Choosing the right surfboard per your needs is one of the most challenging decisions you’ll make when looking at an enjoyable wave ride. Whether you’re a novice, intermediate, or advanced surfer, understanding the fundamentals of surfboard design, sizing, and shape is essential. Besides, choosing the right board depends upon your skill level, surf conditions, types of waves, and yes, your fitness level.
In this blog post, we’ll provide you with various board designs, sizes, and types. So as a beginner surfer, you know what to look for when purchasing your first surfboard.
So, keep scrolling!
Qualities of the Best Beginner Surfboard
Let’s now start with the characteristics of the best surfboard for beginners. The first thing you must know is the dimensions of the boards. The dimensions of a surfboard refer to the measurements of length, width, thickness, and volume.
You can find the board’s dimensions on the backside to ensure the best suited surfboard for your body type and skill level. Moreover, the best surfboards for beginners are the ones that are extremely stable and buoyant. This helps you to master your skill abilities and makes riding a small wave possible and easy.
The two primary types of surfboards will include ‘fun shapes’ and ‘long boards.’ A fun shaped board usually measures 6’ft 6’in-8″ ft, while a longboard is any board that measures three feet over your head.
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A beginner surfer should start boarding on a surfboard that is long in length. Any surfboard over 7″ is suitable for beginners. The increased length makes the other dimensions also larger, as more foam goes into making the beginner surfboard. More foam eventually provides more stability. These surfboards are ideal for catching small waves necessary for learning.
If you haven’t surfed before, a longboard is the best choice. On the other hand, fun shaped boards require more progression and thus learning board control such as turning, carves, and much more.
The width refers to the widest point of one surfboard rail to the other. The wider the surfboard, the more stable deck you will get when paddling on a wave, plus the increased foam helps with buoyancy. A good beginner surfboard ranges from 22″ to 24″ in width.
Thickness is the measurement to determine how thick the surfboard is. If you hold the sides of your surfboard, you can feel how thick your board is. Beginner surfboards should have a thickness of 2.5-3″. This provides the perfect buoyancy required to catch and ride small waves with ease. Keep in mind thigh thickness can make the surfboard difficult to maneuver; however, most beginner surfboards are designed with adequate thickness in mind.
Volume is the measurement (in liters) of how much space your surfboard takes up. Determining the board’s volume can be tricky, as two surfboards with the same exact dimensions can have different volumes. Surfboards for beginners will have a higher volume than their counterparts, which are meant for experienced surfers.
Different Types of Beginner Surfboards
Now that you have learned the basics of the dimensions, you still may want to know what type of board is best for you. So let’s further read to know which type of surfboard is the best choice for beginners.
Fun Shapes vs. Longboards: Which one to buy?
Fun shapes and longboards equally make great choices in beginner surfboards, but there are some key factors to be kept in mind when deciding between the two:
A longboard will help you with the basics of surfing more as compared to a fun shaped board. These basics include paddling, popping up, and standing straight on the board. If you are a novice, then a longboard is a great alternative since it can catch tiny, non-intimidating waves.
They get their name ‘logs’ for a reason, because these boards are heavy, buoyant, and incredibly stable, all thanks to the large surface area of the surfboard. Turning a longboard requires skill, as riding such large boards on the water needs board control, and getting a large plank to go right or left a wave isn’t easy at first.
This is why you may instead opt for a fun shaped board. They are large surfboards for beginners as compared to shortboards; however not as big, stable, and floaty as a long surfboard.
The basics of paddling and popping up are more difficult with a fun shape versus a longboard. Still, once you become an experienced rider, fun shapes provide more versatility and opportunity to continue surfing.
Fun shapes are better for surfing large waves as compared to long surfboards. And this gives you a better opportunity to test your riding skills against varying wave conditions and can ride bigger waves.
To conclude, the best beginner surfboard you can buy is the one that you have the most fun on. It’s important to make sure you’re picking the right board. For beginners, a good board is one that makes paddling fun, manages your position in the water, and catches a lot of waves. Therefore, novice surfers need to choose a surfboard with the right amount of volume. Longboards and midsize boards with large volumes might be a perfect choice.