Surfboards: the top 5 things to know when choosing surfboards

As well as your surfboard it is important to get proper surf apparel, including a rash vest to keep a bit of warmth. In colder climates get a good wetsuit, up to 5mm body fabric and 3mm arms with double stitched seams. And onto the surfboards:

1. Length –  The longer the board the easier it is to balance on it. But the harder it is to paddle out through the waves. So go for a long board to start. And then when you are starting to feel the wave underneath you start thinking about getting shorter: below 7 foot! However longboarding is a legitimate advanced technique on its own. So you can stick with the long board and learn to ride the nose.

2. Width – The wider the board the easier it is to balance on it, but the harder it is to turn it in the water. Start wide and work smaller. Up to 20” on a long board. If you ever find yourself catching 20 foot waves your gonna need a thin board to be able to turn up and down the face of the wave.

3. Fins & tail – 1 long fin (single fin) keeps its line much better than 3 short fins (thruster or tri fin). But 3 fins are easier turn. Finally fins are perhaps the most dangerous part of the surfboard. So beginers can go for a flexible fin that will not cause as much damage in the case of being hit by the board. Suppliers of surfboard fins that are removable are FCS (Fin Control Systems), Futures Fins, Speed Fins. These can be purchased online in various website ecommerce stores. For FCS fins that are on sale you can visit:

4. Material & weight – There are softboards, fiberglass or wood. Softboards can take a few knocks (the Americans seem insistent on calling them ‘dings’). While fiberglass is much harder and rides the waves smoother. While wood is the least durable of all three, but those who ride wood claim it is the cleanest feeling of all. The weight or bouncy of the board is determined by the material and the width of the board. A more bouyant board is easier to paddle but more difficult to balance on.

5. The Line – The most important feature of all is the line or curve of the board. A wider nose makes for easier paddling. Generally when your starting, simple is better. So go for a straight long board and forget about the tail. Then see if you can borrow other peoples boards to get a feel for how each shape works.

As you find your self becoming more advances, selling your house, your car, and even your kids: you will start to appreciate the different styles of boards each with their own specific style of riding. If you are progressing from begginer to intermediate consider trying a fish board which is half way between a long and short.

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