If you love surfing either for fun or are keen on a future surfing career, one thing that is for sure is that you can make the most of the experience with the right surfboard by your side. It is the tool of the trade for this sport and you need to choose it wisely. There are several types of surfboards designed for different surfing levels.
As an intermediate surfer, you fall in the bracket where a wrong a choice could see you end up with a surfboard meant for beginners or one that is way too advanced for your surfing level. To help avoid such a situation, we have come up with this guide on some of the best surfboards for intermediate surfers to help users choose.
Who Is Considered an Intermediate Surfer?
Before we proceed, it is important we define an intermediate surfer and establish if indeed you belong in this category. Can you successfully paddle out alone at a familiar location and ride waves frontside and backside? If you’ve answered in the affirmative then you are likely an intermediate surfer. This is where you have mastered the basics of surfing like top turns, bottom turns and cutbacks. Other signs that tell you are an intermediate surfer include:
- You can now read waves much better than when you started out
- You are learning how to generate speed down the line
- You can efficiently duck dive or turtle roll in bigger surf
Now that you know you are an intermediate surfer, you need also need to decide on the type of intermediate surfer that you are. There are two types of surfers, based on the preferred style of surfing. One can be a short boarder or longboarder. You can also be both, and get to choose the best surfboards for intermediate surfers from both longboards and shortboards selections.
Shortboards for Intermediate Surfers
The best shortboard conditions are best is when the waves are medium in height and pitching. This allows for vertical surfing and even barrel riding.
For your surfboard progression, you’ll want to get a shortboard that isn’t too small. Being an intermediate surfer, you will outgrow your board with time and a smaller shortboard will surely not help. It’s also very difficult catching big waves when using a smaller shortboard, and it will be very unstable when you try to stand up.
When choosing a shortboard, consider its volume, as well as your weight and height. The volume determines how well the board will float you in the water. The more it floats you, the less drag you will make when paddling and hence move faster and catch more waves. Weight is important as the heavier one is, the more volume they will need to float them.
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The best shortboard for intermediate surfers should be equal to their height to 6 inches shorter. If shorter, increase your width and thickness to keep your volume. The best intermediate shortboards will hover around 30-35 liters of volume. For kids between 13-17 years old, anything between 20-30 liters of the volume is a good choice.
Longboards for Intermediate Surfers
Longboards are among the best surfboards for intermediate surfers. Actually, they are generally perfect for all skill levels. They are best when the waves are small and rolling. The can catch smaller waves and catch them earlier because of their large surface area and low rocker.
The main drawback of these longboards is that they are large and heavy. They can also be hard to paddle out to the line up in strong surf. But for intermediate waves, there should be no problem.
The best surfboard for beginners should be wide, thick and at least 3 feet taller than you. It should also have extra floatation and stability to paddle for the wave. If you learned how to surf on a foam-top longboard, now is the time to try out a bit longer hardboard with slightly different dimensions. It will give you a different feel when surfing and help you learn techniques.
Other Types of Boards
The name comes from the fact that they look like a fish. They are thicker and wider than shortboards, hence have more volume. They are however much shorter (7 feet or less) than longboards. Mostly, they come with two fins or four fins, which give them more speed but less maneuverability than three fins.
They are a good alternative to a longboard if you surf in small and mushy conditions, like wind swell. There are, however, less stable than longboards because they are much shorter.
This surfboard has an egg-shaped nose. It is an option that falls in between a longboard and a shortboard. They measure between 6’6”-8’5” in length, and they are wider and thicker than a shortboard. They are stable as a longboard, but get less speed and are difficult to climb upon.
Malibu, Mini Mal, and Funboards
These boards normally measure 7’-8’6”, a length similar to that of an Egg surfboard. They are, however, thinner and narrower. For shortboarders, this is the right step between a Foamboard and a shortboard.
Finding the right board can be a bit challenging, particularly if you do not know what to look for. Hopefully, with this guide, you have learned a thing or two and now know the best surfboards for intermediate surfers to buy and have the most fun in the water.
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