Every year it is the same story here in Portugal, guys turn up with their brand new custom surfboards and after going in the water, being filmed getting marmalized, the question is asked > ‘Is your surfboard right for your level, ability and type of waves surfed?’
A common theme appears to be emerging, that:
a) After a surfing lesson people rush out and buy a surfboard. (Generally one that looks cool)
b) The surfboard is 9 times out of 10 wrong for the particular stage they are at.
How does this happen? Why don’t guys stay on softboards for a longer period which will help them build more water skills, surf fitness and higher wave counts which of course will equal faster development.
How could the custom boards be so wrong for the guys on this particular surf trip? Well there has been an obvious breakdown in communication between the shaper and the surfer. Has the shaper built a board that he/she thinks is best for the surfer? Or has the surfer been sparing with the truth about their particular surfing ability? EG: Two guys this week have custom boards that are designed for a higher level of surfer, Chris V had a go on one as did Ben and they struggled on them, so, in this case what are two beginners doing on them?
Anyway please do not become a victim:
1) Have a surfing lesson
2) Hire softboards and practice for a few months
3) Speak to your surfing coach about surfboards that best suit you
4) Only buy a board when you are at a level to go that ‘next step’
5) Never be afraid to go back on softboards when the surf is small to practice paddling/catching waves
6) If your catching loads of waves your surfing will improve really fast and then it could be time for the next surfboard
7) How about getting someone to video you in a variety of conditions so that you can show your surfboard shaper. The truth will empower a good shaper to create a surfboard that will help you progress and gain confidence.
Here is a good link regarding surfboard information > Surfboard for Novice
One of the guys took this shot of me which I found highly amusing, why? Well after several chats held in the evenings about surfboards ideal for beginners and those that are not etc I watched perfect 2-3 ft waves breaking with sun and offshore winds being ridden by the few that listened, those that did not may as well have been with Gunther…
Live, Surf and Travel….