How do I choose a surfboard? - While there are faster sizes and designs available, beginners are usually advised to start out with a traditional longboard.
Usually measuring 9 - 11 feet in length, longboards also add stability with a wider deck, a helpful feature you'll appreciate as you practice to grow your 'surfing legs". Later, you may want to save up for a sleeker, high-performance shortboard as your expertise increases.
How do I buy a surfboard? - Like any item you're in the market for, it always pays to shop around.
Browse online, ask surfing friends for recommendations, or strike up a conversation with a local surf shop owner to pick their brain about choosing the best beginner surfboard at the right price.
Generally, prices for a new longboard can range anywhere from US$400 - $700. For a piece of gear you may want to trade-in months later, it's a major investment — so the experts always advise that beginners start out with a good used longboard. Not only will you be saving hundreds of dollars, but if you shop smart you may be able to find a used board in good or near-mint condition.
parts of a surfboard
Should I rent a surfboard? - If you're brand new to surfing, and lucky enough to live in area where board rentals are common, by all means start off by renting a surfboard.
If you're just starting out, you may catch the surfing "bug" - or you may not. If it turns out to be the latter, renting can save your from having to sell your used board back to the shop (or on craigslist or E-Bay) at a loss.
How do I care for my new surfboard? Whether it's new, used, or rented, proper care for your surfboard will lengthen its life and save you money in the long run. Basic care tips include avoiding extremes of hot and cold (i.e., storing it indoors when not in use, and not letting your board bake out in the summer sun); and, where possible, surfing away from shallow reefs to lessen chances of dings to your board.
Investing in a board bag is also a good idea to help insulate and further protect your surfboard en route to the shore. Choose one with a shoulder strap, to make it even easier to transport, so you can save your energy for a day riding the waves.
More about surfboards around the Web:
Around the Web, find out more about choosing a surfboard that's just right for you and you're interest or experience level, with tips on buying related surfing gear ...
Buying Your First Surfboard - Great advice on buying a second-hand surfboard with details on what dimensions to look
for, and related tips on buying surfing gear and accessories.
How to Buy a Used Surfboard - Check out helpful tips on where, and how to buy a used board, with an inspection checklist and related advice on choosing and caring for your new surfboard.