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What surfboard should I learn on?

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Foam boards are perfect for learning to surf on because they’re long, wide and have tonnes of volume. You want as much buoyancy and stability as possible to practice on when learning to surf and 8-9ft foam boards are the best at providing this.

The simple motto to remember about surfboards when you’re learning to surf is: “Too short too soon and you’ll surf like a goon.”

During your first surf lesson, you’ll be taught where to lie on a board, how to paddle and how to pop-up to a standing position. What you need is a surfboard that will make it as easy as possible for you to get to your feet in the water, and foam boards provide maximum stability for you to balance on.

Surfboards for beginners

Foam Boards 7ft-9ft 

Length: The longer the surfboard the more room you have to learn how to pop-up and the less likely you are to nose-dive in the water. Depending on your height, we provide 7ft – 9ft foam boards for you to learn on. You should always learn to surf on a surfboard that is taller than you! 

Width: Having a wide surfboard will also make learning to surf easier. The greater the board’s surface area in the water, the more stable it will be when you’re practicing your pop-up. 

Volume: The greater the volume of the board the greater its buoyancy and this makes it easier to catch waves. Foam boards are rigid but contain thousands of tiny air bubbles that are great for helping you float. The stability will help you to balance. The last thing you want when learning to surf is a board that sits below the surface of the water!

Surfboards for intermediates

Once you’ve got the hang of paddling a foam board, popping up to your feet quickly and riding a wave into the beach it’s time to start practicing turning and trimming along the face of the wave.  

Mini-Mals – 7ft – 8ft

Epoxy Mini-Mals are a step-up from foam boards that will help progress your surfing to the next level. They’re harder, shorter and less wide and are more difficult to catch waves on, so make sure you’ve perfected your paddling and pop-up before taking one into the water. Their dimensions allow for more manoeuvrability and they’re less cumbersome to carry!

Surfboards for advanced surfers

Shortboards 5ft-7ft

When a surfer can paddle out through breaking surf, catch green waves and are able to perform turns on the face of the wave, they want a shortboard that’s fast and easy to manoeuvre in the water.

Short boards have significantly less length and volume than any other surfboard, which means they’re harder to paddle and balance on. However, once up and riding the surfer will be able to fly down the line and perform powerful turns on critical parts of the wave.

Shortboards are also easy to duck-dive. This is how surfers paddle out into the line-up through big surf, by ducking their boards and themselves underneath an oncoming wave before continuing their paddle.

Check out our range of surf lessons and find one that’s right for you!


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