This post is written for beginner and intermediate surfers who are struggling with what board to buy in order to grow and progress in their surfing. Let’s face it, the point of surfing for most of us isn't to become a pro and collect the big pay cheque, it’s to paddle out into some waves and have the most fun possible. For beginner and intermediate surfers choosing the right board for your ability and the waves you will be riding is a key to having the most fun and can be intimidating. A tiny thruster may look hot under your arm, but is probably not the best bet; in fact most of the time if you’re using too small a board for your skill level you will end up just paddling around, not catching any waves, and tiring out. Some board types to look at for that first selection would be a longboard for the true beginner and something a bit smaller like a fish, funboard, or shortboard for more of the intermediate surfer. Disclaimer: If you are an expert you probably have all of this figured out, no need to keep reading on unless you want to!
There are a few key factors to keep in mind when deciding on the best board for you. They can be broken into some main categories:
· Fitness level
· Regular wave type ridden
· Weekend warriorness (warriorness is totally a word)
This one is pretty straightforward, the heavier you are the bigger board you will need to be able to go out and catch some waves. A good threshold to think about is right around 200 lbs. If you are below 200 lbs a smaller board will be easier to maneuver and paddle for you, if you are over 200 lbs a longer board with more volume will keep you floating enough to paddle comfortably.
You need to be at least a little bit fit to surf effectively and have a good time. For people who are really fit and have some experience with other board sports (ie skateboarding, snowboarding, etc.) a short board or a fish should be not too much of a problem to pick up. For folks who are a little bit less fit, or less experienced, something like a funboard or longboard might be the better option.
Wave type is pretty important when deciding what board to pick up. If your normal break is a smaller mushier wave, then you will definitely want something like a fish, funboard, or longboard. These types of boards float a lot, paddle easily, and are small wave catching magnets. If you are starting to surf on more hollow and steep waves, it could be time to look at a shortboard. Shortboards have more rocker to them than a fish for example, so can handle steeper waves without digging the nose in.
This really is how often are you going to be going surfing. If you plan on going every day, then by all means get a board that is really going to push you. If you are going that much, you will be getting the practice and you will want a board that allows you to progress. If you are getting out maybe once a weekend, or every couple of weeks/months, definitely purchase an easier to use, easier to paddle board. Like was mentioned at the beginning, it is no fun to just go out paddle around and not catch any waves because your board is too small.
Surfing is about getting out in the water, catching waves, and having the best time possible. Board selection is one of the key factors in this, so hopefully this post provides some insight into what will work best for you. If you want any more info, feel free to contact us, or talk to your local shop about what board is best for you.
Cheers, and see you at the beach!
"Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life."