Custom Surfboards22 comments
When we talk about custom surfboards, we're talking about glassed surfboards, boards that have been handcrafted as opposed to factory-produced pop-outs or soft boards. (But not necessarily produced to an individual's specifications.) The custom surfboard is the board used by the average and professional surfer alike, and it makes a great beginner board— if the right surfboard is chosen.
Avoid the Thruster
The title "Avoid the Thruster" refers to a shortboard, which honestly is not the greatest surfboard to start learning on. Shortboards are not wide enough, thick enough, or long enough to suit a novice surfer; a much better choice is a mini-mal or longboard.
The mini-mal, also known as the funboard, offers everything that a beginner should be looking for — it is wide, it is long, and it has excellent buoyancy. The design of the mini-mal is such that it paddles well, making it ideal for catching waves. Its width helps with stability, giving a little extra help to the novice surfer.
As a beginner, using the right board will likely see you progress quickly from novice to advanced surfer. This type of surfboard has great mileage, giving it an edge over the soft board and the pop-out surfboard. Mini-mals can be quite expensive, but they are the best choice, so start saving now or hope Santa is particularly flush this year.
The longboard, or malibu, is another good beginner board for the same reasons as the mini-mal. They make it easy to catch the waves and are buoyant and stable. They lose out slightly because of their length and their weight. Additionally, the longboard is the hardest board to get out to the lineup; on a messy surf day it can seem almost impossible! These boards are also harder to turn than a mini-mal, making the step down to a shortboard less of a natural transition.
Beginners Surfboard Guide Summary
Here are some of the main things to bear in mind when considering which surfboard to buy as a beginner.
- No matter what type of board you buy, it should be at least 6 inches longer than your own height.
- Remember that the wider the board is, the more stable it will be on the waves.
- The thicker the board is, the more buoyant it will be, making it easier to paddle and catch waves.
- An ultra-thin, light shortboard will only make learning to surf more difficult. Why do you think that performance boards are not used by surf schools?
- The best type of beginner surfboard depends on different factors. You should consider how often you'll be surfing, your fitness levels, and whether you need to look cool. Best go back and read the both the beginner board pages again.
- Soft boards, longboards, mini-mals and pop-outs are all great beginner boards.
- Shortboards are not such a great beginner board for the average surfer.
New or Old
- Whether to go with a new or used board depends on a number of factors including budget and availability of boards.
- Buying a new soft surfboard is a good idea if you have children or you do not intend to go surfing regularly. If you progress quickly in your surfing, you'll soon need another board more suited to your ability. These boards are for the novice only. A cheap, second-hand board might be the best bet.
- Good second-hand surfboards can be hard to find. If you're new to buying a surfboard, you might want to take a look at our surfboard buying guide.
- With a beginner board, you're going to have to replace it soon. You need a board that you can resell.
How Often You Surf
- If you only surf once a year, go for a softboard.
- If you surf intermittently, go for a pop-out, mini-mal or Malibu.
- If you surf three to four times a week, you can pretty much start on any board you like. Surfing this regularly should see you quickly move beyond the "novice surfer" stage.
Back to pop-outs and soft surfboards
Someone who has not read our guide
on May 12, 2011
|I found this guide extremely useful and clearly sorted out the differences between all the different types of surf board!|
on May 26, 2011
|Wow thanks that was really helpful!|
on May 31, 2011
|Very helpful!!!! Thanks!I had to make my boyfriend read this.. he has never surfed ever in his life! i grew up on the beach surfing every chance I got.. He thought he could start on a short board and well learned the hard way! thanks now he has a Mini Mal to start with.|
on Jul 17, 2011
|this is a very helpful guide for us (begginer)can some won tell me what kind off glue i can use on a softboard (the core part) thanks|
on Aug 5, 2011
|@Guest on Jul 17, 2011: Have you dinged it? Is that why you need to know? You can get repair kits for these boards - see liquidshredder.co.uk/prod_accs_parche_in.html|
on Aug 15, 2011
|As a new surfer this is an excellent read!! Thanks... Mini-Mal here I come!!!|
on Aug 21, 2011
|Now I am ready to choose a surfboard. You have answered all my questions - thanks.|
on Aug 25, 2011
|Excellent guides, I will now get two softboards for the boys and probably a longboard or pop out for me (Dad). That way we can all surf together on the same surf, Cheers|
|Future Surfer Dude|
on Sep 13, 2011
|This has definately guided me in the right direction .. Mini Mal u r soon gonna be mine ;))|
on Sep 21, 2011
|Yep defo a great read! Im a keen snowboarder and skater so i should progress quickly. I think i will start with a custom. Making sure its a bit thicker than normal and 6'' taller than me!|
on Oct 15, 2011
|Thank you for the info greatly appreciated!!!!!!!alohaz!|
on Nov 9, 2011
|Good articles and good information for surfing beginners. Cool.|
on Nov 11, 2011
on Nov 14, 2011
on Jan 4, 2012
|Very Helpful! Thanks|
on Jan 25, 2012
|I'm a big guy. 6-5", 260 lbs. I see I should get a board at least 6" longer then my height, or 7' minimum. What about my weight? Should i factor that into my selection?|
on Feb 7, 2012
|Excellent excellent info - just what I was looking for. Great site guys!|
on Apr 12, 2012
|Really helpful cheers big ears!|
on May 5, 2012
|Good info - going soft for 10 yr old 'dude'!|
on Jun 7, 2012
|great help with all the info you need to know! thanks :)|
on Sep 16, 2012
|So, I have been surfing for 2 months, 2-4 times a wk. When I first started I bought a hybrid cuz it was cheap and didn't what to get. Then a month ago got a soft. Now I go everyday once or twice a day. I made a deal with myself to go at least 5 days a wk. I'm confused about the last line. Should I try going back to my hybrid or should I sell it and get a mini? I was think of selling my hybrid and would feel foolish being on something I'm not ready for. To help, I can pop up on most waves with not much trouble my balance is getting better. I have a dedicated personality to the things I do. I just love it a lot. Any help?|
|Tim tux |
on Jan 15, 2013
|Many thanks for the info|