The range of surfboards available to us is immense, so it's not surprising that deciding the type of surfboard to buy can be confusing and overwhelming. There are vital things to consider when researching the best surfboard for you, so we've made it that bit simpler by sharing our surfboard size guide to ensure that perfect fit!
- What volume of surfboard is right for me?
- What are the types of surfboards?
- What surfboard is best for complete beginners?
- What is the best surfboards for beginners to progress on?
- Is a longboard surfboard right for me?
- Is a shortboard surfboard right for me?
What Volume Surfboard Do I Need?
For the beginner to intermediate, a surefire way to ensure you have the right surfboard for your body is to ensure that your board has a minimum of the same volume in weight as you, but ideally, you are looking for a board with more volume than your weight. The more advanced surfer has the skill and ability to handle a board as little as 40% of their weight. Contact our expert team if you need help working out the best board volume.
Whether it is your first time in the sea or you have experienced shredding unbroken waves, having the right style, length and volume for your ability and body type is crucial if you want to get the most out of the surfboard you choose. You can refer to the chart below to determine a rough volume you should be aiming to purchase.
It is worth noting that as your surfing ability progresses, the volume will change depending on the size of the board. For example, a performance shortboard may have less volume to assist in manoeuvrability, whereas a fishtail may have more volume to provide a sweeping style to your surfing.
Types Of Surfboard
There are countless designs and styles of surfboards, and shapers are continuously creating new and refined designs for waves all over the world. However, there are some main styles of surfboards that are the bread and butter of the surfing world. These are:
- Beginners foam surfboards
- Mid-length mini-mal surfboards
- Longboard surfboards
- Fun Fish & Retro boards
- Shortboard surfboards
What Surfboard Is Best For Beginners?
For a beginner, your best bet is a foam surfboard between 7-9 ft in length. Foamies provide the perfect aids when practising the fundamentals of surfing, with the high volume, large surface area and buoyancy, which all help with stability, easy paddle outs and consistency to catching waves that a resin (hard-top) board doesn't.
The last few years have seen a growing popularity in the use of soft top boards and all shapes and sizes. However, when you are first starting, the best length is often between 6-9ft, offering you that stability and room to master your pop-up and be cruising down waves in no time. We love the Sorted Surf Premium foam boards due to their high-quality materials and construction to give you a board that will catch all the waves. Perfect for the entire family.
The Best Surfboards For Beginners To Progress On
The next step up from a foam surfboard is a minimal surfboard. They often have similar dimensions to the foam surfboards, with higher volume, a rounded tail and nose, and minimal rocker, making them the intelligent choice when learning to surf. They provide stability and paddle power but with a bit more manoeuvrability, making them ideal for a learner surfer to progress on. So, you can consistently ride waves on your foam surfboard, and you are ready to paddle out the line-up, catch some green waves and start practising and performing some basic turns and manoeuvres.
However, you can continue to use a foam surfboard as you progress, as they are offered in many shapes and designs, such as a fishtail foamie.
Is A Longboard Surfboard Right For Me?
If you dream of hanging ten and long sweeping turns, then a longboard surfboard is the one for you. Often over 8-9ft long, this type of board is perfect for smaller to medium waves, allowing you to increase your wave count and make the most of your time, as the more waves you catch, the faster you'll progress.
Because of the above reasons, a longboard surfboard can still be an excellent option for someone relatively new to surfing; however, they require a little more skill and strength to turn, so you will want to ensure that you are a skill level that is appropriate for the board. We recommend that you are confident in catching unbroken waves, getting to your feet the majority of the time and able to perform a basic bottom turn before progressing to a longboard.
Is A Shortboard Surfboard Right For Me?
Shortboard surfboards in the 21st century are often the preferred style of many intermediate and advanced surfers. A shorter style board allows you to generate unparalleled speed on a wave and perform aggressive manoeuvres and snappy turns.
A popular retro style of shortboard surfboard is a fishtail, with its vast body and high volume to provide support without limiting you on the wave, so you can still practice your manoeuvres without much drag. We suggest the 5'10 Oxbow Fish, which features a comprehensive template and a 3-fin thruster setup making it an easy-to-paddle and consistent board.
We suggest that if you purchase a board under 5.5ft, compensate by increasing the width and thickness to keep the volume to assist you in your progression.
There are countless styles and designs for shortboard surfboards; however, performance shortboards are synonymous with the professional manner of surfing. They are characterised by their pointed nose, low volume and heavy rocker; However, these elements can make it challenging to ride as a beginner, and these same qualities allow you to perfect your advanced surfing.
We know surfers come in all shapes and sizes, so that’s why we have a variety of surfboards to make sure there is something for everyone! Surfboards are designed to float so that we can successfully catch waves, so for heavier surfers it really is as simple as choosing a bigger board.
Generally speaking, our plus-sized surfers (especially those who are tall) like to ride longboards. Longboards have great buoyancy and the length of the surfboard will make it far easier to paddle and catch waves than a shortboard.
We would recommend choosing a longboard that is a minimum of 9” which we stock plenty of here at Wetsuit Centre. Our 9”6 longboards are particularly popular with bigger riders, and we stock 9”6 boards from best-selling surfboard brand NSP.
Remember that longboards aren’t just for larger framed riders, and can be enjoyed by everyone. In fact, a lot of surfers choose to solely ride longboards due to their relaxing style and paddle power. Being able to catch more waves = having more fun out in the water!
Alongside choosing the right board for you, we also have a plus-size wetsuit guide which shares simple tips and tricks to make sure your suit is the perfect fit.
If you need any further guidance on what surfboard is right for you, feel free to get in touch with our expert team here at Wetsuit Centre. If you want to see some of the products in person, then head down to our warehouse where our knowledgeable staff will be on hand to help.