What is the best surfboard for someone who can already catch waves on his own?
The best answer to this question is a “miss answer” : It depends!
And what does it depend on, you ask?
It depends on multiple factors, which you must analyze in the order that I will list them:
When you say that you already catch on your own, what does it mean? Are you sure that you catch the waves, that you can match the speed and energy of the wave, and it’s not the waves that bump into you and you go there?
Often there is this illusion. Sorry to break your hearts! But the truth is that you still lack know-how about the sea and the waves, so most of the time that you actually manage to catch a wave, it is actually still the wave that catches you. So maybe it is still time to keep the volume on your board and performance at a later date. Maybe even keep a slightly smaller “school board” than the one you have used so far to learn. But never, ever, radically change the type of board or dimensions, so that you don’t experience difficulty in the transition.
You go to a school, and you already have the autonomy to catch some waves, but the Surfer/Monitor/Instructor/Trainer/Teacher that accompanies you still chooses the hours of the classes, best tide, spot, and inside the spot guides you how to get to the lineup? Or do you practice alone or with friends and therefore manage all the previous information for you?
This question is very relevant, because regardless of the level of training of the person accompanying you, your life is in a way easier, because your playing field is, from the start, calibrated to your level. If so, you can make a greater leap in the performance of your board, because you will have the school’s board to support you.
Here another situation arises: are you going to change boards? What I want to ask is, if you need to sell your present board to get the next one. I know it may be a necessity, but if possible, I advise you to keep both until evolution happens and the new board also becomes an extension of your body.
It also helps when, you are a regular rider of one location/spot/beach, which will help you understand your beach quicker and allow you to have a board that fits that sea. Yes, waves have very different patterns from beach to beach. Also, this note will influence your purchase. This is also a reason why surfers have large collections of boards, not only to adjust to the different sizes and strength of waves, but also because the typology, energy, and strength of those waves vary from beach to beach.
If you are enrolled in a school, do you want to continue to be accompanied?
Here the question is whether you can continue to use the school Quiver for a while longer. This is ideal, and another reason why we are in favor of this. It sounds like an extra expense, but in reality, you are not only saving money on the board changes you would have to make to get access to a great Quiver of boards, but because your learning curve will be steeper!
Does your school have a full quiver of boards?
If so, great! Enjoy. But if when you look at your school’s quiver you only see big boards, well then it’s time to look for a school that can provide training and continuous monitoring. By the way, a note, what is the state of the boards in your school? If they look old and miserable, and are full of nicks and cuts, then it is time to invest in a school that will also invest in you and in new equipment. Every year, even school boards undergo improvements and innovations, studied with your evolution in mind. If your school doesn’t move forward, you will!
In your surf sessions, what is the ratio between the waves you try to catch and the waves you actually catch?
If the ratio is above 70%, okay, let’s move on to a board with a little more performance so that you can start thinking about your first maneuvers.
And within the result of the previous ratio, the waves you catch on your own, do they have a wall to run on and can you run the wave to shore, or do you still go for it?
If you are still going for it, you first have to learn to run the wave to the left or right side. If you already run the wave, then it is time for less volume and more performance. There are solutions on the market, still in sponge boards, that will allow you to evolve a lot at this stage, because the format evolves a lot compared to the squarer school boards and you also have the possibility to have rigid fins that make a giant difference in the drive of the board – the responsiveness of the board to your driving.
And how many times a week do you practice?
If you can only practice once or twice a week, and sometimes fail, we may have to admit that TOP performance boards are not for this stage. They will be for a day when you can practice more regularly. But be aware, that sea hours are not always a necessary condition to evolve. However, we will have to evaluate your general physical condition and how to maintain your specific physical condition, so that with this regularity, we can use more or less volume.
Do you do any other physical activity or do you train to keep in shape when you can’t go to the beach?
In this case, although you may even have skills, you may have to add extra volume, to compensate for the lack of specific surfing fitness, so that you maintain a good average number of waves caught per session. This is one of the reasons you see older surfers opting for boards with more volume: not only because we are often heavier , but also for family, social, and professional reasons that no longer allow us to spend as much time in the ocean and therefore permanently in shape as when we were young! We have to be flexible and accept that performance does not always have to come with very small, short, light boards.
Do you already have your style defined?
This is also a sensitive subject. In today’s world, you have to consider that many of our surfers are starting as adults, so these people will never have full summers in the sea as we as teenagers and young adults in college had. So it may be the case that our advice is to buy a “school board”. After all, the big goal is to catch waves, lots of waves, right? Again, we appeal to flexible minds… As I once learned, “The map is not the territory!”
The purchase of the first surfboard is often a bad buy and eventually an inglorious investment because if you are in a phase of evolution (which in fact we always are), in the opinion of the Good Surf Good Love Method, the ideal is to go from board to board, progressively and in a way that you notice little difference between boards so that you never transition to a board that is difficult for you to manage. If you don’t have this possibility your learning curve will obviously be conditioned.
So if you buy a board that is super-adjusted to the next phase of your evolution, in a very short time, you will have to change boards to continue your evolution. If you buy one for the skill that you should have, but don’t have yet, it will take you longer to get there at that level. (In our opinion, the learning curve should always be made easier, never skip any step in your evolution. Because we know that you will pay dearly for that jump, getting stuck at a future next level, which you will never get out of!
So there you have a reason to invest in yourself, continuing to be accompanied in your school, in order to take advantage of all the different boards that a training school should have.
The luck is that today, all of you have access to the same materials that schools have. And I’m not talking about the equipment from the big stores, which we all know are always of much lower performance than the professional equipment. So, why not have a board just like the one in your school? So that you can do your practice with autonomy, extra school?
You can check some websites of superior surfboards, where they make a relation between the surfer’s weight, height, and abilities. But in our opinion, this table is super vague. It’s necessary to analyze the physical condition of the practitioner, the regularity of his practice, well-gauged abilities because in the market they only talk about beginners, intermediate level, advanced, but this information is just absolutely vague!
If you read all this explanation and are wondering, then what is the answer to this question?
Each case is a case. We have several success stories and we obviously have a lot of equipment and models that we know work. What is your case? We will gladly support your purchase, in a consulting session, and also accompany you to the store, so that you don’t make a mistake or buy something on impulse, because the salesman is really good and the goals for the month are closing ehehe! It has already happened to me!