Choosing the right surf board can be a fun, process. With surfboards running between $250 and $1,000 or more, it can be a bit intimidating when deciding what to buy. There are TONS of factors involved. Skill, Body Size, Wave Size, and goals are just a few.
Although this is a blog about surf boards, it might help to discuss wave size for one second. General Rule: The bigger the surf wave you create behind your boat, the more options you have in boards. Bigger and longer waves give more energy and a larger sweet spot.
Smaller waves can still be ridden, and can produce loads of fun, but generally lack "Push" (the energy of the wave that drives the rider forward). As a result it has been my experience that a rider of a small wave needs a thicker, more buoyant board. Let's get into more detail.
With 3 principally different surf board styles, Skim – Surf – And Hybrid, your discovery begins there. For the most part, these three styles are differentiated by how thick the boards are (think buoyancy). Skim boards are generally thin, with smaller fins, making them harder to ride for most beginners BUT more maneuverable for advanced riders wanting to do tricks. Surf Style boards are generally thicker, potentially longer, making them easier to ride and find the sweet spot. More buoyancy means more push. And then there is the Hybrid which is somewhere in-between.
My Family did what most do when we purchased our Surf Boat. We had the dealer tell us what was the best general “all around” board that a family of 5 beginners could ride. We ended up with a Liquid Force Fish. A decent general entry level board. What we found was my wife and kids could ride it generally well, but we graduated quickly to wanting something more.....
Fast forward 2 summers and we now own 5 different boards:
- Liquid Force Fish (all family can ride but nobody does anymore)
- Doomswell Neo (Custom board made for my wife- beautiful board) Hybrid Style
- Phase 5 Scamp (Kids board. Very thin. Very easy to flip/get up. We taught several kids to surf on this board- No better board to teach kids IMO)
- Ronix Carbon Thruster - Very buoyant, very stable, especially for my body size and shape 6’4 225. I call it the canoe. I tossed the rope the first time I rode this board and never looked back.
- Inland Surfer Sweet Spot (Our latest addition to the fleet. Perhaps our most versatile board, ridable by every member of our family. Stable enough for big people like me to throw the rope and for small people like my wife and daughter to ride confidently. Plus it looks like Eddie VanHalen’s Guitar).
Your journey with surfing will most likely include time with all 3 different styles of boards.
General rule of thumb: Surf style works for beginners and larger riders. Skim style works for advanced riders wanting to do tricks. Hybrid boards are somewhere in the middle.
As your skills increase you might try boards that are harder to ride but offer more in terms of tricks. Or maybe you will just enjoy the music and ride a big stable board like I do.
Whatever you choose we at Freshwater Surfer hope you enjoy the ride.