Guide: Finding A Surfboard For You
Are you on the hunt for a new surfboard? It can be daunting with all the different styles and sizes, but don’t worry, we put everything you need to know into one place to make the search a little bit easier. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, we hope that our surfboard buying guide will provide you with the information that you need.
What Type Of Board Should I Go For?
If you are a beginner looking for your first surfboard, you might be confused with all the different types. therefore, you may just opt for the board that has the coolest shape, instead of going for a board that best fits your ability. Same goes for those of you who are intermediate. You want a board that compliments your riding style, abilities and goals. So we have created a list with all the different types of surfboards.
Shortboards are ideal for more advanced to intermediate riders. They tend to be below 7ft in length. Shortboards are perfect for fast and steep waves and have excellent mobility and a more aggressive ride. They aren’t ideal for beginners as they can be harder to paddle and can be more difficult to ride, therefore, perfecting your riding for a beginner can be more difficult. One of the shortboards that we have is the Graham Smith Ignite 5’9 surfboard, which is very responsive when it comes to turns.
A longboard ranges from 8ft to 11ft, which makes them the perfect beginner board as it is easier to catch a wave. With it being easier to catch as wave, it helps beginners perfect their paddling techniques as well as their turning. Back in the 1950s and 60, a malibu and hawaii were the original choice of surfboard.
The funboard, a.k.a mini mal are great for beginners as they offer stability and width. They are shorter than a longboard but they still allow you to maintain paddling power. The mini mal that we have is the NSP Element HDT Funboard 7'2 which is perfect for beginners, whilst still offering fun for the advanced riders.
Also known as ‘Foamies’ or ‘Softboards’, they are ideal for those starting out in surfing as they offer maximum stability. Like the name says, these boards are made from foam which makes it easier to catch waves and stand up. Due to foam boards being soft, it means that they prevent injuries to you as the surfer and other surfers around you.
Fish refers to the tail shape of the board. This shape of board is highly capable with catching small waves due to its wide tail beginners tends to like there boards as they are easier to ride than a short board as they have more width.
Believe it or not, you can surf on paddle boards. these are fairly new to the surfing scene. Normally ranging from 10ft to 12ft, they allow you to catch big and small waves. Offering great width, they are easier to balance on. A pro of using a SUP to surf is, if the waves aren’t the best, you can still use the paddle and cruise around on the sea.
What Size Board Do I Need?
When it comes to what size you should go for, there are a few things you need to factor in:
- Riders age
- Your weight
- Your height
- What type of waves you will be surfing
- And, your surfing level.
For under 6
We would tend to say to opt for a body board for a child under 6 just because they may struggle with carrying and turning a surfboard. A bodyboard is a great way for them to build confidence in the water and practice paddling and catching the small waves at the shore. Also, by getting them a bodyboard, you aren’t leaving them out on the surf day!
For preteens (6-12)
As your child wants to progress from the bodyboard, you may upgrade to a small foamie. Bare in mind, you will want to get a board that is size appropriate so that your child is able to carry and control their board.
The best size for teens who are beginning to surf is 7ft to 8ft. They will probably best suit a foam board as it offers great maneuverability and stability. As their surfing skills progress, it would advisable to move to a mini-mal or a fish board.
We have made a size guide below.
|Weight Of Rider (KG)||Size Of Board|
|63 - 72||6'10 - 7'4|
|72 - 81||7'2 - 7'8|
|81 - 90||7'6 - 8'0|
|90+||7'10 - 8'4|
The nose is the front tip of your surfboard which sits out of the water. Nose shapes varies depending on what type of board you go for. There are 2 main types, rounded and pointed.
Rounded nose – A rounded nose makes catching waves and balancing easier but they are harder to manoeuvre and duck dive under waves. A rounded nose will also increase paddling speed.
Pointed nose – Usually on higher performing board, they are easier to duck dive under waves. A pointed nose gives less buoyancy and reduces paddling speed.
The tail is the bottom of your surfboard. Like noses, tails come in various shapes all with the aim of acceleration and control.
Pin Tail – With a narrower width, it has a lower surface area which offers the most traction, perfect for dropping on big waves where control is more important than agility. Pintails can be more difficult to manoeuver and are not ideal for smaller waves where moe lift is required.
Round Tail – Similar to the pintail nut provides more lift due to the increase in surface area providing excellent lift. Compared to a square tail, it will result in less agile turning.
Square Tail – The square tail provides great stability when catching waves and allows you to dig in, giving you great pivotal turns.
Swallow Tail – A swallow tail is ideal for smaller waves as it provides excellent control and bite. The greater surface area allows for the board to maintain speed.
Squash Tail – Common amongst shortboards, the square edge makes the board very responsive and agile on steep and soft waves.
The deck of a surfboard is the part which you lie and stand on. There are three main deck shapes; Dome, Flat and Step.
Dome Deck – A dome deck is the most common deck shape. Allowing more volume in the centre of the board, it increases the buoyancy of your board.
Flat Deck – The rails of the board and sharper and more boxier compared to the dome, these decks result in a flexier more snappy board. However, boards with this deck shape can be weaker.
Step Deck – Step decks are stronger and stiffer as they have thicker rails. Step decks are perfect for hard landings.