Updated: Feb 27, 2020
“What type of board should I be using?” is one of the most important questions in both surfing and skimboarding. When choosing a board there are many factors that come into play: skill level, personal size, wave conditions, etc.
Surfing: For beginners, we suggest using a soft top board with a tri fin setup. Soft top surfboards are just as the name describes - a surfboard with a soft deck on top. These boards are great for beginners, anyone learning to surf, and any surfer who wants to have fun. The soft deck top allows for a more comfortable paddle and is also very forgiving with dents and dings when learning to surf. 'Tri fins', or 'thruster' setup gives firm support and connectivity to the wave while encouraging maneuverability. Soft top surfboards are enjoyable to ride in many different sizes and conditions of waves by beginner to advanced surfers alike
When you reach the levels of intermediate or advanced we suggest trying out different boards! Trying out boards of different shapes, sizes, and fin setups helps surfers learn which they prefer in the various surf conditions. When you are ready to adventure from a soft top surfboard, you can choose to ride a longboard or a shortboard. A longboard surfboard will have a similar feel to a soft top surfboard. Longboard surfboards mimic the original surfboard logs first used in Polynesian culture. Longboards provide paddling ease, a large vessel with somewhat ease of maneuverability, and a vessel to catch almost any size wave.
As the sport of surfing progressed, the boards became shorter. Shortboards are best when the waves have some power. Shortboard surfboards provide a small, sturdy vessel with extreme maneuverability on the wave. Shortboards sacrifice padding ease for speed, power, and control.
Skimboarding: Many skim boarders are introduced to the sport by trying wooden boards in the flats of the shore break. This is known as flatland skimboarding and can be done all over the world with various types of wooden skimboards. At The Sandy Avocado Surf Camp we use tricks and techniques in the flat ocean water to improve our wave riding skimboarding. Wave riding skimboards are often made of foam, fiberglass, or carbon. These resemble mini surfboards without fins. Many companies like Victoria Skimboards offer sizing charts on their websites. Our general rule of thumb for sizing is that your skimboard should lie anywhere between your heart and chin, when standing upright. The correct weight and feel of a skimboard is very important and unique to each person. When purchasing a board in-person, pick up the skimboard, walk around with it, show it some love and see if it feels right to you!
Would you like to speak in person with a local board expert to help with the decision of ‘what board to ride’? Visit Farias Surf Shop!