Top tips for choosing the best surfboard
Picking your surfboard is quite an exciting job, especially if it's your first! You might already be planning your day at the beach, tackling those waves just the way you've been dreaming about. If you want to make the most of your day, be safe, and still have fun, you need the best surfboard.
But what makes a surfboard the right one for you? To answer this question, there are plenty of details to think of. You should consider your surfing experience, the waves you'll be riding, and your level of physical fitness while selecting a surfboard. Of course, its design should match your personality to make surfing even cooler.
So, which shape, size, and design is the right one for you? We’ve got you covered with some great tips on choosing the perfect surfboard. Let’s explore them together.
What to look for in a surfboard?
A surfboard should be sturdy but not too stable so that it may be manoeuvred with just the perfect amount of ease. Finding your balance should be simple, but make use of the freedom to ride the waves however you like. Even in large waves, the surfboard's shape is intended to make paddling easy. These are the traits to look for in a surfboard to master all these details:
How well does your surfboard float?
If we examine the mechanics of floating, this depends on the amount of space your boards occupy. Your surfboard should quickly lift at the correct time and provide you with the necessary speed for you to catch the waves. Boards with a bigger volume are therefore better since they reduce drag. Longboards and midsize surfboards will typically have more volume because they allow riders to jump on a wave at an earlier, deeper stage.
The drive of the surfboard
The drive explains how the energy of both you and the wave contributes to forward motion. You'll need a board with good flex, the appropriate fins, and the proper kind of rail profiles for this. When we refer to rail profiles, we are talking about the board's thickness, which determines its floatability, also known as buoyancy. For instance, harder rail profiles offer more manoeuvrability, whereas softer rail profiles help with floatability and propulsion.
How much does your board resemble a banana?
As seen from the side profile, a board with less water contact runs more efficiently and builds up to paddling speed much more quickly than a board with a lot of flex. They enable easier turning and manoeuvrability when riding. Furthermore, a lot of rocker can prevent the nose of the board from burying itself underwater into the water when taking on steep waves.
Picking the right size for your surfboard
All beginners can attest to the fact that a bigger surfboard is always better than a smaller one. However, there will be a variety of reasons why you'll change the size of your surfboard as you learn to surf.
When paddling into waves on a longboard, you can still do it even if you're a little too far back on the tail. They glide well and need less effort to paddle than smaller boards since they are long and flat. If you're too far back on a smaller board, you'll have too much drag and never catch waves. But to choose the proper size, we must consider the surfboard's volume and your experience.
If you're a beginner, your longboard should be 91 cm longer than your height. This surfboard size will help you learn to turn and easily paddle a longboard.
Intermediate surfers have more room to play when choosing the size of the board. Longboards should still be 91 cm taller than you, whereas funboards might range from 30 to 60 cm taller depending on the shape and design of the surfboard. A fish-style board size, for instance, is normally 5–10 cm smaller than your shortboard. The ideal size for a shortboard, on the other hand, is 5 to 15 cm taller than you. However, that also depends on the size of the waves you'll be riding.
For expert surfers, the board length does not always get shorter as they advance. The skilled surfer, however, alters his riding style and reduces the size of his board to focus on particular objectives. In less-than-ideal surfing circumstances, they seek to achieve their highest goals.
Different materials surfboards are made from
The material from which a surfboard is made determines its strength, buoyancy, and ability to flex. These are the materials that are most frequently used to manufacture surfboards.
Foam boards are ideal for beginners! They are stronger, more stable, and all-around easier to catch and ride waves on than a fibreglass board. Stability, lightweight, durability, and ease of paddling are all ensured, to name a few. A foam-top surfboard is much harder to dent than a standard hardtop surfboard.
Surfboards made from fibreglass
The name "fibreglass surfboard" comes from the fact that it has a polyurethane core that is coated in fibreglass. Although they are more prone to breakage, fibreglass surfboards may flex in the waves better than epoxy surfboards. Because of this, they are slightly more suitable for intermediate or experienced surfers.
Epoxy surf boards
Due to their lighter weight and the type of foam used in the centre, epoxy surfboards float extremely well. Surfboard foam blanks constructed of the widely used EPS foam are used to build epoxy surfboards, which are lighter and more buoyant. With a surfboard like this, beginners will find it much easier to catch a wave.