A source of physical and mental well-being, surfing gives a feeling of freedom and an intense adrenaline rush. This discipline rightly attracts people who want to improve their fitness, overcome their anxieties and reconnect with nature. Learning this nautical activity is generally done in dedicated schools and places emphasis on various basic or advanced techniques (launching, skating, floaters, etc.). However, mastering the sometimes acrobatic tricks of this sport is not enough to glide over the waves with ease. The material and choice of board are just as important as the technique, especially if you are a beginner. The material not only optimizes your performance but also ensures your safety during practice. Here’s everything you need to know about surf equipment and selection criteria.
Surfboard: which model to choose based on your level?
THE surfboard allows beginners to perform basic tricks and advanced practitioners to perform complex tricks. Whether you want to get your first gliding sensations or demonstrate your performance, you will find on the market equipment adapted to your level of mastery.
Surfboards suitable for beginners
If you’re new to surfing, you’ll want to choose a wide, thick board. These features optimize your stability and your buoyancy on the water, while facilitating the learning of elementary techniques: rowing, catching waves, standing, etc.
For your first sessions in the discipline, choose a foam board, which is distinguished by its extended width and thick structure. Ideal for adults and children, this material keeps feet in balance while maximizing comfort during practice. Its foam lining ensures your safety by limiting the risk of injury in the event of a fall.
To enhance your practice, you can train with a mini-malibu or a longboard. Like foam pads, these board designs are bulky and offer optimal stability. They allow you to try your first maneuvers, whether it’s curves, crossovers or pendants 5 or 10, among others. However, the advice of a qualified instructor is necessary to find out how to choose a beginner surfboard and progress peacefully there is water sports as a surfer apprentice.
For intermediate and advanced surfers
Once you learn the basics of surfing, you can use a high performance board like THE fish. Small, stable and easy to handle, this equipment allows you to tackle small waves and perform interesting tricks. You can then move on to usageAND funboards. This is a short board that makes it easy to float, paddle and catch hollow waves.
For experienced surfers we recommend the use of a shortboards. With its short and narrow format, this accessory promotes optimal maximum speed and responsiveness when maneuvering on big waves.
The guns it is also a board reserved exclusively for expert practitioners, who wish to combine speed and intense smoothness. This powerful material allows you to perform impressive tricks such as the plane, snap back, lay back or barrel.
Read also: Everything you need to know about skater style
Surfing: the choice of wetsuit is essential
The wetsuit primarily acts as a thermal insulator by preserving body temperature in cold water body while reducing irritation with the board. In addition to protecting you from shivering, this garment is designed to adapt to your morphology and facilitate your movements while sailing.
To choose the best wetsuit, first consider the thickness of the neoprene it is made of. It is in fact a foam rubber that protects the torso, back and limbs from the freshness of the ocean. It should be at least 2 mm thick if you usually sail in summer or warm waters (22°C or more). However, there are 4 or 5 mm sets that are ideal for low temperatures (between 7°C and 12°C).
The cut of the wetsuit is also an important selection criterion. It must be adapted to your body, so as to offer great freedom of movement at the joints (knees and elbows). We advise you to try In Sports shop to find the garment of the right size.
When buying your surf gear, there are other things to consider, including:
- the model (full or short),
- the inner lining,
- the closure system (front zip or back zip),
- the quality of the seams (flat lock, GBS).
feel free to seek advice from a surf professional to shop for the wetsuit that best fits your body type, skill level, and budget.
How to choose your surf leash?
THE leash it is a bungee cord that connects the board to the ankle. It allows you not to lose your board in big waves or in the event of a fall, thus avoiding the risk of accidents with other surfers or swimmers.
When you choose this safety device, choose a model whose length, measured in feet (ft or ft), is proportional to or slightly greater than that of your board. For example, if you ride a longboard or mini-malibu that’s between 8 and 9 feet in size, opt for a 9-foot leash. Follow the same principle to choose a bungee cord for your shortboard or pistol that ranges in length from 5 to 6 feet.
Also consider the thickness of your leash. It must be compact enough (8 to 9mm) to navigate hollow waves. However, choose a thin wire (6 or 7 mm) to maximize your planing experience in less powerful waves. The quality of the fasteners (Velcro or snap fastener) and the strength of the security tie are other important purchase criteria to consider.
We also recommend that you do this check the condition of your leash regularly to identify any signs of wear and replace it if necessary. For your safety, this bungee cord should always be replaced after 2 years of use.
What role does the board cover play?
THE protective cover allows you to store your board safely, protecting it from scratches, bumps and bad weather (UV, humidity, etc.). It also facilitates the transport of your board, especially thanks to its handles and straps.
It is important to choose a high quality cover, adapted to the size of your board. So take care to measure the length of your mount, from its front tip (nose) to its rear end (tail). Add a few inches to the measured length to determine the size of cover to purchase.
The choice of this material also depends on the use you will make of it. To transport your board from point to point on a daily basis, opt for a sock cover. The latter, however, offers a low level of protection for long-term storage or a long car ride. In this case, prefer the classic surfboard covers whose thickness is greater than or equal to 5 mm.
If you are going on a surf trip, choose a reinforced travel cover. In addition to being padded in the tail and tip, it has up to 5 compartments that allow you to store all your boards. We also recommend choosing a protective cover that has accessory pockets, reflective panels, compression straps, and handles.
What products should you use to take care of your table?
Maintaining your board will prolong its life and optimize its performance. To achieve this, apply it, before each surf session, you have wax or a wax. This product creates a non-slip surface that improves your stability and prevents you from falling while practicing. Knowing that there are different types of wax, we advise you to choose a dense product if you sail in waters with a high temperature (over 22°C).
You also needAND disinfectant to eliminate bacteria and microorganisms encrusted on your table. In the event that the latter has damage to its surface (scratches or cracks), use THE resin to correct imperfections.
Maintaining your board also requires the use ofAND solvent. This product is used to remove old wax and prepare the substrate for a new application.
Read also: Discover Comporta in Portugal, a corner of paradise just 1h15 from Lisbon!
Who can you trust to buy your surf gear?
Whether you want to buy a board, a wetsuit, a leash, a cover or a maintenance product, trust in recommendations from the surfing professionals. They can be instructors, specialist salespeople, or seasoned practitioners.
These people will be able to tell you which equipment is best suited to your style of surfing, your skill level, the spots available in your area and your budget. They will also advise you on brands to favor while shopping.
Online customer reviews can also be helpful in evaluating the quality and performance of the hardware you wish to purchase. You can view them on e-commerce sites and blogs dedicated to the world of surfing.