CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOARD FOR YOU
When it comes to surfing, the more honest you are about your level and ability, the quicker it is for you to go into the next step of choosing a board that is right for you. Surfboards come in all shapes and sizes and it can get really confusing, not to mention the difference in rail shapes, foils and bottom contours. Without being too technical and be the surf nerds, we’ll divide the different level of surfers and their important board attributes below.
It is necessary to have longer boards at this stage as it provides stability while trying to manoeuvre and gives you speed while paddling, either to paddle out to the lineup or to catch a wave. A board that is anywhere from a 7’8ft-9’0ft will be a good start.
Another important feature that is crucial for beginners is width. Without the necessary width, your board will wobble whilst you are trying to pop-up on a wave, resulting in a wipe out. The wider the board, the more stable you are on the board, allowing you to have more success at standing up on the board. Anything from 21-23 inches is good.
Without the right thickness, your board and half of your body will be submerged in the water, creating a lot of drag, making it difficult for you to either paddle to the lineup or catching a wave. We have encountered surfers who can be skeptical about how thick a beginner board is as they are afraid to not be able to duck dive. It is true, you won’t be able to. However, you will have more chances of catching lots of waves and have lots of fun. Thickness of around 2 ¾ inches onwards would be the safest bet.
At this stage, don’t even worry about rocker, concaves and foils as you won’t feel any of these until you have progress up to an intermediate level.
Below is our SX9, a board that has been immensly popular for beginners who are gaining more cofidence and catching waves on their own. Click on the image to b
By saying that you are an intermediate surfer, that means you can catch your own waves, going up and down the wave to generate speed and starting to do cutbacks. We would also assume that you have been trying different sizes of boards, coming down in size and trying different boards suited for your volume. A lot of intermediate surfers tend to rush things and push themselves too much to a point where they are punishing their potential abilities, i.e. choosing a generous rocker board, thin rails and going to places where they can’t properly surf due to the lack of experience and skills. Below are the tips to choose your next board to further improve your surfing.
Volume is key. Having too much means it will hinder your ability to learn how to put your rail in the water while doing turns. Your board would feel sluggish and boaty, that feeling of disconnection to the wave. A good way to gauge your volume is by looking at your favourite surfer of the same weight and add on about 5-7L more. Best if you can find a surf shop that rents the boards so you can try different volume to suit your needs.
As an intermediate surfer, you now need to know about different types of rocker to decide on your next board purchase.
Flatter rocker = fast, more drawn out turns and easy to paddle and catch waves.
Curvy rocker= slower but more top to bottom manoeuvrability and tighter turns.
The trickiest part here is finding that fine line that will suit your level and style of
surfing. The perfect combo in our opinion is to get a board with a flatter nose rocker with a generous amount rocker in the tail, giving you that combination of speed and paddle power as well as a board that that will be nice and loose to manoeuvre in most conditions.
The narrower the board the quicker for you to go rail to rail. However, if it gets too narrow, then paddling would become an issue and that means you will lose the ability to catch more waves and you will also lose stability. On the contrary, the wider the board, the slower it is for rail-to-rail transition, yet is good for paddling and stability. A width of anywhere between 19 1/2”inches - 20”inches is a good start. Wide enough to provide you with paddle power and stability yet its narrow enough to lean on that board to do your cutbacks.
With the trend that has been going on since the early 2000s, thanks to the GOAT Kelly Slater, people have started surfing really short boards. The advantage of this is to be able to fit the board in the curve better, easier to do snappier turns and handy to travel with. The problem with this is that coming down from your longboard/minimal/funboard from 7’4-9’0 to a really short board of around the 5’10 mark, you would feel the board rather skatey and out of control. So, it’s good that you take your time going down in size and give it time to get used to it.
Bottom contours can be really confusing for people and yet some people purchase boards that have the wrong contours to their needs. Thankfully with current technology and models, a smaller wave board would generally have double Concave to Vee bottom. By having these attributes, the board would feel looser as the water rushing out from the bottom of the board is channeled out from the Concaves. Having that Vee bottom would also allow the board to go rail to rail with ease especially on smaller, weaker waves. A single concave is normally applied when you have a surfboard with a generous amount of rail rocker. This flattens out the rocker of the board, creating a good amount of lift. It’s normally available in high performance board where precisions and flow are of importance.
Below is our SX6, a board that is perfect for progressing intermediates. A friendly rocker combined with generous tail lift will hav you ripping in no time.
We hope that these attributes will help you to progress into the next level of your surfing. Feel free to come in store to Boardriders, Echo Beach, Canggu to discuss what board will suit you.