Surf equipment explained clearly will help anyone relatively new to the sport to understand whats what and how crucial it is in order to improve faster. Its impossible to know what board to start on , where to go and get it, what wet-suit to buy etc , in the beginning. As the surf industry has exploded over the last 20 years , so has the amount of garbage being sold. Sadly the other irony is that the people selling surf products, sometimes, don’t even surf but just look good in the shop, with a goal of sell sell sell. Hopefully this guide will help the newby or improving surfer to avoid a few of the classic mistakes and also dodge the stores that just rip people off.

There are three important areas to understand. Boards, wet-suits and leashes. Once you have made the correct choice your surfing will improve faster and you will be safe and comfortable doing it.

Lets talk about Boards

surf equipment explained

There is no doubt about it that this is the make or break of your surfing fun. The most comman mistake for the newcomer to the surf world is wanting to look cool walking down the beach. This involves going and spending about €800 on a top of the range short board of about the 6 foot. TOP-TIP : DONT DO IT ! The boards of this genre are built to go very fast and extremely loose to control. Therefore they just simply will never work for the newcomer. In fact anyone who has surfed for a while will spot the newcomer immediately walking down the beach and then have a good laugh as they leave the beach having had a lousy time, this is not COOL.This can lead to being labelled as a Kook. Read more about avoiding being a kook here. Be humble , dont worry about how the board looks , worry about how many waves you will actually get. The amount of waves ( or wave count) is exactly what helps everyone to improve. Click this link for a few more tips to help you improve. The other thing is having a good time, so get a big board to start. Heres a look at what people generally need from beginner to advanced :

Surf Equipment Explained & Foamies for beginners:

Surf equipment explained

These boards are designed to get newcomers up and riding without any hassle, and they work really well. Generally 6 / 7 / 8 foor range will cater for all sizes of surfer. Tiny kids start off on a 6 foot. Smaller adults on a 7 foot and average to larger humans on an 8 foot. They are stable and buoyant, meaning you can lie on them and paddle faster allowing you to actually catch the wave. Also making the dreaded ‘popup’ to your feet is easy and then, ‘bingo’ , you are having a good time actually surfing.

Good, bad and ugly foamies:

If renting use the above size guidelines. DONT get one to small. Very important point if renting, pick it up. If its heavy its full of water and almost dead. This will completely trash any chances of you having a good time. Its like rent a sail boat with a hole in it. Choose one that light and has not chops or holmes in it.

If buying , dont go to ‘surf n save’ style shops. Decathlon for example have very cheap foamies , but they have a very limited lifespan and are basically a waste of money. A good foamy is going to set you back a few hundred Euros, but will last for years, if looked after.

Performance foamies are the latest gadget to hit the surf world. They are small , about 5 foot and have hard FCS fins that can be changed. To be fare although the word gadget has been used , they actually surf very well, and can be great fun in slightly more challenging waves. TO BE CLEAR , these are not for beginners in any sense.

Hard boards are the next step :

Surf equipment explained

Everyone wants one.There are four main genres of hard board , Shortboards / Fish / Funboard / Longboards .Its the next step after the foam has been mastered. They go faster and turn easier, not to mention its a step towards the ‘cool’ looking board. Get this step correct and you will go far. DONT go too small. The natural step after foam is to get a mid length fun board or mini mal (mini malibu).

Stay humble and stick on 7 foot plus for the mo. There are a world of online calculators these days to help you figure out what size board you need and most importantly the literage ( or amount of volume) , but be honest about you ability and fitness, in order for them to be correct.

Surf Equipment Explained and Wetsuits :

surf equipment explained

This is not so complicated. DONT buy cheap. If you do buy cheap you will be cold , uncomfortable and end up with ‘wetsuit rash’ in places you dont want them. Its worth spending a few extra bucks to get a comfortable, flexible suit that will keep you toasty warm. Again there are certain big retail outlets that will sell super cheap suits, but you will not look cool and they are a waste of money. Rip-curl , Billabong , Quiksilver are a few good brands.

Surf Equipment Explained & Leashes :

This is important. Spend an extra few bucks. Cheap ones will wrap around your feet all the time. They also have a very limited life. The one thing you don’t want going wrong is bailing on a decent size wave, feeling the leash pulling, then feeling it go ‘ping’! Its a long swim back that can be dangerous if your nervous or unfit.

Hope this helps .

If you are reading this its because your hungry to learn. Get the equipment correct , then if your really keen , go get some private lessons or group lessons. Just make sure that the instructor at the school you choose is a surfer, ask them how long they have surfed and where and when they qualified. If you need any more info just drop a line and we will talk you through A to Z . Come stay with us, at the oldest Surf Lodge in Hossegor area, the Secret Spot Lodge, and we will take you surfing and guide you as much as you need down your surf road.