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The sports we do are potentially dangerous. Get some lessons from a certified instructor. Children using surfboards should always be supervised by an adult. We aim to stock brands whose suppliers stand by their products 100%.

Here are some useful hints and tip when choosing and buying your first surfboard

THE BOARD

Beginners

When choosing a surfboard, you need to consider your height, weight and ability level. The best surfboard for learning on is the lightest, widest and thickest surfboard you can find. These surfboards float well and move through the water faster as a result, allowing you catch the wave before it breaks. Most surf schools use softboards, and by using these chunky, buoyant, stable boards, you'll be able to develop your technique and style.

Once you have got the hang of it and want to choose your own surfboard, the most sensible option is to buy a custom board i.e. a surfboard that has been hand crafted as opposed to factory produced (but not necessarily produced to an individual's specifications). Generally, the surfboard should be around 1 to 2 ft taller than you. Children are generally lighter and more buoyant than adults so can go for a surfboard with slightly smaller dimensions and around 6 to 18 inches taller. Surfboard widths range from 18 to 21 inches and are usually between 2 to 3 inches thick. Beginners need help with balance and buoyancy so go for something closer to 21 inches wide around 2 to 3 inches thick. Basically, the larger the surfer the thicker and wider the surfboard needs to be. This applies to intermediate surfers too.

The ideal beginner's surfboard to buy is the Mini-Mal. These surfboards have a rounded nose, are long and fairly thick making them really buoyant. They range in size from around 7 to 8ft and are around 2 to 2.5 inches thick. The design of these surfboards enable them to paddle well, making them ideal for catching waves and their width offers the stability all beginners and improvers need. Don't concern yourself too much with the nose and tail dimensions or fins at this stage. All boards have fins, usually one to three, and basically help you grip the water when you turn.

Longboards or Malibus (around 9ft) are another good choice for the beginner for the same reasons as the Minimal, however they are harder to turn and a lot of work to get up and down the beach and out through the surf. If you are aiming to progress to a shortboard, this board will probably hinder that transition, so stick to the mini-mal to perfect your style.


Improvers

Intermediate and advanced surfers will be looking for a Shortboard (also known as a Thruster), which range in size from about 5ft8'' to 6ft10''. These are slender shaped surfboards which have pointed noses and sharp rails (edges) and are used to perform aggressive snappy manoeuvres. Shortboards are not really wide enough, thick enough or long enough to suit a beginner so if you are new to this, don't be tempted by the cool factor - you'll end up getting really frustrated whilst giving your fellow surfers a laugh!.

There are two other types of smaller surfboard and these are the Fish and the Gun. The Fish or Fat Boy, is similar to the Thruster, however is smaller in length but much wider, giving it a slightly more rounded shape (like a fish!). These surfboards can range from 4ft8' to 7ft0'' and are great for improver riders. The Gun is a bigger version of the Shortboard and is used by advanced riders in big surf. The increased length of the surfboard makes it possible to paddle into bigger waves and these surfboards range in length from around 7'2'' to over 12'.


THE ACCESSORIES


After you've bought the surfboard, the rest is fairly cheap. You'll need a leash or legrope to ensure your surfboard stays with you when you wipe out, and you will need to apply a decent layer of wax, or a piece of deck grip, to the top surface of the surfboard for traction. (We'll give you a couple of bars of wax if you buy a surfboard from us, by the way!) If conditions permit, rashvests are an essential bit of kit as they provide a protective layer between you and the board as well as protect you from sunburn; alternatively wetsuits come in a variety of styles (long/short). Choose one carefully. Make sure it's snug but not too tight. Dings in your surfboard will need to be repaired using a good kit to ensure your surfboard doesn't suck in moisture.

All you need now is a little consideration for your fellow surfers, respect for locals and a dash of attitude. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF UK SURF SCHOOLS

TIP

If you are completely new to surfing it might make sense to buy a cheap used surfboard that you can abuse until you are ready to buy your own. Make sure the surfboard has not been snapped before. The repair job will be obvious - check out the paintwork and inspect what's under all those stickers!

The information on this site is provided as a guideline only. It is your responsibility to learn and understand the proper techniques associated with safe participation in these activities. Boardology Ltd assumes no liability for user application of the information provided in this site and any application of the information is at your own risk. Always follow manufacturer instructions and the directions of a certified instructor.

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