Surfing is one of the best recreational sports and an activity that is healthy, fun, and thrilling. Surfing is an activity that can be enjoyed by all. So, what type surfboard, surfing product or accessories will give you a day of fun and enjoyment? What do you need to go surfing?
Waves are the most important thing you need for surfing. You may ask, what type waves do I need? The answer to this question is simple; any wave that is available to you. There are all types and sizes of waves from rippling little ones to the giant waves of Hawaii. Recreational surfers need and prefer the little waves. However, you need the proper surf products and accessories for all conditions.
In order to enjoy the waves, you need to be prepared. This means that you may need several different surfboard types and surfing devices along with the necessary accessories to ride the waves that are available for you to surf on any given day. Every day is different and the conditions will dictate that you need a different type surfboard or surfing device to take advantage of the waves at your local beach break.
Here’s a list of surfing products and surfing devices for you to consider:
On some days, the waves will be perfect little peelers for bodysurfing. In order to really take advantage of the waves, you need to have a pair of good fitting swimfins. Fins will allow you swim faster and to get into the wave earlier, which will allow you to ride the shoulder of the wave just like the board surfers and boogie board riders do. You want to get on the corner of the wave and ride the green water out of the soup. This is a thrill and you need swimfins to catch the waves and stay with it. The fins will allow you to also ride the bigger waves as you get more proficient. Bodysurfing is a great way to have fun with your friends. Getting your group together and going to a spot that is suited for bodysurfing is really fun.
Body boarding, or boogie boarding as I like to call it after my friend Tom Morey who invented the little board, is something you can do under almost any surf condition. It is especially fun in little waves, which allow little kids, those who are beginning surfers and senior citizens to ride and enjoy the sensation of riding waves. You can ride the foam and the little waves right up onto the sand. As you get more experienced, you will want to ride the shoulders of the waves like the surfboard riders. Eventually if you are experienced and good in the water, you can ride the bigger waves as some do in Hawaii and other select surfing spots throughout the world.
Skimboarding is another surfing sport that does not require large waves and is done right near the shoreline, typically in smaller waves or even no waves at all. Some kids even skim on wet grass where there are little knolls. Another thing you can do when there is no surf is to ride your wakeboard. Wakeboarding is done behind a boat and can be done on wakeboards made especially for being towed behind a boat or you can ride your short, long, soft and hard surfboards. Some surfers, when they get proficient, let go of the rope and surf the waves generated by the wake of the boat. Don’t let the fact that there are no waves to surf at your chosen surf spot keep you from enjoying the water and riding the surfboard or other surfing device that will make your day a fun filled experience.
You really need to have at least one surfboard type that you can use for most surfing conditions. It’s better if you have more than one, but stay with what you can afford. Selecting a surfboard or surfboards is a fun process, but selecting the right one is very important. You ask yourself, should I buy a soft surfboard or a hard surfboard? What length board should I buy? What are the surfing conditions where I will be surfing the most? Is it shore break, point break, big, average or small type surf? What is my experience level that will justify the surfboard type that I choose? All of these questions need to be addressed. The surfboard type and design that you choose should be suitable for the normal conditions of the waves you will be surfing most.
If you live on a lake, bay, lagoon, river, or an ocean where there are calm surf conditions, you will probably want to have a SUP, which is also known as a Standup Paddleboard. SUPs have become one of the most popular surfing devices because they are large, stable and the fact that they are also very easy to learn to paddle and ride. Persons of all ages can ride them and the SUP has become a board that all members of a family can own and ride. SUPing has become a terrific group and family activity, which requires no surf and can be done on almost any calm body of water.
How about surfing accessories? What accessories do you need? Here’s a list of the more essential ones:
Variety of fins and fin key
Surfboard rack for your car
Plastic container for wetsuits and changing
Board shorts; more than one pair
Surfing is a sport that is conducted away from home. I recommend that you have all of these accessory items listed above to meet the conditions of the water and the surf activity of the day. You will need different items on different days, but on some days you will use all of them. Plan ahead and you will have success and fun on your surfing days.
Before you go surfing, you should check the local surf report from an online source like Surfline.com. What is the water temperature? Do you need a wetsuit? If so, what thickness suit do you need? Do you need booties or a hood to keep you warm? Maybe all you need is a spring wetsuit or maybe the water is warm enough to wear only your swim suit. The choices are many. Some of the wetsuits have short sleeves and or short legs or combinations of long legs and short sleeves or vice versa. I would suggest that in moderate climates you have a spring suit and a full suit. The spring suit should be 2.0 and the full suit should probably be 4/3 or 3/2 depending on the prevailing water temps. Rash guards should be worn under wetsuits to prevent chaffing. You may also want to wear one on a sunny day to prevent sunburn. These items will be worn for all types of surfing.
Don’t forget to bring wax and a leash for your board. It seems that surfers forget this item or lose it in the water and are always looking around for some. You need specific wax for the water temperature conditions. Ask the surf shop people what kind you need or read the labels and use the type you need based on the surf report. A handy tip is to keep your surfboard waxed and ready to surf at all times. It’s no fun not to have any wax and go out into the surf with a slippery deck surface. You’ll be slipping and sliding and falling off your board and end up not having a good surf. The other thing you need is a leash, especially if you have a long paddle out, rough surf, or if you are surfing in a rocky area. Loosing you board and having to swim back in is no fun. If your surfboard is damaged in the rocks, that makes it all the worse and will ruin your day fast.
The rest of the items on the list are self explanatory. Make a check list and make sure you check your accessory items before you leave to go surfing. There is no use leaving something behind that will cause you to have a bad day.
With all of these thoughts in mind, get the right surfboard type products and go Surf Life! It’s a blast!!