You Will Need
- A local surf shop
- Classified ads
- A computer with internet access (optional)
- A surfboard shaper (optional)
Know what you're looking for
Beginners should look for a board that's wide, thick, and at least 3 feet taller than they are. A bigger, thicker board, called a longboard, or fun shape, provides stability to help you balance, and is more buoyant ¬– meaning you'll paddle faster and catch more waves. Steer clear of high performance shortboards, which are difficult for beginners to maneuver.
Visit your local surf shop
Check out your local surf shop. Surf shops often sell boards made specifically for beginners. They're made of soft foam so you keep yourself and others safer in the water while you learn.
Consider a used board
Browse the classifieds, garage sales, and surf shops for used boards, which can save you money if you're not sure whether you want to get serious about surfing. Poke around at the end of the summer, when surf schools sell their beginner boards at local shops for low prices.
Visit your local surfboard shaper
If your budget is higher and you live near a surfboard shaper, ask for a custom board. This is an expensive option, but supporting your local shaper is great for the surfing community, and you'll be able to establish a relationship with a person who can make you new boards as you improve.