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Discover The Basics To Surfing, Class 1 - The Right Surfboard

May 18, 2008
You must cover the basics when starting out, the first few steps you will need to cover are...

1: Find the perfect beginners board

2: Practice how to paddle on your surfboard

3: Getting past waves, by either rolling or duckdiving

4: 4th catch that first wave

5: Then last how to stand up on your surfboard without falling off

Lets first cover choosing the right board. To choose the right board, you might be thinking of what looks the coolest, or what the pros are riding. But believe me you won't look very cool trying to stand up on a 6ft thruster if you haven't mastered the basics.

Once you have mastered the basics, then you can invest in a brand new board. But first you're going to need something big... the bigger it is, the better it will float, and the easier it will be to paddle. Also the larger you are the more floatation you will need.

I suggest starting out on a big board first, you will be able to get your balance faster, and then move to a smaller board sooner. Look for something above 6ft 8inches long, 7ft to 8ft is a good starting size. If you intend to ride long boards then you can go much longer look for a Malibu up to around 12 ft.

So you got your eyes on a big old board around 7 to 8ft, what's it look like... who cares? If it can hold you up that's all that matters, dings will not affect you because you wont be doing anything to tricky or tackling large waves. However while the board can look crapy, you don't want the fiberglass peeling away from the foam, if water can reach the foam, it will soak into it and weigh you down. Then you will never get the speed to catch a wave.

The shape of the board should not worry you, if it has a swallow tail or is square, it wont matter, you will be going pretty much straight ahead anyway. Just like the number of fins wont bother you, 1 or 3 whatever. You will not be doing tight turns, so shape and fins don't matter, however whatever surfboard you choose remember it should be at least 2 to 3 inches thick and at least 19 inches wide.

Most importantly when you get your first board is to get a leg rope. You might hear horror stories of the board getting dragged under then getting pulled back towards you like a bungy and knocking you out, but this will only happen in huge swell, which I hope you will not be tackling when learning to surf.

Don't even try risking it with no legrope, or an old one that could snap. You might try to grap your board whenever you fall off, but it will get away from you. Then you have to try and swim in with the waves crashing on you, it takes a lot more energy swimming in the ocean then in a pool.

The many elements of the ocean could have you swimming as hard as you can, while you feel like your going nowhere. You might even be able to see your board drifting towards you, but just before you can reach it a wave will pick it up and carry it away, yet you will have to much drag for the wave to pick you up. Even if you are a strong enough swimmer, it will take a lot of time and energy just to get your board every time.

You will need a new legrope, this is something you can keep when trading in your surfboard, so it will not be wasted with an old board. Quality is best, but any new rope should be strong enough. Make sure you get a legrope that is long enough to reach you when standing forward on the board. But don't get anything too long, if the rope is too long it can act as a bungy, pulling your board right back at you.

So you got your surfboard, its big, its ugly, but it will hold you up. Now your ready to practice, so read the next articles on how to surf, grab your friends and start paddling.
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