Summer arrives, the beaches reopen, the desire for adventure and new sensations becomes strong. The ocean seems to be the ideal playground, you already visualize yourself off, watching the sunset while processing your best maneuvers. But you’ll have to find your new best friend, your surfboard.
However, searching for the perfect board can sometimes be a real headache if you are not initiated. Not all of them have the same name, are not made of the same material, do not have the same shape or size... Don’t panic! We’ll see about it together.
1. Size and Volume
Size and volume are two criterias to consider. It is extremely important to recognize your level and select a suitable board. The principle is simple, the larger the gabarits, the larger the boards must be. A volume and a board size adapted to your weight will guarantee you a better buoyancy, and therefore a better oar, as well as facilities on the take-off (standing up on your board when you’re taking the wave).
The common mistake of beginners is to very quickly move towards «Shortboard». I know, you will not find better to show off on the beach, but is it really worth it to attract the attention of this group of tourists who will watch you get underwater for hours once in the water? To avoid this, let’s see what will be most adapted to our level.
2. Different types of boards
Learning to surf is the same for everyone. You will fall. Often. The trajectories of your first waves will not necessarily be controlled.
It is therefore important, if you don’t have good control of your slide and your board, to first choose a softboard. These boards has the advantage of being very cheap, and will be much less dangerous for you and the surfers of the spot than with an epoxy resin board. On the other hand, do not forget during a fall to roll in a ball protecting your head and be very attentive to the surfers around you. Avoiding shocks is as important to you as it is to your gear.
Softboards are strongly adviced for beginners, but mimic very well the Mini-malibu, which will be useful to learn how to surf in the mosses as to take waves offshore safely. This is an excellent first investment that we recommend, inexpensive, and that will necessarily be useful when you wish to teach your friends how to surf once you’ll be pro-surfer! It’s a board that very often remains in the collection of experienced surfers, even after the transition to more technical boards.
The Mini-malibu is the perfect compromise for a beginner/intermediate level. It combines a comfortable flotation that will facilitate the paddling, a solid take-off stability and a nice maneuverability.
Depending on your ease and weight, the size of the Mini-malibu can vary from more than 6 feet to 9 feet. This board will be your best friend to take your first waves, do long sessions without being too tired by the paddling, and will be versatile enough to follow you a large time of your learning and perfecting surfing experience in various conditions.
The longboard starts above the size of its little brother the Mini-malibu. Extremely voluminous and high, the longboard is more than 9 feet high. If it allows a relatively simple take-off due to its extreme stability the longboard is not to advise everyone. These boards are adapted on long and small waves that roll over long distances. Its stability makes the take-off easier than the other boards, however it is very little maneuverable and can be dangerous for you or for the surfers around you if you can’t master it. In addition, it will be very difficult for you to pass the bar with such a large board, of course making the duckdive impossible and the turtle longboard technic difficult.
The Longboard offers a totally different experience, less nervous, whose maneuvers will be carried out by moving on the board, and makes it possible to surf even in calm water.
The shortboard is the exact opposite of the Longboard seen previously. The Holy Grail of the experienced surfer, and his best friend during powerful conditions as well as hollow waves. The low buoyancy of these boards greatly complicates the oar and requires great endurance.
On the other hand, this problem is also an excellent quality that allows to easily chain the duckdiving and pass the bar quickly, even in case of big conditions. The use of these boards gives you the possibility to perform very technical manoeuvres. Its manoeuvrability also offers greater speed gains that allow even aerial figures for the most daring and experienced. Be sure to be comfortable with larger boards before making the transition to a shortboard, otherwise you will spend more time underwater than on the wave. Once you’re ready, you will be able to perfect yourself freely for nervous and fun sliding sensations!
You will usually find Shortboards ranging from 5 feet to just over 6 feet.
You can also find boards that meet more specific needs such as the Fish, which is a good intermediary between the shortboard and the mini-malibu, or the Gun available for surfers looking for very big waves.
It can be interesting, to avoid any hasty purchase, to rent a board that you think ideal within a surf school or a surf club. You can ask for the advice of experienced surfers, and try several surfboards.
Depending on your ecological commitment, you will be able to find high quality recycled material boards in our online shop.
Now that you’ve found your new friend, it’s time to put on your neoprene suit and go in the water! If you want to find courses or instructors to learn how to ride the ocean, find surf schools near you here.