Which Surfboard is Right for Me?
The range of boards available to us is immense, so it's not surprising that deciding the sort of board to buy can be confusing and overwhelming. There are key things to consider when researching the best fit for you, so we’ve made it that bit simpler by sharing our surfboard size guide to ensure that perfect fit!
Types of waves
Choosing the right surfboard first starts with the type of wave you will regularly be riding. If you are a beginner, the chances are that you’ll be hitting the beach breaks in spring and summer time when the waves roll gently up the shore with less of a kick. However, if you’ve conquered the basics and are ready to give yourself a challenge you may be ready to tackle the faster, steeper and more powerful waves that the autumn and winter swells bring to our coastline.
Choosing a Novice Surfboard
For a beginner, your best bet is a soft top (foamie) board between 7-9 ft in length. Foamies provide the perfect aid in practising the fundamentals of surfing, with the high volume, large surface area and buoyancy which helps with stability, easy paddle outs and consistency to catching waves that a resin (hard-top) board doesn't, plus when you wipe out you don't have a hard resin board crashing down and either you or your fellow surfers.
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.
Choosing a Beginner’s Surf Board
So, you can consistently ride waves on your Soft top and you are ready to paddle out the line-up, catch some green waves and start practising and performing some basic turns and manoeuvres. Well, it's time to upgrade from your soft top foam board to a hard top resin board!
Choosing a Surfing Style
You’ll now want to think about the style of surfing you want to achieve. Is that the sharp performance style you see in competitive surfing or the flowing ease of longboarding that is synonymous with the 60’s style?
If you dream of hanging ten and long sweeping turns then a longboard 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. One thing to note is that the longer the board, the harder it is to manoeuvre.
Shorter Style Boards
However, if you want to be the next Kelly Slater, a longboard isn't what you're looking for. A shorter style board such as a fish or speed egg, usually under 6ft, provides speed and manoeuvrability to achieve those sharp turns that send spray high into the air.
The perfect style for your first hard top board is a fish tail, with its wide body and high volume to provide support without limiting you on the wave, so you can still practice your cutbacks without much drag. We suggest the 5'10 Oxbow Fish, which features a nice wide 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 to compensate by increasing the width and thickness to keep the volume to assist you in your progression.
Choosing an Intermediate Surf Board
You are confident in your pop-up, you can paddle out on bigger days, you can generate speed and navigate turns to keep moving with the open face of the wave. Well, it sounds like you are ready for your first short style board!
The most forgiving of these entry level shortboards is a groveler, with a nose much like a longboard and a wider tail, it generates tons of paddle speed and is unmatched in poor conditions making it a fun shreddable board for just about any day.
The Pyzel Mini Ghost is a fantastic board to take your surfing to the next level. With its wide, flat deck and thicker rails this board provides stability and structure without limiting your mobility, and the added volume under the chest area makes for the ultimate paddle experience, so no more jelly arms from fighting to paddle out on those bigger days.
What volume surfboard do you need?
For the beginner to intermediate, a sure fire way to make sure you have the right board for your body is to ensure that your board is the same volume in weight as you. For example, if you weigh 80kg, we advise purchasing an 80 litre board.
The more advanced surfer has the skill and ability to handle a board up to 40% of their weight, so for that 80kg individual, around 36 litres is perfect. If you need help working out the best board volume for you, feel free to get in touch with our expert team.
Whether it is your first time in the sea or you have experience 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 board you choose. If you want to know more about board types you can visit our blog or alternatively contact a member of our team.