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Choosing Your First Surfboard

Omkar Phatak
Clueless about how to choose your first surfboard, are you? Then browse through this write-up to know how to select one that best suits your surfing style and expertise level.
If riding on sea waves has always been your dream and you have finally reached the point where you are ready to try it out, the first thing to do is buy a surfboard. As you know, it is an adventure sport, wherein you ride the incoming waves on the seashore using a board as your vehicle.

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Your surfboard needs to be such that it can take the lashing of incoming waves, should have the right design to cut through the waves and float over them, while providing a solid base to take your weight.

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The image of the blue sea with rising and falling waves and a surfer riding them with grace and balance! What a sight and a feeling it is indeed.

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Though great surfers make it look easy, it is a fact that it's a dangerous sport and beginners should not take this fact lightly. Like every adventure sport, safety lies in choosing the right equipment and right technique.

How to Choose Your First One?

Surfboards come in various types and sizes. It is essential that you take your first surfing lessons or learn it from someone who knows surfing, before venturing in the sea on your own. While the traditional boards, first used in Hawaii, are made of wood, modern surfboards are made from polystyrene and even carbon fiber. Here are the features you need to look out for.


One of the most important factors, of course, is the length of the board. Ideally, this has to be longer than your height so that you can easily lie down on it to paddle through, when the waves are down. The greater length is also beneficial because it provides greater stability. So the length of the board has to be up to or more than 7 feet. A longboard is always the safest choice for beginners.


The second most important parameter of course is the width of the board, which is recommended to be at least 19 inches. In fact, beginners are better off with boards that have a width up to 21 inches.
Choose the length and width that is appropriate for your weight and height. Take an instructor's advice into consideration and take a look at the size chart before choosing.


One of the most important features that needs to be primarily considered is the thickness, as it decides the strength of your board. It is highly recommended that you go for a board, which is at least 2-3 inches in thickness as it provides the requisite strength. However, see to it that the board is not too rigid also. It needs flexibility to be able to withstand the wave impact. Make sure that the board has a leash, which will help you control it.

Types of Boards

There are many standard types of boards, including short boards, longboards, and medium length boards with features like fins and special tails. However, a beginner need not bother himself with any advanced features as the default choice for them is the longboard. Amateurs are advised to start with cheap, used boards, as they take a lot of battering initially.

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Let safety be the main point of concern when choosing the board and select one which ensures that you are protected while surfing.
As discussed before, a broad and long surfboard is what a beginner must opt for, instead of going for a thin, sleek, and short one. You can graduate to those later when you have greater control while surfing. Wish you all the best and safe surfing!