Life - Surfing Articles
.Articles, information and tips, for beginners and surfers in general.
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
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
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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