Surfboards in 2021
Surfing is not only a fun hobby. For many, it’s a way of life. If you want to surf regularly and improve your surfing skills, possessing your own board is a must. It can, however, be tough to know which to pick.
Whether you’re looking for the best pro surfboard or a basic beginner board, we have you covered. We’ve included the key information you’ll need to choose the right surfboard, plus some recommendations. The excellent Surftech Water Hog Surfboard is the top overall choice.
What to know before you buy a surfboard
Surfboards can range in length from under 6-10 feet. Longer boards offer more stability, but they’re slower and less maneuverable. Generally, beginners should opt for boards on the longer side because they need all the extra stability and buoyancy they can get. More experienced surfers typically ride shortboards because it’s easier to build speed and do tricks. That said, some surfers prefer the more relaxed art of longboarding, regardless of experience level.
Volume is more important than just length when working out how stable and buoyant a surfboard is. You can work out the volume of a board by multiplying its length, width and thickness. High-volume boards are stable but not as maneuverable as those with lower volumes.
Soft top vs. hard top
If you’re looking for the best beginner surfboard, soft top models are the best because they’re more stable, make it easier for inexperienced surfers to catch waves and won’t hurt as much as hard top boards if they hit you. However, hard top boards perform better than softies, so you’ll probably want one as you improve.
What to look for in a quality surfboard
A surfboard leash attaches to the board at one end and fastens around your ankle at the other. It’s there so that you won’t lose your board if you wipe out, and you’ll have your board close by to use as a flotation device should you need it.
Grip pads or traction pads serve the same function as surf wax. They provide grip when you stand on the board and give you better control. However, grip pads are glued to the board so you can target your pressure for easier aerials and radical turns.
Most surfboards have fins in a thruster configuration, consisting of three fins in a triangular formation. This configuration is popular because it gives you a balance of speed, stability and agility and works well for almost all wave conditions.
However, many surfboards have boxes on the underside, allowing you to change the positioning of the fins rather than having fixed fins. This lets you experiment with various fin configurations to find what works for you.
How much does a surfboard cost?
You can find beginner-level surfboards for around $200-$500 while boards for intermediate to advanced surfers cost roughly $500-$1,000. Top-end and custom boards can cost even more.
How long does it take to get good at surfing?
A. This is a challenging question to answer as it depends on a wide range of variables, such as how often you can practice, your fitness level when you start surfing, surf conditions and what you consider good.
Some people can learn the basics of paddling, standing on the board, and riding an unbroken wave in a single three-hour lesson, whereas others take weeks of daily practice to get to this stage. From here, you’ll need to keep regularly practicing to get more confident and competent at surfing. We’d recommend enjoying the journey of learning to surf rather than focusing on when you’ll be good at surfing, as this is highly subjective.
How do I keep my surfboard in good condition?
A. If you’re buying your first surfboard, you might be wondering how to take care of it to keep it in good condition. The first step is to always rinse your surfboard off as soon as possible after getting out of the water. While surfboards are obviously designed for use in salt water, salt is still corrosive and eats away at your board over time if you don’t rinse it.
Leave your surfboard to dry in a shaded area rather than in direct sunlight, and don’t leave it in a hot vehicle since temperatures are usually far higher inside a car than out in the open. Finally, avoid using solvents or harsh cleaning products on your surfboard.
What’s the best surfboard to buy in 2021?
What you need to know: This is a high-quality surfboard that’s great for intermediate to advanced riders.
What you’ll love: It has the feel of a longboard but the performance of a shortboard. It’s great for medium to big waves. The tuflite construction avoids water absorption.
What you should consider: This option is on the pricey side.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
Top surfboard for the money
What you need to know: This affordable softie surfboard is a perfect beginner surf board.
What you’ll love: The grip pad offers increased traction, it has removable bolt-through fins and excellent stability for inexperienced surfers.
What you should consider: It’s not the most durable option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a perfect choice for novice to intermediate surfers to progress on.
What you’ll love: It is incredibly buoyant, which makes paddling easier and means you can pop out of the water more confidently. The full rails are responsive and forgiving.
What you should consider: It may feel a little speedy for total beginners.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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