Choosing the Right Surfboard
Sideways Surfing Expert Tips
So you have just decided to take the leap into the world of surfing and have found yourself in the market for a surfboard to get you out there. The surfing journey is filled with exciting challenges and incredible rewards - it's what makes it the best sport in the world
With countless surfboard options available, it can be daunting to select the perfect one that suits your skill level. If you find yourself pondering questions like - What size of surfboard should I get? Or What does surfboard volume mean? This comprehensive guide from Sideways Surf will help you navigate through the essential factors when purchasing your first surfboard, taking into account your ability, wave conditions, and personal preferences.
Surfboard Size Guide
Surfboards are measured in feet and inches, from nose to tail. The surfboard size guides are typically categorized as a Short Boards (5'0 to 6'6), a Mid-Length or Mini Mal (6'7 to 8'0), and a Long Boards (8'0 and larger).
As a beginner, it's most common to opt for surfboards that are 7 to 8 feet or longer. However, striking a balance between size and maneuverability is crucial. Consider your height, weight, and skill level when selecting a board. If you are shorter, a board below 7'0 may still be suitable. It's essential to find a surfboard that you can comfortably carry down the beach and also control in the water.
Understanding & Calculating Surfboard Volume
Surfboard volume, measured in liters, determines the board's buoyancy. When calculating surfboard volume, you have to consider the surfer's weight and ability into account. Beginners and heavier surfers typically require more volume to ensure sufficient buoyancy. On the other hand, advanced surfers often prefer less volume, enabling them to push through larger turns and be faster on the wave. It's worth noting that an increase in volume generally adds weight to the board. Foam surfboards, with their higher volume, tend to be heavier compared to EPS or fiberglass boards.
You can find our Surfboard Volume Chart here to help you understand what is suitable for you.
Foam or Fibreglass Surfboard construction
One of the biggest decisions you'll face is choosing between a fiberglass board and a soft top (foamie). Both options have their pros and cons, but you will have an enjoyable experience regardless of your choice.
Soft tops are particularly suitable for beginners due to their affordability and durability. Their soft outer shell minimizes the risk of dings and damage during transport. The high amount of foam provides excellent stability and easier paddling, ensuring more wave-catching opportunities. However, soft tops are challenging to turn due to their thick rails and will see you upgrade boards as you progress.
Fiberglass surfboards, made of a polyurethane core and a hard outer fiberglass shell, are the most popular choice of surfboard. Although they are more prone to dings, fiberglass boards offer more speed and responsiveness, thanks to their thinner rails.
These boards are better suited for progressing off of a Soft top and advanced surfers. Another variant worth considering is EPS or Epoxy boards, which are lightweight and offer easier paddling compared to traditional fiberglass boards.
What Surfboard Should I Buy?
Now it's time to grab a surfboard and hit the waves! While this guide provides a glimpse into the world of surfboard selection, it's crucial to start with the right equipment.
Sideways Surf offers an extensive range of boards suitable for beginners, intermediates, and advanced surfers. If you still don’t know which surfboard you should buy or have any further questions, visit any of our Sideways Surf stores or reach out to our expert team for personalized guidance.
Start your surfing journey on the right foot and make unforgettable memories in the ocean.