Skip to content

How to choose a surfboard

“You’ll never forget your first surfboard” – surffanatic
Photo by Mateusz Dach on Pexels

The first surfboard is like the first kiss – it might be amazing or not, but you’ll never forget it! There are many factors around how to choose a surfboard but the main ones go like this:

1. What’s your Skill Level?

If you’re a beginner one board it’s quite enough to take to the next level will do. What you want, is to progress, right? Well, you’re focus should be on having fun, that’s what surf is all about. When you enjoy surfing progress happens naturally.

What you want as a beginner is a lot volume and stability. That means you need… that’s right! A bigger board.  A 7 foot, 8 foot board, 20+ inches wide and at least 3 inches thick. A board like that will give you the stability you need at the beginning to catch some waves. A soft-top board is perfect for beginners, that will keep you and everyone around you safe.

Once you get the grasp and feel the board is getting to big and to slow for you, then have a look into polyester and epoxy surfboards.

2. What’s your Fitness Level?

No doubt about the fact the fitness level is key in determining what board to choose. Over time, you’ll gain strength and stamina, that is for sure. That’s the magic of surfing, it gets you fit without you even knowing it. Once you get fitter you can also paddle stronger and that influences the board you need.

If you’re a beginner, it’s normal to get tired easily. It’s part of building your surf persona. To put it easy, fitter you are longer you’ll last in the water paddling onto the waves, and easier it is to surf a smaller, thinner and less buoyant surfboard. Makes sense? Make a balance between your fitness level, skill and board performance.

Age has a word to say when it comes to fitness level. Even if your surfing for years, you got the skill but your energy is not the same as it used to be. That is why sometimes surfers opt for a thicker and wider board and enjoy the waves as they did in the past. That is why two surfers of the same level but 10 difference as age, ride different boards.

3. Your Height and Weight

Height and weight are the most obvious elements when it comes to choosing a  board. Why? Because they influence the force that is exercised on the board. Volume calculators include these determing  factors along with ability, age and the wave type surfed.

Your height and weight will definitely play a key role in determining which boards are best for you to ride. Because these are the most obvious elements, many volume calculators rely heavily on these details to find your perfect surfboard volume.

Simply put, bigger surfer means bigger board, taller surfer means longer board.

4. Wave Size & Type

Where and when you usually surf makes it determining factor as well. As surf is changing depending on the season, you’ll see surfers owning various boards.

Small waves – long board, fun board. Small waves require volume as you know by now

Medium waves – longboard, fun board, hybrid and fish.

Big but not that big waves – shortboards .

BIG XL, XXL waves – gun board.

5. Recap

Take into consideration all these factors when buying a board: skill and fitness level, your body height and weight and the waves you’ll surf. Be true when you start and stay true to what you want to get out from surfing! Think about how often you’ll get out surfing, how often you change spots, and how much love you have for it. Once you have this clear, the right board for you is just waiting to be taken to the water!