Correctly choosing your first surfboard makes a world of difference in how long it will take you to get the hang of catching waves. A typical knee-jerk reaction is to buy the most expensive, most hi-tech board available with the assumption that it will serve you better. It can actually make the beginning months of practice much harder. Here are five tips that can help you or your novice surfer find the best surfboard for the first three to six months of lessons.
Choose a board with a high buoyancy. The thicker your board, the easier getting or regaining your balance will be. Thicker boards pop up to the surface quicker and are much more forgiving of mistakes.
Don't worry about the number of fins or the shape of your board right away. Chances are, you aren't going to be learning maneuvers in your first, second, or even tenth lesson. So looking at fin shapes at this time is unnecessary. While a board with three fins may look cooler, it doesn't do the beginner any favors.
Don't spend a lot of money on your first board. If this is your first time out on the waves, you may be doing a lot of bumping and banging, and your board will show it. Until you are confident and moderately knowledgeable in surfing, an expensive board will quickly become a $400 beat-up board.
Choose a wide, stable board. Thin, narrow boards look impressive, but a beginner should select something thicker and with more weight. These boards are heavier but provide a sturdier platform for the novice surfer. They allow for faster paddling and pop up faster than their professional counterparts.
Choose a board that reflects your skill level and your interests. Picking a board meant for advanced surfers when you are at an intermediate level is the wrong move. Stick with something that allows for growth and improvement, and think of your ultimate goal as a surfer.
No matter how advanced you would like to become at surfing, the beginning is the only place to start. As a surfer, your board is your best friend, and getting a board that will serve you well is the way to dive right in. If you want to hit the waves with the best, check out our private and group surf lessons.