Surf season may not be at its peak but that’s no reason not to shop for boards. In fact, buying a couple now could make you eligible for a discount being off-season and all (in some places, at least).
If this is your first time shopping for surfboards, a little advice is invaluable. There are several styles designed for specific surf conditions. Boards favored by professionals may also not be to your liking (just yet) as they require well-practiced skill. Check out these board styles to find out which is up your alley.
Longboard: Also called ‘logs’, longboards measure around 9 feet in length. They have a rounded nose which, combined with the size, makes them very stable and, therefore, perfect learning boards. However, the large size also means you may struggle to get through the surf. Practice will make it much easier and since the board is ideal for amateurs, you should be able to learn to handle the size very soon.
Stunts such as the hang five and hang ten are possible on a longboard.
Shortboard: Where a longboard is long with a rounded nose, a shortboard generally measures not more than 6’4” and has a slightly pointed nose. It’s easy to assume that a shorter board would be simpler to ride but the lack of length means maintaining balance is tough. Disregard this board if you’re a beginner but begin practicing once you’ve mastered all of the basics. Be prepared for bursts of speed and being able to quickly cut corners.
Funboard: A funboard’s length is between a longboard and a shortboard, up to 8 feet max. It has a lot of volume in the middle so balancing is easy. It’s great for amateurs looking to move to a shortboard but who are still apprehensive of the lack of length it has. A funboard gives them this confidence till they’re ready to move onto the tricky shortboard.
Fish: The fish style is as short as a shortboard but that’s where the resemblance ends. It has a rounder nose, wider middle and a swallow tail which gives it an actual fish-like appearance. Fish styles are perfect for small to medium waves where speed and maneuvering can be maintained. They paddle extremely well, even more so than a shortboard but as mentioned, confine them to small to medium waves as you’ll have trouble keeping hold.
Gun: Designed for large waves, gun surfboards have a very pointy nose and are thinner than shortboards. They’re very long, however, reaching lengths of over 10 feet. This lets surfers gain speed while paddling so you can catch that huge wave. The added length lends more control especially when surfing at high speeds.
Bodyboard: This is for the true beginner, child and for someone who’s not really eager to try out surfing. Bodyboards are very short and rectangular in shape, not meant to be stood on but rather to be laid on. They can be picked up at any surf accessories store for a cheap price.
This quick list of board styles should help you find one that matches what you want to learn on the surf. The more you progress, the more you’ll be able to master more board styles which will increase your versatility on the vast expanse of surf.
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