Ultimate Surfboard Buyers Guide – 6 steps to your next board!
The suns out. The temperature is just right. And the waves are perfect. Unfortunately, you’re sitting on the beach, watching the fun from afar.
Because you don’t have the perfect surfboard. So what are you going to do about it? How about finding the surfboard that’s right for YOU! We won’t tell you which one it is (it’s different for every surfer!) but we WILL tell you how to find it.
The following is the Ultimate Surfboard Buyers Guide – and will help you determine which board to buy, what size to get, and how much you should pay for it.
Step 1: Determine what type of board you want
Here at Surf Bait we have hundreds of surfboards for sale, but you need to start by asking yourself what kind you need. The most common types are:
- Also known as “Thrusters”, are the most common style for contest surfing. These are about 5-7 ft. long and more narrow than their longboard counterpart. Surfers are usually able to maneuver much better with these boards, but also find it harder to catch waves with them. These are probably better suited for more experienced surfers for this reason.
- These huge things can be upwards of 14 feet in length! They are great for beginners and expert surfers alike because of how easy it is to catch waves on them. Although not as maneuverable as shortboards, the buoyancy in these helps you paddle and catch small waves with ease.
- Sometimes considered the perfect blend of shortboards and longboards. Their design allows you to paddle and catch waves more easily, without sacrificing maneuverability. These are the best for beginning surfers and work great for almost any surfing condition.
- These are typically wider than shortboards and a little bit easier to use for beginners. Their name comes from the “swallowtail” design on the tail end of the board that looks very similar to a fish tail.
Step 2: Weigh Yourself!
Weight plays a huge role in selecting your new surfboard. The heavier you are, the larger your board needs to be (common sense right). If you are too heavy for your board, it can be extremely hard to control it. To make things more complicated, each type of board mentioned above has a different range of recommended sizes depending on your weight. To try to simplify things we created a surfboard size guide here, check it out before proceeding.
So run to the nearest scale, weigh yourself, and find the size of the board you need. This is extremely important!!
Step 3: Determine your surfing conditions
Think of the spot you’ll spend most of your time shredding. Does it have massive 20 foot waves on a regular basis? Or is it mostly flat, with just some 2-3 foot waves coming in? You should keep all of this in mind when making your selection.
Longboard – Great for small rolling waves. Also work well in larger wave conditions.
Shortboard – Good for medium to large sized waves (4-8ft) that are pitching.
Fun/Hybrid – Small waves with a bit of a kick to them. Also work well in most other wave conditions.
Fish – Work well for small to medium waves with some steepness to them.
On perfect surf days (4-7 foot tall waves with a medium pitch), any of the boards above will work. When in doubt, a Longboard or Fun/Hybrid are your best bet as they work well in almost any condition.
Step 4: Choose the brand you want to rep
Although not as important as the last three steps, you are going to have to decide eventually anyway – and it’s really helpful for the next step. To help you on this step, we spent hours across different rating websites, spoke to a lot of other surfers in the community, and tried our best to consider all different brands of surfboards for sale. Below are the top 5 best surfboard brands we found (in no particular order):
- Channel Islands
- Hydro (for bodyboards!)
If you can find a board that meets all the other criteria in this guide, and is from one of those 5 brands, you have found a winner my friend!
Step 5: Decide how much you’re willing to pay
As with everything in life, all types of surfboards for sale have cheap options and expensive options. For this next step you must decide how much you are willing to pay for the one you desire. Below we will help you a bit by giving you an expected price range for each type available. However, don’t use this as an “end-all-be-all” price sheet – some custom surfboards are thousands of dollars, and of course buying a used one from your buddy could cost you as little as $20! If you’re not that lucky, use our ranges below (or check out our Surfboard Prices Guide)
Because of their sheer size, these are typically more expensive than the other types. Of course, they are typically thicker and therefore much more durable and last longer – so the extra expense is definitely not wasted! They typically cost anywhere from $700-$1,300 depending on the brand you go with. You can usually find a great long lasting Longboard for about $800.
These are smaller and thinner than the longboards mentioned above, and therefore are lower in price. Depending on the brand you go with, these can cost anywhere from $450-$800. Channel Islands is my favorite brand for shortboards, you can high quality ones for only about $650.
Commonly considered the best of both worlds (short & long), these have a mid-range price tag attached to them. You can expect to find one from anywhere between $600-$1,000.
Remember these are usually about the same size as shortboards, but are a little wider and have the “fish-tail” end. You can end up paying anywhere from $500-$900 for a good brand.
Step 6: Buy it!
You’ve done all your homework. You know what you’re looking for. Now it’s time to buy that bad boy and start shredding! You can buy your board at a local shop, or if you want more selection, reviews, and better deals – go to an online store that has a ton of surfboards for sale!
Not all online stores will have this, but if you’re lucky you’ll find one with free shipping or a money back guarantee. These are great ones to purchase from as they usually have the surfers best interest in mind.
Bonus Step: Get some gear to go with it!
We’re not done quite yet! Now that you snagged the perfect surfboard you shouldn’t forget about grabbing some gear to go with it. A lot of the gear out there is not necessary to have a great time surfing, but below is a list of the ones that are:
Surfboards need fins to provide control to the surfer. Nowadays almost all surfboards for sale have what’s called a “Removable Fin System”, which means the boards come without fins – but allow you to easily slip new fins on and off. This means you can continuously replace fins, or just change them out to match your gear!
Each style of board has their own guidelines for the type and amount of fins to place on them. Below is a good start, but look at the board you’re about to buy for a final decision
One Fin – Most common for Longboards and help provide stability and control.
Two Fins (Twin-Fin) – Typically found on fishboard and shortboards to help with speed on smaller sized waves.
Three Fins (Thruster) – Found on all types of boards and provides a middle straight fin with angled fins on each side of it.
Again, to determine how many fins you need just look at the board you purchased and it will show you.
Surfwax is applied to surfboards to provide grip for the surfer. You should wax your board at least once per year; some surfers do it as often as every few months. Surfboard wax is really cheap so don’t skip out on this part – wax your board and go shred!
Never go out surfing all day in a normal swimming suit! You’ll have terrible rashes and its just not worth it. Instead throw a couple bucks down for a comfortable pair of board shorts that will allow you to be comfortable without the rashes!
These are only necessary if you’re surfing in particularly cold water. A good wetsuit will give you a good range of motion while keeping you warm in cold ocean water. If you get your wetsuit online make sure the online store offers a good return policy in case the suit doesn’t fit right!
So that’s it! You now know everything you need to know in order to get your next perfect surfboard. Check out some more of the articles and surfboards for sale on this site!