When it comes to surfing, by far the most important piece of equipment that you need to get right is the surfboard size!
When choosing a surfboard, it’s extremely easy for many surfers to get caught up in thinking that they need to choose the smallest size surfboard possible, when in reality the focus should be on a board that’s going to be able to turn, manoeuvre and make riding the waves look easy.
In order to become a better surfer, you’re going to need to make sure that you choose a surfboard that is designed to enhance your current skill level, as well as one that is suitable for your weight.
The volume in relation to your weight will be able to let you know how good the float will be, and is very important because a proper float will ensure that you’ll be able to glide through the water with more speed.
The faster you are able to paddle, the more waves you will be able to catch! You’ll also find it easier to glide through the water and make sudden turns more seamlessly thanks to the acceleration, not to mention being able to enjoy a variety of smaller waves instead of having to wait around for the bigger ones.
What surfboard should I get for a beginner?
If you’re a beginner surfer, then bigger is always going to be the better option as you learn the ropes of surfing, and work on honing your technique. This is because, as a beginner, you’re going to need all the help you can get from your surfboard, and the larger the board, the better the stability.
However, as you become a better surfer through lessons and practice, you’re more than likely going to find that you want to opt for a slimmer board to fit in with your growing ability.
So, when picking out your surfboard for the first time, we strongly recommend that you go for a board that is around 3 feet longer than your height. Unless you’re very short or you’re buying a surfboard for your child, then this will often mean that you need to purchase a longboard to help get you started.
Longboards are very helpful for beginners as they have excellent stability and buoyancy ability, however, they’re not very good for turning.
Nevertheless, a longboard will help a beginner to be able to get the hang of their footwork, as well as learning how to master the flow of linking top and bottom turns together into one seamless movement.
Though it may seem tedious to purchase a longboard rather than a surfboard, we strongly recommend doing so, as it’s extremely easy to pick up bad habits if you size down to a smaller board too soon.
You’ll also find that you won’t be able to progress as quickly as you’d like as your surfboard won’t be able to provide the support needed to help you nail the basics, not to mention being unable to properly enjoy yourself and have fun.
As a side note, if you want to save money, a cost-effective way of getting around the use of a longboard is to hire one from your surf school.
Additionally, as a beginner, you’ll probably only need to use your longboard for a few months (maybe even less depending on your natural ability) before your instructor lets you know that you are ready to progress to an actual surfboard.
The most popular type of surfboard that beginners tend to opt for is one that is around 2 feet shorter than their longboard with a slightly narrow nose better suited to turning.
This type of surfboard will be able to hold plenty of speed (even with a wider nose than other surfboards) all while allowing you to maintain control and feel stable while manoeuvring the waves.
You’ll also find that these types of surfboards are super agile and will allow you to turn and glide more easily than you did while using a longboard.
Not only that, but thanks to this versatility, you’ll find that this kind of surfboard will be able to grow with you into the intermediate level of surfing before you find that you’re ready to opt for something a little sleeker, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
What size surfboard should I get for my height and weight?
Besides your skill level and how often you plan on being in the water, your height and weight are two very important factors that you’ll need to take into account when deciding which size surfboard to go for.
To help gain a better understanding of average surfboard sizes in correspondence with the weight of the rider, let’s take a look at the following table:
Rider’s weight (lbs.)
6 foot 2 – 6 foot 4
6 foot 4 – 6 foot 6
6 foot 6 – 6 foot 10
180 – 200
6 foot 10 – 7 foot 3
21- 22 inches
200 or more
7 foot 4 +
22 – 23 inches
Before we proceed to height, keep in mind that the above figures are only average estimates, and you’ll always be the best judge of character for determining what surfboard feels most comfortable for you.
As for your height, you should always want to aim for a board that is around 2-6 inches taller than your height. However, lean surfers can get away with opting for a board that is the same height as them, while larger surfers should lean towards a board that is around 6 inches taller.
As a side note, if you find that you are still struggling to decide which size surfboard is right for you, then we recommend you visit a local surfing shop, as the colleagues who work there will be able to give you a hand and help you to choose which size surfboard you need.