Things to Know Before You Buy a Surfboard

Alvaro Germán / Hemera /

Alvaro Germán / Hemera /

So you want to buy a surfboard, but you’re not sure where to begin? No problem, we’ve got you covered on the many tips and ideas to consider before purchasing a new surfboard. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, here are some ideas to consider before going to the local surf shop to buy your next board.

What to Know Before You Go to the Surf Shop
If you get advice from the local surf shop, here are some stats that you should know before you visit the local surf shop: your age, weight, types of waves you’ll be surfing, beaches you’ll be surfing, fitness level, and surfing ability. This will help the experts know what type of board is best for your body, skill level and surfing desires. And one thing to note, not all waves are created equal, so this will give your local shop’s pro a better equation to solve.

Surfing Level
Although everyone has their own opinion and idea, a rule of thumb is that the novice requires a long and wide board. This is known as a fun board or a long board. Surfing is made easier with a board that is 12 inches longer than your height; however, the longer the board the better your comfort level and skills develop. An ideal board length for beginners is seven feet in length, 19-21 inches wide and two to three inches thick.

Beginner-Friendly Boards
Beginner boards incorporate a softer surface, known as a “soft board.” These boards are popular with surf schools because they are highly buoyant, are less risky with injury due to the soft texture, and enable surfers to catch waves easier. If you are a novice, local surf shops and online dealers sell soft boards specifically made for beginners. These are great for youth, teens, and adults who will use the board a few times per year on vacation.

Surfboards come in all shapes, sizes and budget levels. Boards are not cheap, thus if trying to purchase a board on a budget you have two options. The first is to purchase a used board, which may have minor, wear and tear, but is ideal for learning purposes. The second is to purchase a cheaper quality board. Fun boards range from $250-500, which is a great price for learning purposes. Once your skill level increases, spend the big bucks for the better quality board.

Other Expenses and Equipment
As mentioned above, you don’t have to overspend on the first, or beginner, board. Surfing requires other materials and equipment needed before jumping on the waves. You may incur other expenses such as a wet suit, wax, leash, board bag, traction pad, or car transport carrier.

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