Comment bien choisir sa première planche de surf - Surf By Ocean Essentials

How to choose your first surfboard

Choosing the right first surfboard? 

Before buying your first surfboard , you have to ask yourself a few questions that will allow you to make the right purchase and take full advantage of it . during your next session 🏄🏻‍♂️. 

It is quite easy to find a surfboard whether in a store, a surfshop or on the internet . Today the offer is quite complete and some brands have even specialized in offering equipment accessible to beginners.

It is very important to understand that by having the wrong equipment, you risk not progressing, or even being disgusted.

So remember to take equipment adapted to your level 😎 to take full advantage during your next session.

So before you start, here are 4 quick questions to ask yourself: 

  • Am I ready to surf independently and safely? 
  • Will I have time to surf this year and when will I surf? 
  • Isn't it still worth taking one or more courses to be confident ? 
  • Is a one- time rental not a better idea for me ?

What are the most common questions we are asked during the first purchase? 

What age to learn to surf? 

The answer is simple, there is no age to surf, nor to learn. The excuse, I'm too old or too old doesn't work in 2022. Children can learn to surf from an early age: some surf schools offer lessons from 4-5 years old 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 .

Learning to surf takes a bit of time and persistence, but frankly, it's a sport that will change your life and the way you see things . The only risk with surfing is to become addicted. Because yes, surfing is addictive, you may want to drop everything for a lifestyle closer to the ocean 🌊

Foam surf or hard board?

Both types of boards have advantages , but also disadvantages . Foam surfboards can be easier to get started with, as they are more reassuring than their hardboard counterparts with harder decks.

We advise you to start with a foam board: it's not for nothing that surf schools use them for beginner lessons.

👉 Find our dedicated article to choose your foam board

If you already have a good level of surfing, then go straight to a hard/stiff board which offers a higher level of performance. With their more precise and accomplished shapes, rigid boards offer better control and more pronounced sensations thanks to their stiffer surface.

In both cases, you will find a selection of surfboards for beginners in our online surfshop.

What budget for a first surfboard?

To buy your first surfboard, count a budget of 250 to 400 euros for a board and accessories.

There are boards for less than 200 euros that can be found on the internet and in supermarkets. Beware of offers that are too attractive, to make a surfboard at this price, there are concessions to be made and it is the quality that is not at the rendezvous.

You will end up with a disposable surfboard that is neither good for you, nor for the wallet and even less for the planet 🌎

Trust the well-known surf brands and think about the second-hand value of your surfboard.

Tahe / Bic surfboards are known worldwide for being solid and resell very easily on the second-hand market. The day you want to change your board , it will be very easy to resell it or have it taken back by a surf shop.

What size for a first surfboard?

This is the most common question found in stores.

Not easy to navigate, knowing that in the world of surfing , we do not speak in centimeters, but in feet and inches. Since surfing is originally an American sport, board dimensions are historically mostly displayed in feet and inches rather than centimeters.

  • One foot equals 30.48 cm and one inch equals 2.54 cm
  • A board with a length of 7'2" (7 feet and 2 inches) therefore measures 218.44 cm
  • A board of 7'9 is therefore 238 cm

To put it very simply, a board between 7'0 and 8'6 is suitable for adults. For children and lighter builds, choose a board between 6'0 and 7'6.

👉 Our selection of boards to start

The length of a board is important, but the most important measurement to consider in your surfboard purchase is still the volume of your surfboard.

The buoyancy and stability of a surfboard are measured by its volume. It is measured in liters and is calculated by multiplying the dimensions of the board: length, width and thickness. The bigger a board is, the more stable it will be.

Another very important criterion to take into account is the weight of the surfer. A 35 kg child will not need the same volume as a 75 kg man. Under the surfer's weight, the board sinks into the water. The deeper it sinks, the less stable it will be.

A 6'0 board and a 7'0 board can have the same volume. When you start surfing you need a stable board that forgives mistakes and allows you to stand up easily. 

If the board capacity is not enough , you will simply not be able to surf. Keep in mind that it is better to have a board that is a little too bulky than not.

It has no specific rules, but for example for a 70 kilo beginner a 30 liter board is not suitable. It would take a board close to 50 liters to offer good buoyancy.

The longer your board, the easier it will be to paddle. On the other hand, you will lose maneuverability. The shorter a board is, the more maneuverable it will be in the wave, but the more difficult it will be to stand up.

The shape of the board, that is to say the nose and the tail, are important elements, as is the volume distribution.

What are the essential accessories for your first surfboard?

A leash and wax ( except for foam surfboards). If you plan to transport your board on the roof of your vehicle, then a cover will be welcome. Think about angles and roof bars to properly protect and attach your board

Unless otherwise stated, all our boards are sold with fins.

You will find some unscrupulous sites that sell beginner surfboards without fins. Without fins it is impossible to surf. So remember to check that your board is sold with fins.

High-end boards are sold without fins.

The good news is that we offer complete surf packs with cover, leash and wax . Just add it to your cart and voila: you're ready to surf. The price of the accessory pack is 65 euros

Final points to discuss:

If you only surf in summer, choose a board with volume instead to have fun. In autumn, spring and winter, it is there that the waves are generally the most hollow and the most powerful. In this case, you can use boards with a little less volume if your level allows it.

If you are in average physical condition , this will mainly affect your oar and consequently your ability to catch waves. It will then be necessary to choose a larger board. If you are in good physical condition, you will be able to afford a smaller board with a little less volume.

Need help ? 

Still have doubts, you need help: don't panic, our team of experts is at your disposal to guide you in your purchase. To be contacted, it's very simple, just make an appointment.

Our mission at Ocean Essentials: get you in the water easily with the best equipment suited to your needs. With more than 10 years of experience in the boardsports industry, you are in the good hands of passionate specialists.

About the Author :

Clément Morandière - Expert en Sport de glisse, surf, windsurf, paddle , wing - Consultant et  Shopify Expert