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I'm a Beginner and Looking for a Surfboard. What do I get?

August 04, 2009

Getting a surfboard for beginners can be a confusing exercise. For those of you with more enthusiasm for surfing than experience, this can be an especially tricky exercise. Obviously there are a few requirements that your first surfboard will need to meet until you get a bit more practice.

First, your surfboard needs to be stable so that you can paddle and stand on it (eventually) without it throwing you off.

Secondly, it needs to be able to get you onto a wave fairly reliably, otherwise how will you ever surf on the wave?

Thirdly, it should float really well (known as buoyancy) to maximize all of the above. Now of course, you don't want to hit the beach with your new surfboard looking like a beginner surfer do you? That takes away all of the fun.

There are a few options you can select from, some being age dependent. * Go to surf school and have a few surfing lessons first on someone else's surfboard until you get the very basics. Some schools will have you on your feet in one lesson. Most surf schools will put you on a foam surfboard (known as a "foamie” or soft-top) which will float well and don't hurt or injure so much when you collide with it. These can be a great place to start, but no-one, apart from young children, really wants to be seen at the beach with a foamie after they have finished their lessons. If you're still interested in a high quality board that won't beat you up, we carry epoxisoft surfboards that are essentially epoxy surfboards with the deck being wrapped in an EVA soft foam cover. 

* Beginner longboards. A longboard is a surfboard with extra length in it. The extra length makes it very easy to glide onto waves, and the extra size makes the board a lot more stable and buoyant in the surf. In other words, it meets all of our criteria mentioned above for the ideal beginner surfboard. Better still, longboards are popular with surfers of all ages and experience, so you will not have an "L" stamped visibly in the middle of your forehead when you hit the surf.

* Kids and Teens. (aka "groms" in surfing language) can start their surfing on shorter boards. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that they weigh a lot less and the buoyancy issue is not so relevant. Also groms tend to be more flexible. Groms can select from a variety of shortboards, including funboards, which live up to their names. These surfboards are designed for beginners wanting to have some fun out there in the water. Funboards are designed to float and move pretty well.

A beginner's surfboard choice will be age dependent. The other important point to consider is how often you are planning on practicing. The more you surf, the faster you will pick it up and want a better surfboard. Give us a call and discuss your aspirations to make sure you get the best surfboard for your needs.

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