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How to choose your first surfboard?

  • Surf tips
  • Posted 4 months ago
  • 4 min

The right choice of your first surfboard is crucial for your evolution.

Between shortboards, longboards, mini-malibu, mid-lenght… There are plenty of options.
This article is here to help the surf beginners to choose their very first surfboards.

Let’s go !

Choosing your first surfboard

A softboard (or foamboard) is the best option

foamboards

A foam board will allow you to start surfing with safety, for you but for the others as well.

When you start surfing you are focused only on your practice and can quickly forget about others. In addition, foam boards often have more volume than other hard surfboard, which helps to enter into the waves and giving you more stability by making it easier to ride the board to the beach.

You catch a lot more waves and save a lot of time at the beginning. Generally these surfboards are also cheaper. In addition, they are easy to sell in second-hand.

To sum-up, we advise to start surfing with a softboard because:

  • They are safer than rigid surfboards
  • Plenty of volume
  • Usually cheaper

Mini-malibu can be an option as well

A mini-malibu normally measures between 7’0 and 8’0 (we explain how to read board sizes below) which is quite long allowing you to compensate for your mistakes. These boards are rigid so it’s better to use them only once you know the basics and you are 100% at ease with safety rules and surf etiquettes.

Plenty of international surf brands have good options like Torq, BIC, Olaian, NSP… You can also prioritize the local economy and get a board from a local shaper around you.

These surfboards are more reactive than foamies and can get you to the next level.

How to choose a surfboard size?

Learning how to read the measurements of a surboard

Beginner surfboards essentially have two measurements to look out for: the lenght and the volume.

How to understand the lenght?

At the beginning it can be tough to understand the difference between the size of the boards: 6’0, 7’2, 8’0…

These are feet (1 foot = 30,48 cm).

Ex: 6’0 x 18’25 x 2′ 3
6’0 = height (182,88cm) (6 feet e 0 inches)
18′ 2’25 = width
2′ 31 = thickness

How to understand the volume of a surfboard?

The volume of a board is calculated in litres. At the beginning, it is best to choose a board with the largest possible volume. It will be easier and you will have more fun!

The volume is a mix between the height, width and thickness of a surfboard. In other words, you can find a shorter board with more volume (and therefore potentially easier to surf) than a longer board.

There are some basic rules for your first choices. Despite the board lenght you always have to pay attention to the volume of the board according to your weight, size and physical fitness.

Generally beginner boards of the foam or mini-malibu type always have plenty of volume to help you.

In a very simplified way we can summarise it as follows (for foam boards):

6 FT: ONLY FOR KIDS
7 FT: UP TO 50KG
8 FT: UP TO 70KG
8 FT AND MORE: MORE THAN 70KG

If you’re a 80kg adult just starting out, for example, you could start on an 8’6 which is an excellent option to learn how to surf safely. 

Let us know your thougts !

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