The type of surfboard you choose makes all the difference to your surf sessions. A mini-mal or a shorter length longboard are good choices that will often work in most conditions even for complete beginner surfers. However, surfing isn't just about standing up on a board. Surfing is foremost about enjoying the time in the water, whether floating or sitting on your board in the line up, and then maybe being able to catch a lot of waves. The attitude that we all bring into the water makes a massive difference to how much we enjoy the sport and the atmosphere in the line up.
So as part of bringing more fun to the surf it is essential to choose a board that matches your ability, the waves of the day and the surf break itself. To help guide you in your surfboard choices here are a few ideas for when the surf turns on:
There is nothing like rocking up to a view of rolling mellow waves. Line after line of fat sets making their slow way into shore begs for longboards to be brought into action. Longboards
are very stable, buoyant, and respond well to thicker slower paced waves, enabling earlier take offs and very long rides. So reach for anything that is 7ft6” plus, get your paddle stroke on, and enjoy the relaxed nature of classic surfing.
- 2- Sharp, fast and powerful waves
When it comes to punchy waves pretty much only shortboards
will be able to handle the speed and the drops asked of you. Shortboards are designed to be hyper manoeuvrable, ensuring that you can maximise your time carving into the pocket of the wave. Think pointed and often three find thrusters in design, shortboards range between 5ft6” and 7ft6” in size. What they offer in speed and dexterity they loose in stability and buoyancy, so make sure that you are ready to progress to a shortboard before actually renting or buying a board.
- 3- Massive thickset waves
If the horizon appears to be moving then it is probably time to get out of the surf unless you particularly like huge swells and happen to be an expert surfer. For those that love big surf, it is all about the ‘gun'. Known for their pointed long designs, gun surfboards are created to ride massive waves, enabling surfers to paddle into waves of 12ft plus. Generally 7ft or more in length, a 'gun' is a specialist piece of equipment that needs a fast moving large wave face in order to fulfil its function in life.
For those perfect smaller glassy days when all you want to do is jump into the salt water, bring out a fish surfboard. A perfect combo of the longboard's buoyancy and stability mixed with the shortboard's manoeuvrability and speed, fish surfboards are created to easily catch waves. So expect high wave counts, and ample opportunities to do quality movements, or simply enjoy the easy nature of the board. Fish are great to paddle, light to carry, and even fit inside a car no problem. Possibly the best board to invest in when looking to progress your surfing from a beginners mini-mal.