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Surfing Tips:
Getting the Goods Article

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# Getting the Goods... Buying the Right Equipment


So you want to get into one of the worlds fastest growing sports, surfing. Surfing has become a multimillion dollar industry, over the past decade. Why? because surfing offers so much to an individual, I've tried just about all sports known to man and for me surfing leaves them all for dead, once your hooked your hooked for life.

There's not many sports that can keep you in top physical shape and give you absolute fun at the same time. It doesn't matter how long you've surfed for, how many times you've been out in the ocean, every session is different, every wave is different, you just cant ever get bored of surfing. Even when the waves aren't the best, just being out in surf, one with mother nature is an awesome experience. I've surfed for twenty three years and I'll never be too old or have enough of surfing.

First things first, if your really keen on having a shot at surfing, I always suggest to people to have a few surfing lessons before going out and buying a board. Usually around most areas of Australia you pay between $50 - $ 60 dollars for a one hour session. I haven't heard any bad reports about any of the businesses around my areas, so you should be pretty safe with most of them. Most learn to surf companies in OZ, guarantee that you'll stand up on your first lesson and once you do that nine times out of ten your hooked.

So you've had a few lessons and you still want get into it, the next thing is to buy a surfboard. Probably the safest and easiest way to go is to buy a foamy or soft Doyle style boards, their thick, wide, float very well and you wont hurt yourself or most importantly anyone else for that matter. When you go and purchase your board in the shop, most guys will steer you in the right direction, for what's suitable for a beginner. Probably the biggest rule when your making your choice, is to buy a board that is about 2 1/2ft to 3ft taller then you, this will give you the most stability.

Once you start to get the hang of it, some people like to go to a soft-top, these boards are getting closer to a full fiberglass surfboard. They're soft on top as well as the rail (side of board) and hard on the bottom, they're a great idea, certainly didn't have them around in my day. Quite a few surf shops will let you take one out for a paddle, so you get the right size for your weight and height.

Now if you want to get straight into it and buy a fiberglass surfboard straight off, it's usually wise to get a second hand board, you can pick them up alot cheaper and it doesn't matter if you ding it or not. Most people these days usually buy a board called a 'mini-mal', these are usually wide, thick, very buoyant and over seven feet long. By this time if you've had a few lessons and been out quite a few times you should be able to go across the face of the wave, mini-mals a alot faster and maneuverable, this is when the fun really kicks in.

The next most important thing to get with your board, is a 'SURF LEASH' as they seem to call them now, I still call them a leg rope or leggy. Again its important what you get here, the rule of thumb when your buying your leg rope is to make sure its the same length as your surfboard. Now there's a few different designs of leg ropes, some have swivels at both ends, some only at the leg end and some have none. I recommend the one with swivels at both ends, these are usually dearer, but it wont get tangled up as much as the cheaper ones, which are fixed. Nothing pisses you off more then when your on a good wave and your leg rope gets caught around your foot or even worse still between your toes.

The third most important thing when you buy your board, is 'WAX'. If you don't have wax, you wont stand up, surfboards are slippery as hell. What sort of wax to buy is also important, wax come in different grades, softer and harder. Some are for warmer water and some are made for cold water. So it depends where you live, just ask the guy in the shop, which is suitable for your area. Don't forget it will also change if the season changes a fair bit, where I used to surf when I was growing up, the water would be 23'c in summer and get as low as 16'c in winter. That mighten seem much of a change, but I tell you as far as water temp goes its a huge difference and it makes a huge difference to the wax that's on your surfboard. There's also different other grips besides wax, they're made up of a foam compound, you just peel off the tape on the bottom and stick it firmly to your board. You'll never have to buy wax again. Most gromits and good surfers have one on the bottom end of their board, so they can get more grip to do the big turns and maneuver. I remember when they first came out in the early eighties, the biggest selling brand was called 'Gorilla Grip', every kid had it including myself, but that wore off.

These are all the esentinals to get you out in the water and get you on your first waves. If you live in a colder climate you'll also need to buy a 'WETSUIT'. Again it depends how cold it is, to what sort of wettie you buy. If it's cold you'll need a steamer (this one covers you from head to toe). If its not to bad you can get many different styles, a springsuit which goes to your knees and to your elbows. Again ask your local surf shop assistant on what's best. There's also different thickness in wetsuits, for different water temps. Wetsuits these days are fantastic to compared to when I first started surfing, the technology is even a heap better then just a few years ago, their so stretchy and comfortable these days. I'd advise if you can afford it to buy a new one, you wont regret it. When I was a grom, wetties used to way a ton and be so restrictive, you'd be dead tired before you got to the waves out the back.

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