You've watched surfers and envied their freedom and zest. And now you've decided to join their ranks and get in on the celebration.
But in order for you to be able to embrace the freedom fully, you're going to need to get very practical for a minute. You'll need the right surfboard, and you'll need to learn how to use it.
Your first surfboard may well be of the used variety while you discover whether or not you want to invest more heavily. Beginners do best with a surboard with a wide nose and a rounded tail.
Surfboards.com recommends a board that is16 to 20 inches taller than you. The width should be 19 inches wide or less. Surfinghandbook.com recommends a width of 21 to 22 inches.
Your board should have about two and a half inches of foam at the center of the board. This provides flotation, which makes for a smooth ride and helps with your paddling.
Foam boards are heavier and offer plenty of flotation. They are most often the board of choice for beginners.
Fiberglass surfboards have a foam core covered with fiberglass. Epoxy boards are tougher than fiberglass boards which dent easily. Epoxy boards and foam boards have greater durability than fiberglass.
Get a legrope with swivel which will keep your legrope from getting twisted after the inevitable wipeouts ahead of you. Your legrope should be easy to detach from your board.
When you wax your surfboard, make sure you don't get any on the rail line. It should just go from the legrope plug to around your chest line.
Use a soft wax that will go on easily. A buildup of wax adds weight and accumulates dirt and sand. A wax comb will take care of this.
A squash tail is the most common tail shape on surfboards these days. The ride is stable, and works well in small and larger waves.
A thumb tail is rounder than a squashtail, and provides more stability. It does best in surf that is medium to quite large.
Square tail is not as popular as it used to be compared to the squash tail. Small waves on up to waves that are head high are handled well with a square tail.
A square tail is good for lift on the small waves.