Learning how to surf is not easy. One of the significant things to decide on before you begin knowing what will be your first surfboard and choosing a board for surfing used to be so easy. However, the choices offered these days are so varied in size, shape, length, and material used.
There are many different types of boards. Some are made for speed, while others are made for easy handling. However, it is important to remember that different types correspond to your level as a surfer. So, it is best to buy one that matches your level.
What Is A Surfboard?
Surfboards are a fundamental part of the sport and are considered a hydrodynamic object. Although it looks simple, it has special features that help your performance as you ride the waves. For example, the thickness of the board ranges from 4.8 to 9 inches, while the length ranges from 5 to 13 feet. It also comes in different shapes to accommodate different ocean and wind conditions.
What Are The Materials Used?
There are various materials used to make a surfboard, and the most common are soft-top foam, wood, polyurethane, and epoxy.
- Soft-top Foam – Foam boards are buoyant and stable, which makes them perfect for beginners. These boards are relatively cheap, require low maintenance, and won’t need waxing.
- Wooden – Wooden boards are considered the most environment-friendly and don’t need any synthetic materials to build, resulting in less waste. These boards are durable, and because of the heavier nature of the material, they can carry momentum very well. This type of board is not for beginners and is reserved for intermediate to advanced surfers.
- Polyurethane/Poly boards – Poly boards are made with a polyurethane foam core wrapped with fiberglass. A thin coat of polyester resin is then applied to seal the board. Because the materials used to make these kinds of panels are inexpensive, they make for inexpensive boards. Poly boards are very easy to repair, just as they are easy to get damaged. Because polyurethane foam is a dense material, the additional weight might not be suitable for beginners.
- Epoxy Boards – Epoxy boards are made with polystyrene foam coated with fiberglass and epoxy resin, making them very stiff and durable and will last longer with little maintenance. The materials used are also more environmentally friendly. In addition, these types of foams are less dense, making them lighter and perfect for beginners.
Types of Boards
- Shortboards are the most used boards and are suitable for all types of waves but are more suitable for medium and big waves. They are low-volume boards with a pointed nose and thin rails, which are perfect for turning. Its length ranges from 5 to 7 feet. These boards are not ideal for beginners because they are a technical board and would be difficult to maneuver unless you have advanced experience.
- Fish – These boards are characterized by their big, wide nose and a wide shape that gradually narrows towards the tail. They are generally under 6 feet long and have more volume making them easier to paddle than shortboards, and they have much more maneuverability. The size also makes it the perfect choice to ride weak or low-quality waves.
- Funboard – These surfboards are between a shortboard and a longboard at 7 to 8 feet long. It comes in various widths and thicknesses but generally has a wide nose, relaxed rocker, and foil. Most are designed for stability and ease of riding in a wide range of conditions, making them a good choice for beginners.
- Longboard – These boards are 8 feet and longer in size with a rounded tip and are designed with stability in mind. They are the perfect type for beginners to learn. The size makes it stable and easy to paddle on and allows you to glide and float more easily.
- Gun – A gun is a specialized board designed for serious waves and is for advanced and expert users only. These boards are designed for surfing on huge and powerful waves. The size can be the same as that of a longboard and has a sharp nose and tail.
Choosing the right board is a crucial decision to be able to enjoy this sport. There is no one-size-fits-all. You have to consider your level of expertise and the conditions in which you would use it. Understanding the basics behind a board’s size, shape, and design is also essential. Once you are familiar with all these, you can choose the one that suits you best.