dkap wrote:would I be better off getting a larger white diamond? The salesman at the retail store discouraged me from a 5'10" saying "it's too much board", but given his experience level could that be the better choice than the 5'6"? I'm confused because the website lists 5-6" as the right one for a novice of my sons size...
I wouldnt take the website table very seriously - it lists the novice board for my weight (180 lb) as 6'6 x 21 1/4 x 2 13/16. Now there would be remarkably few novices at 180lb who could do anything with a board that size.
As a comparison, have a look at the firewire website volume calculator (http://www.firewiresurfboards.com/surfb ... e_calc.php
) and then click on the 'show boards of this volume' link (after you have filled out the form). You will see that all of their suggested boards are just a bit bigger and thicker than the 5'6 white diamond - not much, but noticeable (not saying the firewire calculator is totally accurate, but it gives you a comparison). And some surf stores seem to push people onto really small boards regardless - I dont know why, but they never seem to appreciate that not everyone is suited to a shortboard or forget how long it took to learn to surf.
Anyway, I reckon there are two options
1. as Jaffa has suggested.
2. buy the board and say 'its what you wanted, its up to you to make it work. If you arent having fun, come back and use the funboard for a while longer'. So while its an important decision, if your son chooses his board and thats the one he wants, then let him take responsibility for making it work. I was definitely like him at 14 - any sport equipment my parents bought was the 'wrong stuff'; I had to choose my own (golf clubs, raquets, boots, running shoes, bats, balls - you name it) regardless of advice.
But - I also suggest you take into account that, at 14, he will likely be at least another 20lb heavier within 2 years; so the board that 'fits' him now may be too small in the near future. Therefore buying a board that is a bit 'too big' now both helps for his current skill level and is a board that will be useful for longer.
That said - he will probably hit you up for another board next Christmas anyway, or the board will snap or get a rock through it or ....