A surfing board is a special type of marine craft designed for riding the waves. It has to be stable and easy to use, yet flexible enough to allow you to control your ride on the wave. It follows that there are many different types of surfing boards suited for differing conditions and rider preferences.
The Surfing Board and its Design
The basic design however remains unchanged since its introduction in ancient Polynesia around 2000 years ago with modern surfboards today closely resembling their ancient ancestors.
Surfing is one of the greatest water sports where just standing up on your surfboard is considered an amazing feat, let alone catching even one wave!
Your choice of surfboard may depend on what kind of waves you want to catch or how it’s used but most commonly can be broken down into three categories: shortboard, longboard and gun.
The categories of surfing board
Shortboards are the most popular type of surfing board and measure around 6 to 7 feet in length. They have a pointed nose and are designed for speed and manoeuvrability in small to medium waves.
Longboards on the other hand are about 9 to 10 feet in length and have a more rounded nose shape. They’re great for beginners or those looking to catch waves in larger surf conditions as they provide more stability and control.
Finally, there’s the gun which is an extreme longboard that can reach up to 18 feet in length! It’s designed for catching very large waves and is not recommended for beginner surfers.
The material used in the surfing board
Aside from different shapes of boards, you’ll also find certain construction materials used for surfing boards today.
Surfboards in the past were typically made out of wood (e.g. balsa and redwood) but these days most are made from a graphite, foam or resin composite. The choice is yours to make depending on your budget, what kind of surfboard you want and how much use you plan to get out of it! Make sure not to skimp too much on quality though as a cheaper board may warp when exposed to moisture and turn into an expensive piece of decor rather than a great wave catching machine!
Another thing that’s important to consider is the fin system which holds the surfboard in place while riding and helps keep it stable at speed. There are three main fin systems used in the construction of new boards today: FCS (Flat System), Futures (Thin Pin) and Thruster (Three Fin). Each has its own pros and cons but it’s important to get one that suits your body weight, style of surfing and conditions you plan to ride on.
How do I use a surfboard?
The most common way to enjoy the many benefits of surfing is by riding on top of an ocean wave. Now depending on what kind of waves you’re interested in catching, there are several ways you can approach this activity. The simplest method involves catching white water waves which are created when crashing breakers hit shallow waters near shores hence their name (” water” refers to the frothy wave created by the impact).
To do this, you’ll need to paddle out from the shoreline into deeper waters until you find a good spot to take off on a wave. Once you’ve spotted one, position your surfboard in front of the wave and start paddling like crazy to catch up! As the wave starts to pick you up, jump to your feet and ride it all the way to the shore.