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3 Things Beginners Need To Consider When Choosing A Surfboard

by Los Clavos 23 oct. 2018
Whether you’re looking to buy your first surfboard or looking to rent a surfboard whilst on holiday it’s important to get the right board for your surfing. Too often beginner surfers choose a surfboard based on its looks and overall aesthetic.
“I want the red one, because red is my favourite colour”. “I want that shortboard with the skinny nose and tail because that what I’ve seen Kelly Slater ride. Having worked in the surf industry for the last 6 years, these are the common assertions we hear on a regular basis.
However, it is very important that beginner surfers choose a surfboard based on their level of surfing rather that their desire to look cool in the water. With this in mind, these are the 3 most important things to consider when choosing a surfboard as a beginner.


Don’t get any ideas here, we’re talking about the length of the surfboard. Choosing a relatively long surfboard as a beginner will allow one to progress much faster at their surfing. Relative is the operative word here, because if you are only interested in riding a shortboard and have no desire to ever ride a longboard, then starting out on a shortboard that is longer 6’4” is highly advisable.
This extra length will make it a lot easier to keep the nose of the board above the water when paddling. Moreover, it will also facilitate an easier pop-up as the board will be more stable in the water. Finally, a longer board will give the surfer more speed down the line (across the side of the wave). Mini-mals and traditional longboards are already long enough, so there is no need to go up in length on these boards.


For the surfers of the preceding decades volume was never talked about that much when it came to choosing a surfboard. As surfboard design has evolved over the last 2 decades, volume has now entered the surfboard construction narrative. These days surfers can surf boards of similar lengths and widths where the volume between each board can differ wildly. 
As a beginner surfer, if you are looking to surf a relatively short surfboard (under 6’4”) be sure to choose a board which has a relatively large volume to it (over 32 litres). This added volume to will make it exponentially easier to paddle and catch waves. The only downside to surfboards with larger volume is that is more difficult to duck dive waves.

Soft top surfboards

Soft top surfboards have been around for less than 10 years, but since their inception they have become increasingly popular beginner surfboards particularly for surf schools giving lessons.
Soft top surfboards come in all shapes and sizes and have a plethora of benefits over traditional PU surfboards. Firstly, because they’re made entirely of foam they float better than other boards. Secondly, due to their dense foam construction they’re heavier than normal PU surfboards which make them faster down the line. Finally, they’re much safer than traditional PU boards. Surf schools these days can comfortably teach a large group of beginner surfers in close proximity to each other without worrying about a surfboard hitting someone in the head or body and causing serious damage.


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