A Quick Guide To Buying Your First Surfboard
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So there it is, you decided to take on surfing. You are ready for a life of watching impatiently the swell, white water, washing machine wipe outs, getting your first green wave, yoga session, cracked lips, burnt nose and ocean hair.

You know already that you have signed up for tired arms, painful back and hours in the water. But let’s face it, it’s all worth it when you catch that wave, just the way you wanted.

You know you are also going for a lifestyle of amazing times in the ocean, late nights, travels and awesome banter. 

Now that you are committed to the sport, time to get yourself a board.

What board? What size? Colours? Shapers? Finish? Fins? Leash? Price? Second hand? New? Online? In a shop?

That’s a lot of questions. So let’s get down to it point by point!

 

Function Over Fashion

You don’t want to go for that pretty 5’2, with the pretty custom design on it.

What’s the bloody point? Ok, it might look awesome when you are driving around with that board on your roof. But when the time comes to get into the water, what are you going to do? 

Consider your height and weight, your abilities and where you want to take your surfing. Don’t know yet? Well that’s ok. One of the pros of going down to an actual surfshop is that you will get people who (in theory) know what they are talking about and will help you decide. Now don’t be the guy who spend hours with the shop assistant getting heaps of advice and then gets it cheaper online. Of course it’s nice to save a few quids, but you also want to think of all these independent surf shops who depend on people’s passions and trust into their knowledge.

 

Think improving your skills. 

Where are you with your surfing? Just getting to stand up? Are you already out of the white wash and paddling for that green wave? Whatever your level, think practical. Think what will actually suit where you are going to surf the most, and what will make you progress. Yes, may be 8-9 months down the line you’ll be ready to upgrade, but plenty of places will take off your hands/exchange your board for something else when you are ready. 

Colours and pretty stuff can be added later!

Don’t worry too much if the board you have in mind is all white and “boring” and not those vibrant colours you see all these cool people shredding the waves with. You can do it yourself! Get some posca and stickers and get creative. Just put some lacquer on top to make it yours.

 

Prices?

Well, anything which is not a shortboard is going to be more expensive. But actually get something out of your board, rather than going for a very optimistic short one because of the price.

Minimals go for around 350 pounds give or take. 6’10 to 7’+ for about the same and more. Check as well if what you are going for includes a bag, fins, leash and depending on the board a tailpad.

Thinking on going on our 10 Week Surf Adventure in South Africa? Get your board down there!

Mine was a 6’10 from Lifestyle surfshop down in Muizeberg, Cape Town for a mere 200 quid for board, bag, fins, tailpad and leash.

 

Size?

Unlike my ex when it comes to surfboards size doesn’t matter – Here is a bit of a breakdown!

 

Longboards tend to be, well, long and big (and quite heavy sometimes too) but have several advantages like suiting most waves and providing an easy paddle out.

Mals/Minimals are the “go to” board especially for beginners, nice and responsive enough, it would be your first choice to start with and progress with. 

Shortboards are very responsive, easy to duck dive with, and suits big waves. And yes, they look heaps cools, but you kind of have to work to get there. So keep surfing and think of them as your reward if that’s where you want to take your surf to.

 

What are you waiting for?

Grab your board, slap on some zinc and get to the surf!

Have a good paddle and let us know about your first board!

 

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ally toullec epic gap year travel blogger

 This is a guest post by blog ambassador Ally Toullec

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