For any type of sporting activity we do, we will need specific equipment and these must be adapted both to us and to the sport practiced. In the case of surfing, one of the key questions to know is how to choose a surfboard.
Whether you are thinking of joining this world, whether you are making your progress, or thinking of new destinations for your next surf trip, knowing how to choose a surfboard is essential, do you want know some key factors so your decision will be the right one? Let’s analyse them!
1. Must be appropriate for your level
The first thing we need to verify, and honestly, is the level we have. For example, the surfboard you choose on the first day you decide to start won’t be the same as the one you will use after months of training.
One of the key points on how to choose a surfboard is never choose a board for a higher level than yours because in this way the learning process will be slowed down so much. Perhaps the best thing to do in the early stages is to go for renting as you will have the chance to try different sizes and models and at the same time you will keep learning until the experience helps you to choose the perfect board for your level. And once you’re inside this world, you won’t be able to stop!
2. How to choose a surfboard based on your size and your
After analysing your level, you need to think about the size of the surfboard, which will depend on 4 essential factors. First of all, you need to know that height and weight also influence the surfboard selection process. For example, taller and heavier people will need a longer, wider and more voluminous board.
Don’t fool yourself even on this aspect, take the ladder and meter if you want to choose the best surfboard for you. Do you want to know which factors you need to consider with reference to the measures?
Obviously this factor refers to how long the surfboard is from the nose to the tail. The longer the board is, the more stable it will be, but at the same time, it will offer less manoeuvrability, and for this reason a long board is perfect for basic courses.
The long boards make paddling much easier and it will be easier to catch the first waves. However, even experienced surfers use them to surf big waves, so if this is your case, you have to think about this factor.
This measure is taken at the widest part of the surfboard, from one rail to another. The greater the width is, the more stability you will have, the smaller the width is, the less stable the board will be but with more speed during the turns. Therefore, if you are thinking of taking your first waves, the wider the board is, the easier it will be to stand up.
Thickness is one of the elements that influence the buoyancy of a surfboard. In the beginner models the thickness is generally the same at all ends, while in the more advanced boards it usually decreases when we approach the nose and the tail.
What kind of thickness should you choose for a surfboard? If you are a beginner, the thicker the board is, the more buoyant it will be, so you will have more stability, but in the meantime your level increases, you could reduce the thickness to improve other functions.
The principle of Archimedes applied to surfing. Volume is a decisive factor when you’re choosing a surfboard because it mainly affects its buoyancy.
The volume of a surfboard is the result of the combination of three main elements: length, width and thickness. It is measured in liters and when you’re looking for an ideal volume, it must always be remembered that it is never an exact science and will depend on two main factors: the weight and the level of the rider.
3. How to choose the tail of a surfboard
As mentioned above, this is the back of the surfboard, the tail, and it will also be an important part to consider when you’re looking for your surfboard. Not all of them have the same shape and this will determine fundamental issues like manoeuvrability or speed.
There are different types of tail, the main ones are: pin tail, round pin tail (like a pin tail with rounded corners), square tail, squash tail (like a square tail with rounded corners), swallow tail, bat tail.
In general, the pin tails are used for big and powerful waves while the squash tails are used for medium and small conditions with rippable sections.
4. The rocker: another factor to consider
Do you know what the rocker is? This parameter refers to the curvature of a surfboard from nose to tail. We can differentiate two main types of curvature: continuous or in several phases.
In the latter we find the “flat” part in the center of the surfboard, the nose rocker that goes from the nose to the flat part and tail rocker that goes from the tail to the flat part.
How important is this factor when I have to choose a surfboard? Well, if we are looking for manoeuvrability, the nose rocker must be quite high and pronounced, whereas if we are looking for speed and greater buoyancy it must be lower. Similarly, the high tail rocker facilitates greater manoeuvrability at the expense of speed.
5. The rails count
When they design a surfboard, all parts count and give specific characteristics that we will need depending on our level and type of wave we want to surf, therefore, we must also take into account the rails when we want to choose a surfboard.
The rounded rails make the board more manageable and increase its buoyancy, but it will also be less fast and radical in manoeuvres, on the contrary, the thin rail will give you greater manoeuvrability and more speed in each manoeuvre.
As you can see, knowing how to choose a surfboard depends on many factors that you may not be familiar with at the beginning. However, over time you will be able to choose the right surfboard in order to improve your technique and, at the same time, you can also ask for advice.
Do you want to get closer to the world of surfing? Do you want to learn with a board suited to your characteristics and level? Discover our surf school in Corralejo at surfintrip.com and do not hesitate to live an experience you will never forget, we are waiting for you!