Recommending buying a board to somebody you don’t know is always a tricky answer. When people ask us after their lessons, the answer will always depends on their size, skill and personal surf style.
For our very beginners, we teach most of our basics on an 8-foot Stormblade foamie. They’re nice and wide to allow extra stability, and have enough rocker (curvature) in the nose to prevent extra pearling while laying more weight down toward the front of the board.
When you buy your own board, it’s nice to get something a bit smaller than the board you’re taking lessons on. It’s called stepping down, literally meaning to step down in size. 8’ to 7’6” is a nice, typical step-down. If you’re basing your board purchase solely on this post (not recommended), a wide 7’6” board is a decent bet if you consider yourself average in size.
Before you find out what kind of board you need, you’ll need at least a little bit of experience. Starting on something wider will allow you to stay floaty out there so that you don’t develop bad habits while you paddle or pop up. If you’re not floaty at all, you can’t even develop good habits, because you’re too busy working on your balance.
Try a smaller board out after your 8’ foamie with us and see which one’s right for you! You won’t know until you try. PS—buy used first. If you don’t like it, you can usually sell it for what you bought it for.
Written by Learn To Surf instructor, Jake McNulty.
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