Choosing the Right Surfboard
Surfing is one of the most popular water sports in the world. Pretty much anywhere you find waves, you’ll find surfers riding them. Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and South Africa all have surfing hotspots. In the U.S., California, as stated by the Beach Boys is a surfer’s haven as is Hawaii. There are even places on the East Coast where intrepid surfers challenge waves. No matter where you do it, it’s important to have quality gear. That means a good board that suits your needs. There are many brands and models and they are not all the same.
Before you buy a board and go charging off surfing California, you have to consider the factors that make up a surfboard. Like any three-dimensional solid, surfboards have volume. You may not realize it, surfboard volumes vary and the right one depends upon your height and weight as well as other factors. Volume is the first factor to consider when choosing abroad. When purchasing a surfboard at a shop, you can ask the sales clerk to calculate the correct volume and for a recommendation. Your level of ability is also an important factor.
Volume Impacts Many Parts of Surfing
An accurate calculation of the correct volume is important as it will make a difference in the performance of the board. The performance aspects affected include:
- Paddle Power
You can see the importance of the correct volume and how it can enhance or diminish your surfing experience.
High Volume Boards
A surfboard is considered high volume if its volume is greater than that recommended for you based on your parameters. A high-volume board is easier to ride and balance on. For this reason, they are recommended for beginners and are the type of board used by teachers in surfing classes. The level of stability is perfect for those just getting their feet wet or who just want to go out and paddle around.
The downside of a high-volume board is decreased speed and performance. The greater volume increases drag which slows down the ride and diminishes performance. Advanced riders and those who compete or ride in shows would not do so with a high-volume board.
Low Volume Boards
Any surfboard that has a lower volume than that recommended for you is considered low volume. Low-volume boards have the advantage of greater sensitivity. They ride lower in the water, are faster, and offer greater maneuverability. They are an excellent choice for highly-skilled and experienced surfers who compete at advanced levels. They are more difficult to ride and thus not recommended for beginners. Care must be taken not to choose a board that is too low volume as it may not be able to support your body weight and can sink.
Type of Waves
Just as there are different types of surfboards, so too are there different types of waves. The kind you plan to ride also makes a difference to the board you choose. For the smallest waves, those from 0.5 to one foot, a fish or grovel surfboard is best. Waves between one and five feet are best surfed with a small wave performance board while an all-around performance board is best for waves in the 2-6 foot range. For bigger waves, those in the 4-8 foot range and beyond, you’ll want a high-performance board. That and a lot of skill!
Surfing is an exciting and challenging sport enjoyed by many people throughout the world. Spending a day at the beach riding the waves is the ideal day for them. But the type of board you use is vital to the experience. Choose carefully and get advice if you’re not sure.