8 essential items every new surfer should have
When you first start out it’s easy to get lost in all the equipment and clothes made for surfing. They all seem so important and brands are trying really hard to make you believe that everything is a must have. Well that’s not really the case and to help you out we’ve made a list of the essentials you need when you start surfing, so you can spend your time focusing on having fun in the water.
1 - Surfboard
This one is pretty obvious but has to be mentioned, no board no surf. If you’re looking to buy a board make sure you get a beginner board, these are normally longer boards that are 8-9 ft in length and with lots of volume. Depending on your previous experience and your beginner level of surfing, you might need to get a soft board to start before you transition to a hard board. Staff in your local surf shop can help you navigate your first purchase, or better yet, if you’re taking a surf clinic check with your coach to what she recommends.
2 - Fins
Fins on your board are like the wheels on your car. They give you stability and drive and help you perform better on your board. Some common types of fins are single fin, twin-fins, tri-fins and quad-fins. Each fin set up will perform differently in the surf. Depending on the type of board you’re buying there might already be fins on the board, such as if you’re getting a second hand board or a soft board. The most commonly used fin set up for beginners is the thruster (3 fins). If you need help to understand which fins are best for you, chat to the staff in the shop or see what your Surf Coach recommends.
3 - Leg rope
A leg rope or a leash is a must have for the safety of your surfing. It makes it easier for you to maintain control of your board ensuring there is less chance for you to hit other surfers with your board in the line-up. It’s also a safety measure for yourself, as it’ll keep you attached to your surfboard in case of whipe out, which will keep you afloat as long as you need in a dangerous situation. A leg rope should be the length of your board, but sometimes longboard riders have a bit of extra length on their leg rope so they can move freely around on their board.
4 - Surf Wax
It’s amazing how slippery a surfboard can be with no wax on it! Wax is absolutely essential for your surfing. Wax is made for different temperatures in the water, so check the water temperature where you are surfing, then you’ll know what type to buy. We recommend you use ocean and reef-friendly wax made with natural components to help protect the ocean and marine life.
5 - Zinc
The best way to protect yourself from getting a sunburnt face in the water is zinc. Works as a sunscreen but is thicker, and it sticks to your skin for longer. There are heaps of good zinc products out in the market, with some even being made from naturally sourced products and in different shades to match your skin tone.
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6 - Wetsuit or Rash Guard
Depending on the climate and the season, you may want to invest in a good wetsuit. Wetsuits come in different lengths and thicknesses to match the weather conditions. So if you surf in summer or in tropical water, surf suits or rash guards are highly recommended. They will protect you from getting sunburnt and getting rashes from the wax on your board. But if you’re heading out in cooler conditions, you’ll need to look into a wetsuit to keep you warm whilst you’re out in the waves. When selecting a wetsuit it must be a firm snug fit, they do stretch a bit after a few wears so tight fit is advised. Surf complements such as boots, gloves and hats exist for extreme conditions.
7 - Surf Hat
Surf hats are another essential item to protect you from the elements whilst you’re out in the water. There are now some really good surf hats on the market, with straps to make sure they don’t fly off your head when you’re on a wave or when duck diving. And it is a great sun protector and can be helpful for your eyes on sunny or glary days.
8 - Board cover
Surfboard covers are another great piece of equipment to help protect your board from getting dings and dirt stuck in the wax. There are a few types of board covers including some with a bit of padding or others, board socks as they are called, that are just a protective fabric cover. It’s good to have one of these, as it will help your board to last longer and also help to protect it from the sun and dirt.
With these essentials, you should have everything you need to get out and enjoy your surfing journey. But if you need some advice, make sure you sign up to one of our Surf Clinics or join us on a Surf Getaways Trip and our team of coaches will only be happy to help you start on the right foot.