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San Diego Surfing Home > Surfing School > Equipment - SurfBoards

Surfing School - Equipment - SurfBoards

There are many different types of surfboards, and for a beginner the features and characteristics can seem confusing. Look for a more comprehensive surfboard guide amongst these pages in the future.

The best surfboard for a beginner is a funboard or an egg, which is a fairly wide and thick board from 7' to 8' in length, typically having a blunt or rounded nose. A good rule of thumb is to get something 14" longer than you are tall, and at least 20" wide.

A longboard, a round-nosed board of 9' or more length, is too difficult to paddle and control for most beginners, while a shortboard is typically too thin, narrow, and short, rendering it unstable and difficult to paddle.

Look for a used board when first starting out. Most surf shops should have some sort of used board selection. There may also be used-equipment retailers in your area, like "Play it Again Sports." Look in newspapers for boards for sale.

Be sure to look the board over before purchasing:

  • Make sure there aren't any dings, or holes in the board. If there are, you will need to repair them.
  • Test the deck for soft, bubbly, delamination, which weakens the board and allows it to take on water.
  • Make sure the fins are intact and that there is a plug on the deck for a leash to attach to.
  • Again, look for something with general characteristics of being wide, thick, and long as opposed to narrow, short, and thin.
  • The board need not be totally pristine; once you really get into surfing you'll likely want to upgrade to something different.


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