If you are learning how to surf, give yourself every advantage and get the right beginners surfboard to learn to surf with. I find the ‘mini-mal’ is a happy medium that works for many people.
I started on a 7’6 on the recommendation of a few good friends who are great surfers and who also started on minimals. Interestingly, they suggested minimals as ideal beginners surfboards not only for the obvious functional benefits of buoyancy and stability but also because they provide an ideal platform for setting the building blocks of style. Drawing out ones turns, using your body leverage to transition, etc. Anyway, it worked for me so naturally I find myself recommending this approach.
Second, in my experience, going too long carries its own set of challenges as does going too short (i.e., with a shortboard or a fish). While a shortboard may lack the length, stability and paddle power conducive to learning, a longboard may be too difficult to negotiate and manoeuvre due to the increased length and bulk. And, if a learner intends to move down to a shortboard, the transition won’t be as jarring if coming from a minimal versus a longboard.
That said, the most important thing with your learner’s board, whether it’s 6’0 or 10’0, is that you feel comfortable with it!
+ Long (but not too long! ‘Longboards’ carry their own set of challenges), wide, thick. You need paddle power and stability when you’re starting out
+ Relatively wide nose and tail keep the board stable so you can stay on your feet longer
– Not fun to duck dive – learn the turtle roll!
– Not a turner but not intended to be
– Not lively and manoeuvrable but not intended to be
I started on a 7’6 ‘Blue’ mini-mal surfboard. I had no awareness of dimensions or volume back then but I know it had a lot!
Best Wave Type
Knee to head high, flat-faced beginner waves!
Hello! Welcome to Benny’s Boardroom. Welcome back if you’ve been here before. Thank you so much for your feedback and comments. I’ve received some great feedback about the show from people who have been getting something out of it. So, I hope that you’re enjoying it. I hope that it’s helping you in your quest to find the perfect board.
Today, we’re not going to talk about a specific shaper or a specific model of board. What we’re going to talk about is the answer to the question that I get asked often as a surfer and if you surf you get asked this question quite often as well from people who don’t surf which is:
“What board do I ride when I’m just starting out? What should my first beginners surfboard be, the one that I’m going to learn on and go through that really hard beginning period where I really don’t know what I’m doing?”
I started surfing in Indonesia. The first time I ever stood on a board was at Kuta Beach in Bali and I fell in love right away.
“I went and bought a board and, as far as beginners surfboards go, it was a terrible, terrible board!”
It was a bad decision and it ended up being a waste of money. It was this big, ugly, funboard looking thing that was just a piece of foam that was hardly shaved down at all and just had a piece of glass whacked around it. It was really unforgiving, narrow in the nose and tail; not a good board to learn on. Here is the old girl:
Now below is a good beginners surfboard to learn with. What you want when you’re learning is something that is long, that is wide and something that is thick; it has to have lots of foam. The reasons for this are:
- You need to be able to catch waves to learn how to surf and, in the beginning, your paddle fitness is not going to be where it should be. Therefore, you need something that is wide and thick and long to give you paddle power to be able to paddle on to lots of waves
- Once you get up to your feet, you need something that is wide – I’m not just talking about wide just through the centre but something that is wide all the way up to the nose and is wide all the way through the tail – because that is going to give you stability. So, once you actually pop up your feet the first few times, that’s going to help you to stay on the board longer and that’s really what you need, when you’re starting out
You don’t need anything fancy. You don’t need anything sexy. Don’t get what all the pros are riding; don’t get what all the cool kids are riding. You don’t need that. Learning how to surf is hard. Give yourself every advantage and get the right surfboard when you start out. This is the right type of board when you start out:
The above is a 7’4 ‘mini-mal’ by Liquid Lines. I usually suggest that learning surfers get a surfboard between 7’2 and 8’0 foot, depending on their weight. If you’re a smaller female, a 7 ‘0 or a 7’2 should do the trick. If you’re a big guy starting out maybe a 7’6 or a 8’0 foot will do. I started with a 7’6 (pictured above). This doesn’t have much rocker, although rocker is really unimportant to you in the beginning of your surfing journey. You can see how thick it is through the center. This is a big, wide, stable board. It’s not really good for anything but catching waves, getting up to your feet and staying on your feet as long as possible.
If you are learning, I hope this helps you. Hopefully you won’t make the same mistake that I did by buying the wrong surfboard and thank you very much, for watching the show.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
A LOT OF VOLUME! 🙂
Latest posts by Benny (see all)
- Christenson Surfboards Fish Surfboard Review - July 30, 2017
- JS Industries Flying Pony Surfboard Review - March 8, 2017
- Neal Purchase Jnr DUO (Dual Single Fin) Surfboard Review - October 19, 2016
Submit your review