How To Choose Your First Surfboard


 How to choose your first surfboard

This is something that nearly everyone gets stuck on. And it’s probably a good thing you did. Buying a surfboard isn’t cheap. You need to make the right choice. You need a board that will last a long time, that will help you to learn well and fast, and that won’t burn an unnecessarily large hole in your pocket! But there are just so many options that it’s dizzying!
Here is an absolutely solid how-to for what will probably be the most important thing in your surfing life: buying your first board. With our guide, you can’t go wrong.

Why do I need my own surfboard?

You’ve started surfing. Maybe you borrow a friend's board, or maybe you rent one. Or maybe you’re part of a surf club. But ideally, you have your own surfboard. Here’s why you should have your own surfboard:

• You’ll be able to surf whenever you want. All you need is to be able to get to the waves.

• You’ll be able to use the same board all the time. Instead of constantly having to adjust to make up for the difference in your board, you’ll be able to spend more time really learning how to surf well.


• If you get your own surfboard, it’s very likely that it will be better quality than anything you’ve used before, so you’ll enjoy surfing more, and you’ll progress faster.

• It’s pretty cool having a surfboard in the home

What size should my first surfboard be?.


Why not to buy a shortboard:

Short boards are generally anything up to around the 6’6” mark, but really the name refers to the shape of the board. A short board is generally narrow, thin and, yes, short. The nose is narrow, which means there’s not a lot of volume under your chest, so you will struggle to catch waves. The tail is thin, so it will feel very unstable and it will be hard to go in the direction that you want to go. Need more reasons? These boards are for very experienced surfers. You’ll spend a LOT longer struggling to learn with this kind of board than you would with a nice big longboard.

Why to buy a mini-mal:


A mini-mal (one of many names) has more volume. It’s thicker. It’s wider. The nose is rounder. It’s just bigger. This helps you catch waves. More waves means more time to practice surfing waves. The width and thickness will make it much easier to balance and decide on your direction. A good beginner board is generally between 7’2” to 7’6”. Too big and it becomes hard to control, too small and it becomes hard to catch waves and balance. The width should be between 19 – 22 inches across at the widest part, and the it should be more or less the same the whole way through the board. It should be 2 – 3 inches thick. Remember: the bigger the better, but do take your size, strength and weight into consideration too. If you are a small, young child, you won’t need a board quite as big as a big, muscle-bound man. Check out the boards to the right to compare a shortboard and a mini-mal.


Epoxy or PU?

There are good points about both of these types of boards, and at the end of the day the choice is down to you. Epoxy is generally stronger – it’s harder to damage and easier to make it last longer. The draw-back is that with epoxy boards for beginners, they don’t quite have the same feel as PU (Polyester) boards do, and PU boards are to this day the most popular choice. PU boards are generally made a little bit better, so as soon as you start progressing you’ll find that it’s easier to learn the more technical parts of surfing on a PU board. However, PU boards are more likely to ding than Epoxy boards, and an Epoxy board doesn't delaminate or discolour.
In a nutshell – if you want a board that’s going to be strong and last a long time without having to be too careful, choose an Epoxy board. If you want a board that’s going to help you surf better, and you don’t mind having to be extra-careful with it, choose a PU board.

Before you know it, you'll be as good as these guys! Just kidding, you'll improve really fast with the right surfboard.

How much should I spend? 

Some people will say you only want a cheap surfboard because you’re going to be bashing it up and progressing onto a smaller board quickly. Well, they’re half way there. You’re probably going to be bashing it around a lot, and if everything goes according to plan you will*be moving onto a shorter board before too long. Why not settle for the cheapest board you can find? Here’s why:

      • It’s important to get a good quality surfboard in order to get the proper foundation you need to progress as a surfer. Could you learn to play guitar well on a guitar that comes out of tune every couple of minutes? Maybe, but it’d take one heck of a long time. A surfboard pretty much works the same way. A good surfboard sets you up to get good technique.

A good quality board will last longer. If you buy any old cheap surfboard, especially if it’s PU(Polyester), it’s likely to discolour and delaminate faster. Also, it’s likely to only be thinly glassed, which means it won’t be as strong and will be easier to ding. When aboard dings, it’s essential to get it repaired, which can be expensive or time-consuming. If it’s not repaired, the foam will soak up salt water. Then it will become heavy, and will break from the inside out.

    • Now, I’m not telling you to go out and buy an incredi
    • bly expensive board. And sometimes people do get lucky and they find good surfboards at a good price. Prices of surfboards also change depending on where you are in the world. But variables aside, you should be looking at spending between €275 and €350. This is more than you should pay for a banged-up old board, but considerably less than a €600 pro’s surfboard. Remember, it pays to shop around!



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