Simple Tips When Choosing Your First Surfboard

November 19, 2009

There are so many surfboards out there that it can be really hard figuring out the right one for yourself. Picking the right surfboard is a little more involved than admiring the graphics, color, style, or the fact that it looks just like the cool dude's down the street. There is no point buying a surfboard just like Kelly Slater's if you can't surf like him. Consider some of these simple tips when choosing your surfboard.

* Experience. Adult beginner surfers should look for surfboards that are thick, wide and long. The reason? It will be easier to paddle, float, stand on, and catch waves. All the basics to surfing. The thicker the surfboard the better it will float. The wider the board the more stable it will be. The longer, the easier it will be to glide on a wave.

* Height and weight. Basically, the taller you are and the more you weigh, the longer and thicker the surfboard will need to be. As a generalization, opt for a surfboard that is 2 to 3 feet longer than you. A surfboard that is 2 to 3 inches thick and is about 21 inches across should be about ideal for beginners to intermediate adult surfers.

* Kids and teens weigh a lot less than adults and are a lot more agile with getting to their feet. Beginner boards for kids can therefore be a lot lighter and smaller. Really young children can start on foam surfboards which are far more forgiving in collisions, being a lot softer. Kids who have had a bit of surfing experience need only a surfboard 6 to 18 inches longer than themselves. Unless you want to be lugging their surfboard everywhere for them, it can be a great idea to ensure that they can carry the surfboard weight wise, and secondly, that it fits under their arm. If they are too small to be able to tuck it under their arm, make sure they can carry it on their head.

* The waves. Are you planning on catching small waves or big waves? Perhaps it is smartest to start out with smaller waves and work up. Check out the usual size of the waves where you plan on going surfing. As a rule, longboards are going to be perfectly suitable for catching smaller waves.

* Budget. Custom made surfboards cost a lot more than ready made boards. Unless you have plenty of dollars to burn it makes sense to make the first surfboard purchase cheaper. Your first surfboard will get dinged around a lot. Once you know how often you will be surfing and what sort of maneuvers you want to do out there in the water then you can select something more to your individual requirements.

* Longboards are a great choice for most surfers starting out. They are also great choices for the surfer who is no longer quite so agile, or who weighs a little more than they did in their teens. Longboards are very forgiving surfboards and are ideal for the beginner, the older surfer, the surfer getting back into it after a break, or any surfer that just wants to maximize the number of waves you catch.

* Shortboards are great starters for the kids and teens. The intermediate and agile surfer looking to perform radical maneuvers will also enjoy the short surfboard but not in the beginning. *

Fish surfboards offer stability, flotation, and also a lot of movement on the wave. Fish surfboards are easy for paddling and catching waves. Fish surfboards are shorter in length and wider and thicker than the usual surfboard formula from above. These surfboards can be a great selection for the surfer looking for fun and great moves. Fish surfboards can be ideal for the surfer who has the basics and is wanting a bit more.

The biggest consideration for adults when choosing a surfboard is going to be your size, weight, and experience. If in doubt, don't be shy, ask for assistance. Even experienced surfers can be seen in surf shops discussing all the latest designs with the staff.

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