How to Choose the Right Surfboard for Your Skill Level

How to Choose the Right Surfboard for Your Skill Level

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 13:34

Read on and learn how to choose the right board for your skill level with Natural Surf Lodge experienced surf teachers.


Choosing the right surfboard for your skill level is essential if you want to learn to surf and have fun doing it. Finding the right board for your abilities is especially important if you’re learning how to surf, since an intermediate or advanced surfer should already have a good idea about which board is right for them.

In saying this, it takes most surfers a long time before they find a board that actually clicks. That’s because accumulating this knowledge takes years and many people may not know what works for them until they’ve gone through a lot of trial and error.

There is no such thing as a one size fits all surfboard either. A board that goes like a dream in knee-high runners will not be suitable when the swell picks up and the waves begin to barrel.

This means you’ll need to try various different shapes, styles and sizes until you find the perfect board, the magic sled that gives you the confidence to surf more and challenge yourself in bigger conditions.

In most cases, a quality surf camp or surf school will provide expert advice on choosing the right surfboard for your skill level.  Natural Surf Lodge’s quiver selection is quite large and diversified. If you’re looking to buy your very first surfboard, then you should ask yourself the following three questions before forking out the cash.

How physically fit am I?

How fit you are is one of the main factors in determining what board you should ride. That’s because your weight and athletic ability directly influence how big or small your board should be.

Surfboards should be easy to paddle and provide adequate buoyancy when you’re on a wave. As a rule of thumb, thick boards with a full outline and a large volume will suit heavier individuals, while lighter people should look for something that’s thinner, narrower and easier to handle.

If you feel like you’re constantly trying to keep afloat when paddling or find it impossible to catch waves, chances are your board is too small for you. Conversely, a board that’s too big may be difficult to manoeuvre and even somewhat dangerous in crowded areas.

This rule, however, should also take into account how experienced you are.

How experienced am I?

Your experience level will also dictate the type of board that will be perfect for you, with learners requiring a board that offers stability and volume above all else. Link to the page surf level

Malibu’s and the smaller mini-malibu are therefore perfect if you’re just starting out, with a soft top board in particular being much more forgiving if you happen to fall and land on your board.

Once you’ve mastered the basic on one of these surfcrafts, only then can you start looking at smaller boards with less volume.

Just remember that progressing from a malibu or a mini-malibu to a shortboard too quickly can stifle the development of proper technique, setting you back in terms of confidence and making learning to surf much harder and consequently less fun than it should be.

What type of waves will I be surfing?

The board you surf on in waves that are waist high or smaller will look and feel incredibly different to the board you surf on in bigger, steeper waves.

This means that when choosing the right surfboard for your skill level, you’ll also need to consider the primary type of waves you’ll be surfing, taking into account size, the prevailing annual conditions and whether or not it is a reef, beach or rock bottom break.

A beginner can get away with one board in their quiver to begin with, since they’ll only be surfing smaller, more user-friendly waves. As you progress though, you might want to start looking to acquire boards for specific conditions and wave types.  

If you have any question about surf equipment Stéphane will be happy to interact either on site or by email. Just be patient and persistent.