How to Buy Your First Surfboard

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Tired of sitting on the beach while all your friends surf the summer away? Here’s how to find a board that will get you up on a wave in no time.

Step 1: Know what you’re looking for
Beginners should look for a board that’s wide, thick, and at least 3 feet taller than they are. A bigger, thicker board, called a longboard, or fun shape, provides stability to help you balance, and is more buoyant ¬– meaning you’ll paddle faster and catch more waves. Steer clear of high performance shortboards, which are difficult for beginners to maneuver.

Step 2: Visit your local surf shop
Check out your local surf shop. Surf shops often sell boards made specifically for beginners. They’re made of soft foam so you keep yourself and others safer in the water while you learn.

If you don’t have a surf shop near you, many larger shops sell boards over the internet. Some online retailers specialize in selling mass-produced, affordable beginner surfboards.

Step 3: Consider a used board
Browse the classifieds, garage sales, and surf shops for used boards, which can save you money if you’re not sure whether you want to get serious about surfing. Poke around at the end of the summer, when surf schools sell their beginner boards at local shops for low prices.

If buying used, beware of unrepaired dings and noticeable spots where water may have soaked into the core of the surfboard.

Step 4: Visit your local surfboard shaper
If your budget is higher and you live near a surfboard shaper, ask for a custom board. This is an expensive option, but supporting your local shaper is great for the surfing community, and you’ll be able to establish a relationship with a person who can make you new boards as you improve.

Did You Know?
In the 18th century, pre-colonial Hawaiian surfers rode flat finless wooden planks called alaia, which gaining popularity among today’s surfers.


Aurora says:
Here is an amazing surfboard
Barely used

Peter Floyd says:

I first learned on a dinged up, waterlogged Fox tri-fin that I bought from a friend for only $100. Once I mastered that one, every board afterwards was a piece of cake. My most favorite board was my 6’2 Island Classic. It’s been over 20 years and I still miss that board.

Arthur Hadley says:

How old are you?, I’m 20 and I want to go the surf camp but I’m afraid everyone at camp will be too old or too young lol

haijiaw says:

graining on that wood grain graining on that wood

kitecc says:

Are fish boards good for beginners?

element509 says:

Theres no “right time” to learn to surf. As long as your not looking into a career and going pro to make a living off of it, you can start now. Surfing is about having fun and people ALL ages start. Its really fun to do. Who cares how young or old people are, just go get lessons, or a friend to teach you and ride some waves! Let me know what you chose!

prod1gy3000 says:



Felicity Moore says:

after you learn on a longboard then what? I’m 5 1 at 101 lbs, sad i know, so what would you recommend for someone as small as me?

S ML says:

Do you need to wax a foam board?

element509 says:

Not really sad. But once you learn on a longboard, personally I would just work my way down surfboard lengths. Such as a funboard, then work down to a short board. Thats the path I would take. For exact board sizes, just ask a dude who works at a surf shop, theyll hook you up.

Hydrothehero灰 says:

I got 99 problems and you ain’t one like what?

ProSurf Coaches says:

Often the cost of a custom surfboard from a reputable shaper is roughly the same cost as buying a new board off the rack. This of course is only if you go with a plain white board without extras such as airbrush art, resin tint, or exotic wood stringers. Talk with your local shaper about what you want but be honest about your surfing and where you surf. Listen to his or her feedback. Establishing a relationship with your local shaper is a great way to make rapid and dramatic improvement with your surfing. Just remember: It’s a surfboard, not a miracle cure. Ride the board a lot on different waves to fully feel and understand how it performs and its potential.

MrTestNTune says:

Can u recommend a surfboard for me ..? I’m 5’9 139lbs I DO NOT want a long board though …

dave m says:

My son and older nephew are learning by using a 7’10” Channel Islands Water Hog and a 9′ BIC epoxy longboard both were purchased at garage sales for low prices. If you want to get into the sport on the cheap that is the way to go.

NewbPhil says:

@funnniez How fucking old are you asshole. Who the hell are you to tell people who can and can’t learn to surf? I don’t care if someone is 50, they have the right to learn to surf if they please. Not everything is competition. I learned at a camp, and it helped me learn to pop-up and foot placement. You should also consider learning fucking English, Your grammar is disgusting. Support the stoke.

NewbPhil says:

Just go do it if you want to, who gives a shit what people will think. I went when I was like 13 or 14, there were people there anywhere between like 10-20ish.

element509 says:

Your a little smaller than me. Im 5 11 at 147. I know you dont want a longboard but if you havent surfed yet and arent comfortable with surfing, get a longboard. If you really want something else look for something thats in the high 7 feet. I ride a 7″10 fun shape right now. You might be able to ride one, but learn on a longboard.

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