How To Buy A Surfboard
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first surfboard or your hundredth, buying a new surfboard is always an exciting, yet scary, undertaking.
It’s exciting to get a new surfboard that might help you surf better and rip harder. But, there’s always a nagging fear that maybe you’re getting the wrong board and investing in something that’s a bust.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re stoked on your next stick. We’ll share some tips and tricks to keep in mind the next time you go buying a surfboard so you can avoid getting something that just won’t go.
How To Buy A Surfboard: For Beginners
If you’re looking to buy your first surfboard, there are a few things you need to know.
The good news is that by reading this, you won’t be overwhelmed by the sight of so many boards when you walk into a surf shop.
You’ll know exactly what you need so you can get the very best board for you.
The first is that surfing is hard and you probably won’t be very good. But everyone had to start somewhere, so that’s totally fine.
The second thing to know when looking for your first surfboard is that you want to get a board that will help you overcome the difficulty of surfing.
You want a board that will make paddling, popping up, and riding as easy as possible. To get that easy to ride board, there are few key concepts that you’ll want to factor in to your decision.
The longer the board, the easier it will be for you to paddle on it. More length means more area for the board plane above the water. So remember, the longer your board is, the easier you’ll be able to paddle into and catch waves because they can go faster more easily.
One problem if your board is too long is that it becomes difficult to maneuver. But, if you’re looking at buying your first surfboard, this won’t be a problem for a long while.
Thickness is the distance between a board’s deck and the bottom of the board.
The thicker the board, the more volume it will have. More volume means that your board will have more buoyancy.
More buoyancy is what you want if you’re a novice surfer.
It will make everything about riding your board a little easier since you won’t need to spend so much effort just trying to keep your board from staying under water.
The width of your board determines how stable it feels when you pop up and when you are standing. Too much width can make it hard for you to turn your board. But as a beginner, you will want as much help balancing as you can get. So don’t be afraid to look for a wide board.
Foam Boards vs Fiberglass Surfboards
Fiberglass surfboards are the traditional way to make surfboards. But these boards are less buoyant and much more difficult to ride on than soft top surfboards.
Plus foam surfboards are safer and more durable than fiberglass boards. They don’t ding so if you land on your board or run it into the sand, you won’t have to worry about dropping an extra hundred dollars on a ding-repair.
Foam surfboards are also just softer, hence the name soft top. It’s likely that you will fall on your board or get hit by some part of your board. Soft tops are a great way to avoid injuring yourself so you can stay in the water longer and up your wave count.
I know it’s difficult. We get into surfing because we see someone like John John Florence or Kelly absolutely ripping and we want to surf like that. They don’t ride long soft tops, so we shouldn’t either. Wrong.
You think you might want a shortboard, but those boards are designed for high performance surfing in powerful waves. Neither of which is suitable for any beginner who wants to get into surfing. Pretty much the only thing a short board have going for them is that they are easy to duck dive under waves.
The 3 Best To Buy
#1 Verve 8'
If you’re buying your first surfboard, it’s hard to do better than South Bay Board Company’s Verve 8’.
It checks all the boxes of what we want to look for in a new surfing beginner board.
Besides the outstanding soft top construction, 8’ is the ideal length for a beginner board.
It is long enough to be easy to paddle but doesn’t threaten being too long to maneuver.
The Verve also has plenty of volume and width.
All of this is to say, catching waves and standing is easy on this board.
Another feature of the Verve that helps any beginning surfer is the pronounced nose rocker.
The extra rocker, or curve, in the nose will make it much more difficult for you or any surfer to accidentally nose dive on this board.
The curve throughout the nose makes this board want to help you make the drop so you can ride waves.
#2 Ruccus 7'
The Ruccus 7’ is modelled on the traditional funboard shape and that is a good way to describe this board.
It’s a fun board for any skill level.
You may have a more difficult time paddling the Ruccus as opposed to a board like the Verve.
But, the Ruccus has plenty of volume and width which means that standing on this board will still be a breeze.
Plus, once you’re up on any of your waves, you’ll have an easier time maneuvering on the Ruccus.
One other benefit of the Ruccus is its wax free deck. The Ruccus is ready to paddle out on from the get go.
With no need for wax, you are always ready to go and will have an easier time maximizing your wave count. Which will lead to improvement.
#3 Guppy 6'
Though on the smaller side, the Guppy 6’ is still an excellent choice for a beginner board.
It is especially suited for beginners on the small side like groms. For the smaller surfer, the Gupppy has better proportions so it is still easy to ride.
Though maybe not ideal if you're buying your first new board, this is an excellent option if you are looking for your second or third surfboard. The smaller size will help you maneuver on waves as you continue to improve your surfing.
The Guppy is also more buoyant for its size than a traditional board due to its EPS foam construction.
This is good for you since it means that you can have more maneuverability on waves and not sacrifice stability or flotation. The Guppy 6’ gives a good blend of everything a beginner board should have for any surfer.