Choosing a surfboard is not an easy task if you don’t know what you are looking for. There are quite a few points to consider before you buy one. There are boards for all ages, weights and waves but it is smart to do some research first.
Here are some important points to take into consideration before you buy your next stick:
1 SURFING ABILITY
Every different type of surfboard suits a different level of skill. So if you just started surfing it is probably wise to begin on a foam board, funboard or longboard. These boards are usually between 7 and 9 feet long and have more volume. They will be easier to balance and control. Paddling and catching waves will be easier as well and you will learn to surf much quicker. If you are less agile and fit choose a more forgiving funboard or longboard, otherwise go for a fish or shortboard.
Your weight is an important factor in picking the right surfboard. Generally speaking you should choose a surfboard that is about 1 foot longer than your height. This way the nose of the board does not get buried into the water when you are catching waves. When you get more experienced, experiment with shorter boards because it will increase your maneuverability and allow you to make sharper turns.
If you are a heavier surfer it is better to choose a thicker and wider board to keep you afloat. There is a fine line between sinking and ‘ too floaty’ so it is important to determine the optimal amount of ‘float’ for you and your surfboard.
4 TYPES OF WAVES
If you are surfing consistently small waves it is better to go for a funboard or a longboard. With a shortboard you won’t be able to catch lots of waves. With sloppy, mushy surf try take a fish for extra speed, which gets you across flat sections. If you live near a really good surf spot and are an experienced surfer it is probably better to go for a shortboard although a fish or even a longboard can give you lots of fun as well.
5 THE QUIVER
If you are really committed to surfing and love to surf as much as possible it is probably wise to hold a quiver (collection) of boards, because the conditions of the day determine the board that will catch the most waves. Not every day calls for a shortboard or a gun. On some days the waves will be so small it is more fun to catch lots of waves with a longboard. Some people prefer only shortboarding or longboarding but if you are just starting it is always good to experiment and have more than one available tool in your arsenal.
Featured image by D.Young