My first surfboard help will cut through all the irrelevant information & give you the tools to select the right surfboard for your individual needs.
Choosing the right board is the most important factor when starting out. Following these steps will allow you to experience what surfing is all about, having fun.
If you're going to start surfing follow these steps & give yourself the best chance.
Spend a little bit of time reading through the information as it will save you money & more importantly help you enjoy the surf. Click on the links as you go for more information on each section.
Please remember foam is your friend, if unsure always go with the large size surfboard with more volume!
Calculate your Beginner Volume
This Ideal Volume table will assist you with your starting volume.
Find your surfing level below & then match this with your weight using the Ideal Volume table below. Use this figure with the step 2
- Intermediate / Advance Surfers linking small multiple manoeuvres with less consistently, reasonable power, speed & control | 60% to 70% manoeuvre completion | 7/10 realistic waves you paddle for & catch.
- Intermediate Progressive surfers competently trimming on the wave face & developing small manoeuvres with limited consistently, power, speed & control | 50% to 60% manoeuvre completion | 6/10 realistic waves you paddle for & catch.
- Beginner First time & part time surfers performing at a basic level catching white water & small unbroken waves.
Ideal Volume Table (litres / Vol)
|Weight (Kg)||Inter. / Adv||Intermediate||Beginner|
|35 & Under||16.80||21.00||25.90|
Example: 80kg + Beginner + = 54.40 ltrs
Using your Beginner Volume Figure (litres), add more volume depending on your fitness.
Fitness Volume (Averaged out over a month)
|Excellent - Surfing 4 times per week or other training 4 times per week||Add 0% (0.00)|
|Good - Surfing 3 times per week or other training 3 times per week||Add 5% (1.05)|
|Average - Surfing 2 times per week or other training 2 times per week||Add 10% (1.10)|
|Poor - Surfing 1 times per week or other training 1 times per week||Add 20% (1.20)|
Example: Average Fitness - 54.40 + 5.40 = Beginner Volume 59.80 litres
This figure is your starting point. When selecting a board size make sure it is within 5 litres of your beginner volume. This will ensure you have enough floatation to paddle into waves & stability to stay on your feet.
Note: High volume boards are easy to paddle & have more stability. They are also harder to duck dive under waves & control in the water.
Example: Beginner Volume range 54.40 to 64.80 Vol
What board type should I choose?
In order off the easiest surfboards to start on:
The ultimate in fun and safety for beginner to intermediate surfers of all ages. These boards are incredibly buoyant, stable, easy to ride & great for building confidence in the water.
Generally wider throughout with more stability & paddle power making them the second easiest boards to surf. Hard to duck dive under the waves.
Generally shorter & smaller throughout making them easier to handle in the water & suited to light weight surfers. A little bit easier to duck dive under the waves.
Fish / Grovel boards:
Are more hi performance & progressive than a Mini Mal or Fun board. Only jump to this board type if you have some experience surfing or a good level of fitness & sporting background. The benefit of jumping to a Fish/Grovel board is the ability to push your surfing further then you could on a mini mal or fun board. However this learning stage is very important to get right & could mean the difference between frustration or having an amazing time. Slightly easier to duck dive compared to the Mini Mals & Fuboards.
How to Choose:
Surfing is unique to everyone & there personal preferences. Choose a board type that matches yours needs. For success stick to these four board types & your Beginner Volume Range.
What construction to choose?
There are three main constructions, Soft boards, Polyester (PU) & Epoxy.
Generally made from polyethylene skin with a slick bottom. These boards are soft & very safe to use. Durability ranges depending on the manufacturer. They are more vulnerable to the heat, expanding & contracting. They also have limited performance.
Polyester is the traditional surfboard construction that has been around for years. These boards are less durable than soft boards & epoxy constructions but have more performance. They need a little more care however they are easy to fix if damaged.
Epoxy surfboards are generally more durable & lighter than Polyester boards. They have less performance than traditional Polyester constructions when comparing Beginner board types (less flex). They are harder to fix if damaged.
In general all surfboard constructions have there pro's & cons. They are made with a balance of durability & performance. All surfboards need to treated with care as they are fragile.
Choose a construction that is suited your needs.
Ready to Choose a Surfboard:
By following these four steps you have the tools to buy the right surfboard.
- Calculate your Beginner volume range Step 1 & 2
- Choose a Beginner surfboard type
- Choose a construction
To start searching for Beginner Surfboards click below
Spend some time researching the different surfboard models.
It's a simple process that will get you on great surfboard, avoid unnecessary mistakes a lot of people make when buying their first or second surfboard, it will payoff in fun. Foam is your friend, if unsure always go with the large size surfboard with more volume!