How To Buy A Surfboard:2018’s Surfboard Buying Guide
Ultimate Surfboard Buying Guide
As an expert in the industry, I'm always asked this question, “Which surfboard is best for beginners?” Well, choosing a surfboard is both fun and complex at the same time. With an extensive array of surfboards in the market, sporting different styles, colours, designs, and serving different purposes, you can literally get your hand on everything that you need.
However, a surfboard is built to glide, and has many elements and variables at stake-construction type and technique, design, materials, styles and a lot of other factors and choosing the right equipment can be challenging, particularly to the first-timers.
This is why I've compiled this comprehensive surfboard buying guide to ensure that you choose the right equipment. The surfboard buying guide will shed more light on how to buy a surfboard for beginners and even for the intermediate surfers.
How To Choose A Surfboard?
In the surfboard buying guide below, I shall discuss some of the basics of a surfboard, and what you need to consider.
1) Level of experience:
Yes, your experience in surfing plays a vital role with regards to the type of surfboard you are going to get. According to Surf simply surfing has basically three levels; beginner level, intermediate level, and advanced level.
Beginners are defined as those who have never tried surfing, or have taken a lesson or two. If you're just starting out and want to know how to hit the waves, you might want to lean on longer-sized and big boards such as a longboard. Longboards have lots of floatation features such as broadness, stability, and wave-catching feature, which is perfect for starters.
If you're on an intermediate level, you've probably learned the basics of surfing and are comfortable in water riding and picking up the waves, and probably, want to explore your options. If you're an intermediate surfer, you might want a step-down from the longboard to something smaller like a shortboard.
As an advanced surfer, you've probably mastered the art of surfing. You are confident in performing a variety of turns, and your maneuvers can hold your line in a barrel. You know who you're, you know what you need and are at liberty of going for any surfboard you need.
2) Surfboard Design:
Defining the type of performance you're seeking and matching it with the right shape is an effective way of narrowing down the universe of boards. By assessing what you need your board to do will take away nearly 75% of the boards off the table. Designs trump everything else, so you've to get it right.
Surfscience categorizes surfing boards into four primary levels which include the shorthand, funshape, fish and the longboard. The above types are further differentiated based on other features such as tail shape, dimension, and nose shape. Each of the surfboards is ideal for use by surfers in the different skill levels, type of surfer and type of wave. Here is a breakdown of the surfboard design types;
the shorthand is considered as a high-performance surfboard and is ideal for maneuvring quick and snappy turns. In most cases, the shorthand is normally used by intermediate and expert surfers.
Unlike your traditional shortboard, a fish surfboard is wider and thicker. The board is commonly used by surfers on smaller, mushier days when extra paddle strength is required. Most of these kinds of boards have shallow tails that generate extra speed. However, in doing so, they so give up the maneuvrability of a shorthand.
Funshapes strike a balance between longboards and shortboards, therefore giving the best of both worlds. As such, they combine the easy paddling properties of a longboard with more manoeuvrability found in a typical shortboard. Fun shapes are also ideal transition options for newbie surfers who started their surfing journey on a longboard but are not quite ready to jump to a shortboard.
They are all-around boards and can be used by any surfer, but are superb for beginners who need an extra paddle strength and stability of a larger board.
3) Surfboard Size:
What size surfboard is right for me? You might be wondering. The choice of surfboard size or length is an essential aspect to factor in your surfboard buying guide. However, the choice of size is dependent on an array of factors, and it's always good to consider a beginner surfboard size chart when making any purchase. Here are just some of the surfboard size chart height and weight inspired by International Surfing Association that play a significant role in surfboard size selection.
If you're a skilled, and coordinated surfer with better water fitness you're at liberty of riding a smaller board. On the other hand, novice surfers will need a larger board for greater stability and floatation abilities.
An occasional surfer will need a bigger board than one who surfs regularly. All this boils down to paddle fitness and balance; the more time you spend in the water practising, the more waves you'll catch, and the lesser the chances of falling off in the waves. See, becoming a master in any profession is not a destination, but rather requires constant training, hard work, patience, and determination.
Your weight is an important factor in our surfboard buying guide. If you're lightweight (under 200lbs) and you are water fit and coordinated, you can go for the smaller boards which will be easier for you to paddle. On the other hand, if you're of large statue, with more than 200lbs, then try to stick with longer and thicker boards.
Our surfboard size and weight chart will give you an idea of our surfboard models and suggested weight. However, if you're in doubt, it's always better to go for a bigger size surfboard
4) Surfboard Construction:
Surfboards are available in a gamut of construction material. While each construction has different characteristic, construction is not important as shape and size and is more of a personal preference. Some of the common surfboard construction includes;
These are your normal surfboard construction and happen to be the most popular-this is according to Encyclopedia Britannica. What makes the fiberglass a favored option is mainly due to the aesthetic nature of the fiberglass; the gloss and matte finish of the boards makes them riveting. Additionally, in case of any major dings, fiberglass surfboards are easier to fix.
International Surfing Association recommends epoxy surfboards since most of the epoxy surfboards are lighter and more robust. Therefore, kids and women can even carry or handle larger boards easily. Constructed from polystyrene foam and epoxy resin, these boards can resist the smaller dings. While the epoxy board has more of a ‘plastic" allure, it allows brighter vivid colors.
However, if you're in search of a board that can take a few punches and paddle easily and is safe to use, I highly recommend that you purchase a soft board, especially if you're just beginning to learn to such or are an intermediate surfer. Softboards are safe, robust, extremely buoyant, and catches waves easily.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my surfboard buying guide. Buying a surfing board should never be a challenge anymore. Just follow the above pointers, and I can guarantee that you'll enjoy your surfing experience.
If you'd like to add anything or have experience in surfing, why not drop your comments in the section below. I will highly appreciate your input.