Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Current Residence: Byron Bay, Australia
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When you’re first learning to surf the amount of equipment needed can seem daunting. There’s a couple things you’ll need, and then eventually you’ll figure out your preferences and find the things you like, and the ones you can live without. Here’s a rundown of the basics of what you’ll probably use most – the surf necessities.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Boards come in all shapes in sizes, (see our guide on types of surfboards), but when you’re first starting out you’ll probably either want a board from 8’ and upwards. If you can start out with a foamy even better. Used boards are great for when you’re first starting out, as it’s going to get dinged up anyways, and you don’t have to worry about hurting it as much.
Fins come in all shapes in sizes, and can either be set up from 1 (single fin) to 4 (quad). The fin insets on the bottom of your board will determine this one for you. Most larger boards usually have 1 or 3 fins.
Wax is what keeps you sitting and standing on your board, and is a super important part of any set up and it is part of your surf necessities. While there’s a myriad of colours, shapes, and sizes out there, the main this to remember is to choose what’s appropriate for your water temperature. Checking your local surf report will help you find out this information. When waxing up your board for the first time, it can help with longevity to put a base coat, then another coat of warmer wax on top. Always remember that the wax for cooler water goes on first, then the warmer one on top. After you’ve applied your wax, reapply when you feel like it’s not helping you stay on your board. You can also revitalize it with a wax comb. Never apply wax to the bottom of your board!!
If you live in a colder climate, this one is going to be crucial to your enjoyment in the water! Pick up a used one, or checking out warehouse sales can be a good way to find a good one. When purchasing a used one check out the stitching and all the seams for holes. Make sure it fits fairly snug as they stretch out with use and in the ocean!
Board Bag or Sock
Ideal for travel or just as a good way to store your board when it’s not being used to protect it. They come in different heights, so purchase one appropriately sized for your board. Surfboards are surprisingly delicate for how big they are, and are usually an expensive investment, so you’ll want to keep it safe. It’s also a good way of keeping wax from getting all over the inside of your car in the summer!
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