In the life of any novice surfer, a stage begins when he understands that it is time to tie up with the rental of boards and that it is time to think about buying your own board.
Often the surfer does not think about how to choose a surfboard, but simply goes to the surf shop and asks the seller for advice. And then he simply buys what he likes, without thinking about whether this surfboard is suitable for the level of skating and for the waves on which he will ride.
Most beginner surfers tend to think that the choice of surfboard depends on the level of skating. While this is indeed an important factor, there are also other criteria, namely: waves, riding style preferences, and physical data.
Undoubtedly, this factor is very important, since the level of the surfer’s riding determines how much the chosen surfboard will reveal its potential, will allow it to grow further.
Improperly selected surfboards can greatly inhibit progress.
The simplest example that we see everywhere is people who have seen enough of the surf video and want to switch to shortboards as quickly as possible and begin to “hand out” like pros.
Many skaters and snowboarders do not want to acknowledge the fact that surfing is a damn complicated thing, and that even if they urinate on other surfboards, here you have to start from the very beginning.
As a result, instead of “handing out”, these surfers spend most of their “skating” awkwardly sitting on their shortboards in the water, turning over and over, trying unsuccessfully to rake each wave.
And if they still managed to take the wave, then they are hardly able to go far…
Surfer level can be truly soberly assessed only by his surf instructor. And only he can give the most adequate recommendation in choosing a board.
If you have not taken lessons for a long time, then ask the advice of a familiar instructor with whom you often ride. If there is none, then I advise you to take a lesson.
When choosing a surfboard , many surfers start only from its length, thinking: “I skated for 7’2 month, so I’m ready for 6’8.”
Go to the store, tell the seller that they want this size.
The seller, without thinking twice, discovers that out of 6 ″ 8 they have only miniguns (narrow and thin surfboards for riding on waves of 3+ growth) and inhales her surfer.
It would seem that everyone is happy. But, upon entering the water, the surfer discovers that it is very, very difficult to ride this one. Not that ride, but even sit.
And the thing is that in addition to length, each one has three more parameters: width, thickness and volume.
So, you can find about a dozen completely different surfboards with a length of 6’8 that will be designed for different waves, styles and levels of riding.
Given each of these parameters, you can, for example, find a 5’8-long board that will be as easy to rake as 7’6, but it’ll be maneuverable at times.
Tip: even if you want to ride on shortboards, do not rush. Think carefully about the pros and cons. After 3 months of skiing, of course, you can ride on a 6’6-foot hybrid-board, wide and thick, almost like a fish, but on a shape more like a shortboard.
On long surfboards it is much easier to rake, they are not so demanding on the position on the wave and forgive mistakes.
But the more waves we catch, the more we ride. And this is the most important thing, right?
Try as many different surfboards as possible, rent or from friends. Ride each one at least a couple of times (often one time is not enough to ride the surf), and select the type and shape of the board that meets all of the above criteria.
But if you have a lot of experience, then you should go to a new level – to a short type.
Of course, a shortboard is cool, but not everyone can ride it.
Yes, any athlete with a similar one in his hands looks cool as compared to any other pine forest. However, it is worth considering if this is necessary.
This material is intended to clarify the key “pros” and “cons” of a shortboard.
Why should you ride a shortboard
There are several main reasons why you should try your hand at shortboard.
The sharpness of the waves, more growth. Choosing a particular surfboard, the main attention is paid to the features of the wave.
For very fast, as well as sharp waves, which often blow an excellent option, the maneuverable thin board will become just that.
Due to the great sharpness of the wave, the dimensions of the surfboard do not play such a decisive role, since it will not take a lot of strength to plow up on such waves.
However, on trumpeting waves, a rocker plays a really important role. After all, flat-shaped boards under such conditions simply dive under the water with their noses.
Of course, you can watch other surfers who ride the blowing waves on longer boards.
True, they ride mainly on the shoulder of the wave and in no way touch the rounded and sharp region located near its peak. But it is from here that all the power of the wave comes.
Thanks to this section, acceleration is gained to enter the vertical region of the wave in order to do any trick.
Pipes. Shortboards are great for pipe riding.
Of course, it’s real to enter this area both on the fish, and on the heavy longboard, and on the single Finn, however shortboards are designed specifically for this purpose and for similar skating.
If an athlete likes to hide from everyone around him with a wall of water, then a shortboard is an ideal option.
True, in order to learn how to go inside the pipe, you will have to work out well and make a lot of effort.
The choice of many possible tricks. Shortboard provides tremendous opportunities for skiing.
There is an opportunity to demonstrate powerful skating, toss airs, ride with a pueira, burying a rail into the abyss of water, generate whole tons of spray.
Some athletes leave smooth trails behind them, drawing a semblance of a figure eight, others perform very aggressive stunts, destroying vertical areas, using snaps.
The key reason for choosing shortboards with so many skaters is the ability to use all available wave sections.
Each board is optimally suited for a specific section. Shortboard is so fast that it allows you to pull on the wave shoulder, and then return to the closing area, and then gain the necessary acceleration for the next trick.
For those who want to discover a lot of new things in surfing, a shortboard is perfect. A shortboard is a challenge that some athletes need so much.
Indeed, many people like to set high goals, and then achieve them, rising to a higher level of professionalism.
By conducting competitions with strong rivals, you can surpass yourself by accomplishing what was previously simply impossible and get true pleasure, which is available only when conquering a certain goal.
It is a shortboard that provides an excellent opportunity to compete.
When an athlete reaches the line-up, he notices other skiers throwing spray on the surrounding area and doing floaters.
Further, the newcomer is already throwing spray, motivating his colleagues on the waves.
Shortboard has a modest size and weight, for this reason it is quite easy to manage.
Such boards are simply designed to perform tricks. Therefore, they are characterized by modest weight and dimensions.
For their construction, a smaller volume of fiberglass, as well as foam and resin, is used. A good “plus” of the board is a small amount.
When riding on a shortboard, the diving is easily and simply carried out under the wave, emerging from the opposite side and completely not getting kneaded.
Also, if it is noticeable that the wave is now slamming shut, then you can take up the rail board and break through its wall. Thus, you can go under water and prevent penetration through the foam, floating again on line-up.
Naturally, this is unrealistic on thick and bulky boards.
On the shore, shortboards are very convenient for transportation and storage. After all, it’s enough to just find the corner where 5-6 shortboards will be stored.
If there are surfers with large dimensions, then you have to come up with something. In the case of air travel, the dimensions of the shortboard also play a huge role.
Among other things, such boards have a lower cost. After all, a shaper needs less material.
For example, a quality shortboard will cost up to $ 600, and a longboard will cost one and a half times more.
Why not ride a shortboard
Shortboards also have shortcomings:
- Smooth waves to the waist. A shortboard is not the best option for small waves.
They do not differ in the ability to push, so you need to row well. Among other things, you should choose a starting position.
If on such a wave it is still lucky to get on the board, then it is necessary to vigorously pump up and swing, making attempts to maintain or gain the desired speed.
Naturally, athletes ride such boards on small days, however, most often for them such skating, when it does not swing, ends in failure, and not positive emotions.
For small waves, a larger and thicker board is needed. Therefore, in order to eliminate frustration, it is better to choose a more overall board, especially since the choice of boards for such skating is simply huge.
- Aging surfer. Any surfer comes to the conclusion that age takes its toll and the question arises of changing the board.
In the process of growing up, the body’s metabolism slows down significantly and recovery after intense skating continues for a longer period than in youth. The flexibility of the whole body decreases, it becomes more vulnerable to injuries.
All these factors are not in favor of a shortboard.
Of course, such boards are maneuverable, but with maximum mobility of the skater himself.
Indeed, in the process of skiing, one should constantly bend, deviate, crouch, and, among other things, undergo explosive loads. And all this is given more and more difficult with age.
When you reach the age of 30, it is advisable to add a couple of inches to the length of the board every five years.
Naturally, this does not mean at all that the athlete is not able to ride on maneuvering boards. However, for such cases, a hybrid would be the best option.
Moreover, many athletes continue to ride actively, being at a respectable age. An example is the legendary Ocky or Tom Carren.
If you maintain the muscles in a flexible state, and your body is in good physical shape using techniques such as yoga, and do not gain extra pounds, then you can successfully surf on a shortboard.
- Less time spent on the wave. Everyone who rolls wants to extend their stay on the wave.
After loading in a car or on a motorcycle, roads to a spot, putting on a wetsuit, long raking on a line-up, as well as breaking through the surf, waiting for the necessary set and fighting for the peak, I want a good wave to not end.
- To ride, you should sacrifice your own time. A surf session lasting two hours in total can take up to four or more hours with relocation and preparation.
In a couple of hours, a beginner or a mid-level surfer can catch up to 6-10 waves. On each he will be up to 10 seconds.
The result is that you can surf for about a minute out of all four hours. At this time, you can sleep or do something more useful.
Therefore, the athlete must ask himself the question: is it worth it?
Long boards make it easier to catch the waves, and travel on them are longer. Among other things, you can even ride the wave together or three, sharing it with colleagues.
A long board with the same period for a surf session makes it possible to ride up to 10 times longer.
- Aggressiveness of shortboarding. Shortboarders are constantly fighting for the wave.
These athletes compete in rowing when a wave approaches them. It is so important to take an advantageous position.
For the same reason, shortboarders drop other skaters. In some situations, contentious issues arise that end poorly in the water or on the beach.
There are many examples of localism in the history of surfing, when local athletes do not allow visitors to ride normally for surfers. It comes to various unpleasant situations, and to fights.
Riding a shortboard gives a serious flow of adrenaline. For this reason, shortboarders are more stressful than other surfers.
All aggression comes from the limited space on the line-up. It would seem that the ocean is large and everyone should have enough space, but for a shortboard this statement is not entirely true.
Shortboard spots have several peaks.
The starting area is limited, so some disputes are logical, especially when the line-up is crowded.
If for a surfer skiing is primarily relaxation, then it is better to look for other spots, less crowded and very friendly. On them, the starting area is wide and there is the opportunity to relax.
The fragility of shortboards. As mentioned above, for shorter boards, less material is used.
Therefore, the risk of breaking the board or getting a dent is higher. With a larger volume of resin, the board is not so afraid of damage, but it has a large weight.
Right in the store you can feel the board and feel the thickness of the resin on it.
For those who do not do vertical snaps and airs and generally do not exist in such conditions, it is better to choose a stronger board.
It should be noted that shortboarders change their boards up to 3 times a year, and professionals – up to 10 per month. Riding a shortboard is not suitable for every athlete.
Indeed, one likes a relaxed style, and not deliberate aggressiveness of short trading, others are simply not able to ride such a board.
If an athlete fits even one of the above aspects, it is better to immediately choose a different board and receive relaxation no matter what.
If the skater has little experience, then you can forget about the shortboards for at least six months with daily skating.
You should not switch to a shortboard, because it will have much less riding time.
Moreover, in many cases, beginners on shortboards simply sit on the line-up, trying to rake in the wave. And they don’t get any pleasure.