from you guys again soon! Keep up the good work on the design and making it affordable! Degree33 Board Fan!" -Aaron Lee San Diego, CA

Click on this link NOW and go check out our best seller, the Ultimate longboard. (There's even a video for you on them.)

 

Are there any exceptions to this rule? Yes two. If you're a light weight girl or grom (youth). For both of you, you can get away going shorter. But the same rules apply. You're still getting a board that is big enough to do everything I mention above, it's just sized better for you. For you guys, in addition to the Ultimate, take a look at the Poacher funboard. Great place to start for smaller learners. What's your take on this? When a beginner asks you what board they should get what do you tell them?
Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt

Author



32 Comments

Scott
Scott

May 07, 2014

ya the turning point board is a ways off yet. I’ll probably get the 10’ultimate longboard first and the turning point if I get bored with the longboard. Thanks for the advice my learning curve needs all the help it can get:) Have a GREAT one.

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

That’s great Scott. Glad you’re stoked on it. I want to caution you on moving down in size too soon. Get to the point where you can catch waves comfortably, surf an open shoulder, and turn top to bottom before you size down. This will help your learning curve a bunch. Cheers.

Scott
Scott

May 07, 2014

I’m 6’4" 225 and 44yrs old. I have a 9’ foam board that I’m learning on right now and I’m looking at your fish fun board as my next board. I’ve been out about 10 times now and I know that I suck at surfing but I’m having fun learning. I usualy pick up any sport quickly. Surfing is kicking my butt, it’s a real challenge and I’m loving it. wrecking on a surf board in the water is alot easier on my body than wrecking on my YZ dirt bike on a mountain trail:)

billy ray mladenka
billy ray mladenka

May 07, 2014

you guys forgot one thing……age. i’m 66, but still in pretty good shape. the texas gulf coast soup is difficult to padle thru to get “outside” to the decent waves. you know the routine…..one wave forward and two waves back. i may just buy a sea-doo and get a bud to haul me out. i know, i know….it ain’t “maverics”, but as i said, i ain’t a kid anymore and i’ll be damned if i’m gonna quit surfing. looks like i should stay with my 10’ walden. remember, at my age you’re built for comfort, not speed…..at least i’m not. many thanx for your info. as always, billy ray mladenka.

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

Deal! Thanks for sharing.

Kayleigh
Kayleigh

May 07, 2014

Hi I m only 66 lbs and I don’t know what board to get!.

Matt C.
Matt C.

May 07, 2014

I’m 54 and I have been surfing for 3 1/2 years now. I surf mostly in Delaware where we have a lot of small surf but we also get 4 -6 foot days fairly often in the fall and winter. 3 years ago, I bought my first board, a 9’ Robert August, from our local surf shop. It’s a performance board and was a little hard to ride for a beginner. I then bought a D33 8’ Ultimate Long Board and found it to be very ridable. It’s easy to catch the bigger waves on and it turns like a dream. It rarely pearls and is stable when you’re in the froth. Then, this year, because it was so flat in the summer, I bought a Gordon and Smith 10’ board. All the boards ride well and I have fun with all of them but, my Orange D33 8 footer is still my favorite. I love the shape of the board, how it rides, and have gotten many comments on how nice it looks. You keep putting the boards on special and I will keep buying them!

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

Awesome! Welcome back. Let us know what you think. Cheers!

scott
scott

May 07, 2014

I watched your vidio on the ultimate long board and you say that the rail shape keeps it from digging in when you turn it. Me and 2 of my friends have bought these foam boards that can catch the smallest waves with no prblem but none of us can get these boards to turn. I only got mine to turn one time on a 8’ wave that wasn’t very steep. Anything else the rail digs in and I’m swimming. I thought it was just me but we are all having the same problems turning these boards. We can all catch and ride any wave from 2’-8’ straght in with no problem. If your ultimate will make a big differance I’ll bet the week after I buy one you’ll get an order for 2 more after I let them try it if it’s as good as it sounds.

T.J.
T.J.

May 07, 2014

Glad I’m not the only old-timer getting back on the water. At 54, and living inland, I haven’t been on a board in almost 30 years; however, a recent trip back to the ocean got my blood going again … hence, I just ordered a new Ultimate longboard from you and am looking at relearning all over again.

Patrick & Terri Lynn
Patrick & Terri Lynn

May 07, 2014

Mornin’ all…..whew….what a NIGHT!!!! Good Grief…..what a headache!!! We are the proud owners of 2 (count ‘em) 2 Degree33 a noserider and something else I can’t remember or see right now.
Anyway we wanted to congratulate Luc and Holly on expecting a son in the coming months.
So here’s the blabbering from a Santa Barbara bred surfer who rubbed shoulders with the greats like Mikey Dora, Gerry Lopez and Donald Takayama; at 63 years-old and surfing 50 of those years AND riding the Yater, Weber Performer, Ike, Frog and other names that slip my mind, all I can say is, ‘Where were you in ’62’? Kidding aside, Terri Lynn and I are having the most fun in the liquid that we have ever had. Luc and Holly are an amazing team; the salt of the water, so to speak. We thank your team and each of you for your time and commitment to excellence.

Mark LaFave
Mark LaFave

May 07, 2014

Hey Luc,

I’m th 52 year old who bought a 10 ft ultimate at Xmas. I always wanted to learn to surf but never got around to it. I told you surfing was on my 52 year old bucket list. Well I took my board to the beach and amazed everyone as I caught a bunch of waves. They were small but every has to start somewhere. Can’t wait to go back when surfs up!!!!!!
Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

Glad you’re stoked on the sport. It’s one of those that once you get bitten… it’s all over. Look our site over and let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Charlie
Charlie

May 07, 2014

I took lessons a couple of times at Cocoa Beach FL, never did understand addictions Now I know…its all I can think about this coming summer and I don’t really care where the water is …and to make matters worse – I was horrible at surfing…and I didn’t care!

My goal this summer is to go to the beach every weekend just to surf- this is the most bizarre I have ever felt about hard work.

Thanks for the specific detailed information – long board it is. I need to find out how much they cost – so I can get a board by summer.

Haven’t looked at your website yet…you sent the email responses too quickly…Charlie

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

Hey Kayleigh,

How old are you? I ask only because I am wondering how much more you will grow. :) Finding the right size of surfboard when you are small is tough. Probably some like this would be the best place to start. http://www.degree33surfboards.com/surf-gear/poacher-6’6-eps-red.html

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

The 8’6" is going to give you the most stability and ease of learning. The 8’ is going to give you the most control and maneuverability. If you really want the 8’6" in pink and are willing to wait, we can order you up one for an additional charge. Let us know.

ellyn
ellyn

May 07, 2014

I love your website! I’m a brand new surfer, but have practiced yoga and danced ballet for years, so I have pretty good balance and strength.I’m 5’4" and about 127 pounds.I was thinking about an 8’6" ultimate mini, but I love the pink 8"ultimate the best. I’ve practiced on some 8’6" soft tops— (I didn’t like very well because they were so bulky) and another epoxy rental around 8" that was sort of difficult to control and I didn’t feel quite comfortable. What do you think would be best? I’m not necessarily interested in moving to a faster or shorter board quickly. I really just want to feel the water and have fun.

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

Hey Maggs,

It does only come in white/clear for right now. If you would like to add color you can order up a custom one. :) Give the guys at the warehouse a call if you want exact weights. They will go out and weigh one for you. 858-693-3692.

Cheers!

Maggs
Maggs

May 07, 2014

I’m 5’4, 125 lbs…I’m interested in the 8’ NexGen V2. Exactly how much does is weigh? Also, does it only come in clear/white?

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

We can definitely get ya dialed in. If you’re wanting to go custom poly, we can do a board in about 3-4 weeks. If you’re wanting a custom epoxy then it’s about 60-90 days. So, the custom epoxy is out. I don’t think you’ll need a custom board though. We have a stock 10’ Ultimate Longboard that should work famously.

Phil
Phil

May 07, 2014

I am coming from Washington State 9/1 and staying through October. How long does it take to make a board appropriate for a old guy that is:
63 yo (64 in November)
200 lbs
5’10"
Better shape than most my age
Grew up with long boards in the mid and late sixties (wish I had my old 10’ yellow Hansen back…must have been 3 and 1/2" thick!! and 35 lbs) Just want to catch waves for sure and have great stability for surfing down the line. Not looking to do anything fancy….just the thrill of catching waves again and sliding across the face. ya got the board for me?

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

Yeah I’d start with an 8’ Ultimate. It will float you great and not be too big for ya. http://www.degree33surfboards.com/surf-gear/surfboards-by-shape/longboard-surfboards/ultimate-mini.html

Julia
Julia

May 07, 2014

Hi I’m 18 and I’m about 110 lbs and 5’2. Is a longboard going to be ok to start with due to my size ?

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

All great questions. Give us a call at the warehouse and we’ll get them all answered for ya. :) 858-693-3692

Jackson
Jackson

May 07, 2014

Great info and presentation! Ok here is my story … 66 yrs old… good shape…have completed a couple lessons in St. Augustine FL…Iam 6 ft … Approximately 185 lbs…questions : 1. Would your NexGen 8 ft 6 in … The wider mini longboard be to short for me ? Looking for better stability… I don’t get up as fast as I did when I was 19..Presently renting a longboard ….Waves down here are choppy and back to back .. Not smooth and long like out your way 2. Can you order those with different color’s/designs? Shipping to here? Approximately … How long after board is ready? Thanks again… Looking forward to a NexGen Summer!

Robin
Robin

May 07, 2014

You have given me hope! I’m a sailor from age two and love the wind and waves. I am fascinated by surfing but thought that since I didn’t start out life on a board; no possibility. Thanks for sharing.

Robert
Robert

May 07, 2014

I’m 6’3" 240 lbs pretty good shape! I’m going to be spending time in the Morrow Bay Area. My brother let me use his older smaller board. But I think from what I have been reading is that I need a 10’ long board any suggestions?

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

With fresh water, the only difference is a lower level of buoyancy. So go a little bigger than the standard recommendation. I would go with a longboard. What’s your height and weight?

Kris
Kris

May 07, 2014

I have been bodyboarding for years on Lake Michigan. I really would like to try surfing, as I enjoyed it so far on a borrowed SUP. Do you have any recommendations for fresh water?

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

I would recommend going with one of our Poachers. She won’t grow out of it either. Ultimately she may chose that it doesn’t fit the style of surfing that she wants to, but I have one in my quiver and I am 6’ 185lbs and 33yrs old. Ha! Size for her would depend on what she has been surfing on and her comfort level in the water. The shorter you go the harder the learning curve but easier the maneuverability. The longer would be easier to learn on because of more stability but harder for her to turn because of her size. If you have more question please feel free to call us at the warehouse. Here is a link to them. http://www.degree33surfboards.com/surf-gear/surfboards-by-shape/funboards-and-hybrids/poacher.html

David
David

May 07, 2014

My 8 year old daughter is learning to surf. She is 60 lbs and 4’4. What do you recommend in type and size. I see the funboard rec above for kids. Is a mini long board or hybrid an option? I’m hoping to buy a board that she won’t grow out of in one year.

Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt

May 07, 2014

I’d tend to agree, however, if you’re a fit 240lbs and want your board to be extra mobile, you can get away with a 9’6. Another possibility is to go custom on your dimensions, that way you can get one of our boards but keep it shorter, thicker and wider.

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