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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SURFBOARD

Surfboard Size Guide: When choosing a surfboard, you need to be aware of the 3 basic elements of
LENGTH, SHAPE and CONSTRUCTION.

SURFBOARD LENGTH

The length of your surfboard is the key issue when choosing a surfboard.  Surfboard length is dependent on a few things.

ABILITY
The first is ability, in general, the bigger the board the easier it is to catch waves. Take a look at the tables below to get an idea about the minimum sizes that you should be looking at for your surfboard. Be sure to make the right choice when buying a board and if you are unsure send us an email and we will be happy to help.

WATER TIME
A surfer who only surfs occasionally will need a bigger board than one who surfs regularly. This comes down to paddle fitness and balance, the more time your spending in the water, the more waves you will catch and less waves you will fall off. A board that is too small will hold back a surfer's improvement and probably result in frustration, so if in doubt it is best to go for something slightly larger.

WEIGHT
Your weight will also determine what length board you should choose, the table below can be used as a general guide:

GENERAL GUIDE TO SURFBOARD LENGTH - TABLE
The following Surfboards Size Chart provides a general guide for choosing a surfboard.  It links to catalogs displaying those specific sizes for you convenience.  Navigate to the main menu to see all board sizes in each category:

Surfer's Weight
 Beginner
Intermediate
< 65 kg
65 - 75 kg
75 - 85 kg
85 - 90 kg
90 kg+

 
Surfer's Weight  Beginner
Intermediate
< 55 kg
 55 - 65 kg
7'0" - 7'4"
6'8" - 7'2"
65 - 75 kg
75 - 85 kg
85 - 90 kg
90 kg+

Surfer's Weight
 Beginner
Intermediate
< 80 kg
80 - 100 kg
100 kg +

SURFBOARD SHAPE

The Mini-Mal - Beginners to Advanced

Mini-mal surfboards or funboard are perfect for the person who likes the feel of a longboard but wants more maneuverability. Minimals are easier to carry and manage out in the water but with all the surfing ease of a longboard. Great for kids and smaller adults looking for a great beginners board or the experienced longboarder needing something more maneuverable.

The Longboard - Beginners to Advanced

The longboard or malibu surfboard is a modern replica of what the sport was started on. Paddle into what ever you want and hang ten all the way to the beach. Among the most popular boards in the water and for good reason - longboards are easy to start on and always fun.

The Softboard - Beginners only

Softboards are for kids or beginners to learn to surf on. The length and width of these soft boards are designed to maximise stability and make them easy to paddle on. The soft construction of the board ensures you don't get hurt during the spills while you still enjoy the thrills. Softboards limit how far you can progress as they don't turn as well due to the soft fins. Mini-mal's are more popular for the serious learner surf.

Fish Surfboards - Beginner to Advanced

Fish surfboards are great for surfing small waves as these boards are usually shorter but wider and thicker. They generally have a swallow tail design and a 2, 3 or 4 fin setup. Fish used to be the summer board choice for advanced surfers but now many designs and the bigger fish boards are the preferred choice for people learning to surf. Fish allow learners to progress beyond the turning limitations of a mini-mal surfboard or a longboard. They are also popular with the "big boys" who want something to rip it up on.

General guide for choosing a fish surfboard - intermediate to advanced surfers normally ride a fish that is up to 4-inches shorter than their normal surfboard.  The above table can be used for beginner to intermediate surfers.

Types of Fish Surfboards
These include:

Retro fish - the old school twin fin with large side fins and deep swallow tail. These cruise over the flattest section and are loads of fun.
Quad fish- the four fin setup, sometimes with a fifth fin plug to turn them into a thruster. The fastest of all the fish!
Tri-fin fish - or the standard fish. Every surfer should have one as their small wave weapon for summer

Advantages
Fish surfboards are perfect for small waves. They move quickly over flat sections of the wave while you are surfing and are easy to maneuver. Fish ride really smooth, look great and are a must-have for any surfer who spends a lot of time in the water over summer!

Disadvantages
Fish surfboards don’t perform as well in bigger surf and tend to be quite loose. Quadfish surfboards are the fastest but can be slightly harder to turn. The experienced surfer will find they have to adapt their surfing style as they move from a quad back to a thruster setup.

SURFBOARD CONSTRUCTION

Surfboards Direct carry all types of surfboards; Fibreglass, epoxy and softboard surfboards.

FIBREGLASS SURFBOARDS
This is your normal type of surfboard construction. Machine shaped to absolute precision measurements and hand finished. These boards are most popular due to the attractive traditional gloss finish and more refined shapes. Polyester foam and fibreglass also has the advantage of being easier/cheaper to fix in the future should you get any major dings.

EPOXY SURFBOARDS
Epoxy surfboards use polystyrene foam and epoxy resin. Epoxy surfboards are in general lighter and stronger, depending on the exact construction method. They are highly popular due to their ability to resist the smaller everyday dings. Surfboard Direct's epoxy boards are glassed using high quality epoxy resin, seamless rails. Reinforced nose and tail provide better ding resistance and strength.

SOFTBOARDS or FOAM SURFBOARDS
Softboards are for beginners and are great fun to learn on. They are safer and you can surf between the flags on a softboard. Softboards can either have a slick or foam bottom much like a boogie board construction. The fins are softer/rounder and made of stiff rubber so are less likely to cut you accidentally. You do not need to wax your softboard as much because the foam itself is quite grippy. It is recommended that you wear a rashvest or wetsuit when using a softboard as they do tend to give you a rash more quickly than a regular surfboard due to the increased amount of friction.

Softboards are limited in their performance ability so if you are serious about learning you should buy a fibreglass or epoxy mini-mal or longboard.

Foam Blanks
The inside of a surfboard is made from a "foam blank". Quality of foam depends on foam density and the construction method. Longboards tend to be made from denser foam. Epoxy boards use polystyrene foam which is lighter and holds less water.