Don’t bother looking – you’ll never find THE board you need as, in actual fact, you’ll need SEVERAL boards suited to you, depending on the conditions. There’s a whole host of factors involved in choosing your surfboard; it’s safe to say getting a surfboard is far from easy. Above all, you need to take into account your build, your surfing level and the spot you go to.
BUILD AND SURFING LEVEL
First thing’s first, ask yourself these questions:
What’s your surfing level? Beginner? Intermediate? Advanced?
How often will you be going surfing or want to go surfing? Every day? Every week? Once a month? Only during the summer?
How keen are you about surfing? Are you prepared to go surfing in all temperatures to make headway? Do you want to get up and follow the waves? Do you want to surf like a pro?
How fit are you: do you do other types of sport apart from surfing (jogging, team sports, other…)
What’s your build? Small, large?
Thanks to these answers, we can now guide you and help you choose the size of your surfboard!
This table will enable you to choose your board based on your weight and level. For advanced level surfers, the 6′ is for steep hollow waves, the 6’6” and 6’2” for more mushy waves while the 9′ longboard is a “performance'” board so it’s suitable for any type of wave. The 6’ fish can also be adapted to an advanced level for summer waves.
What’s the outline of a surfboard?
The outline corresponds to the overall shape of the board.
This is what determines its dimensions. 90% of the time, they will be given in feet/inches (imperial measurements). The harmony of the board lies in the combination of the length, width and thickness.
The rocker is the bottom curve that gives the board its “banana” shape (profile).
A board with low rocker (flat) is faster as it provides greater buoyancy when paddling and a better take-off on small waves but it’s more difficult to turn round.
A board with considerable rocker is easier to handle and ensures a better take-off in hollow and strong waves.
Long narrow boards with rocker are designed for hollow and strong waves (e.g. a gun).
On the other hand, a short wide board with minimal rocker is best for small mushy waves and consequently for beginners.
If you’re new to surfing we recommend getting a board between 2.20m (7’2”) and 2.60m (8’6”). They’re called Malibus or longboards (from 2.74m = 9′ upwards).
Go for a board that floats (volume), that’s easy to get on, thick, wide and with low rocker in order to experience the thrill of surfing very quickly!
SURFBOARD SIZE GUIDE:
As the dimensions of surfboards are usually given in feet/inches, there’s a conversion table below: foot/inch-metre/centimetre
1 inch = 2.54 centimetres
12 inches = 1 foot = 30.48 centimetres
For example a 5’11” shortboard = 180.34 centimetres
We recommend beginners use foam boards as they will allow you to catch your first waves in complete safety without affecting performance.
WHICH SURFBOARD IS BEST FOR SUMMER?
In summer, the waves are more mushy than in winter. Your surfboard should therefore be bigger to make it easier for you to surf.
STURDINESS AND CARE
Sturdiness: it mainly depends on what the board is made of and its technology.
|EPOXY BOARDS||POLYESTER BOARDS||FOAM BOARDS|
|Boards made with a strong resin surface-coated with Gelcoat. This type of board avoids dents but the paintwork might chip.||Boards made with a resin that isn’t overly strong. This type of board isn’t particularly resistant but can be repaired easily unlike epoxy boards. Using wood stringers also makes the board sturdier.||Boards made with polystyrene foam. Polystyrene absorbs impacts and avoids dents. Using wood stringers also makes the board sturdier.|
Looking after a board is first and foremost a question of ensuring it doesn’t get damaged. That’s why when you’re carrying it around make sure you put a cover over it that will absorb knocks.
The nose and tail are the parts of the board that are the most likely to suffer damage. You can use a noseguard for minor repairs or as protection.
It’s important to remember that you must have the following gear for surfing:
– A leash: 1.9m for shortboards, 2.4 m for mini-malibuses and 3 m for longboards.
– Wax: helps you from slipping off the board. There are different types of wax designed for variations in the temperature of the water.
– A top: to protect you from the sun and rubbing.