5 tips on buying your first surfboard

5 tips on buying your first surfboard

What was your first surfboard ? The big bro’s hand me down, dad’s longboard or a pimped out custom just for you? When buying your first board can be daunting so here’s our 5 top tips on how to avoid making the most common mistakes.

Don’t be cool

  • Don’t try and act cool. Surf shops and surfboard factories can be a bit intimidating if your new to surfing. It’s easy to slip into ultra cool “yeah man” mode and end up telling the sales guy or girl that your pretty much pro and about to make the tour when really you need a mini mal to help you catch as many waves as possible. If you go to the right shop they wont make you feel like a newbie. The  good surf shops will help you get the right board for you. Be honest with the sales person and you should leave with the right board.

Take a friend

  • When buying your first board it’s a good idea to take a mate with you. One that surfs is preferable, as they will be able to help you with the process. It’s all to easy to get a bit overwhelmed and buy the first thing you see or spend the whole day in the shop, pick up 100 boards and you still can’t decide what your after. A friend will be honest with you and if you have a 5’4 shortboard in one hand and credit card in the other, hopefully they will stop you. We all want to surf better but buying the smallest board in the shop wont make you the next john john.

Be open minded

  •  As a beginner surfer most of your board choices will be the wrong ones. This isn’t really your fault, your new to surfing, board choice is one of the hardest roads you will go down in your surfing experience. This is why it’s really important you pick the shop / online site you get your board from well. Some shops are catered more towards advanced surfers, some towards beginner surfers. If you have spent 100 hours online reading every brand website and volume calculator the likely hood is you will go into a shop and say to the salty sea dog in the board room “I want a 35 L board.” This may go down like a lead ballon. Have a read of our other blogs about volume for more info on why this is a no no. Here’s how you could start the conversation “Im after my first board, i’ve been surfing for “insert time”, i surf here “insert your fav spot here”  i’m currently surfing a “insert board size and type” I want to be able to do “insert where you want to get to” the more info the better.

surfboard, surfboards, lee bartlett

Think long term

  • Your first board will be the board you learn on but once you progress you will want more, LOTS more. The first one then becomes a back up board or small wave board. It’s quite cool to have this board forever or at least a while. So keep that in mind when picking your board. A mini mal can become a great small wave fun board once you have progressed onto shorter boards

Don’t be put off by price

This is a tricky one. There are two trains of though here, you buy a cheap pop out board as it’s your first board and will you really feel the difference between that and ‘real’ surfboard by a shaper. Good point but our advise is this: Would you buy a cheap rain coat if your going out in the rain all the time? Nope. Because you’ll have to go back and buy expensive one later and now your wet and soggy. Not that good an analogy but it kind of works. Shapers design boards with you in mind, they are made to help you surf better and help you progress. They might be £70-100 more than a imported pop out board but when in the water the difference is huge. We’re not just saying to sell you one of our boards, its true! We have seen it 1000 times so take our word for it save yourself money in the long run. As they say buy cheap and buy twice.


fourth surfboard , custom surfboard, sophie hellyer

Talk to the shapers

There’s lots more we could ramble on about but those 5 tips should help you on your way when picking you first board. Talk boards with us, whether it’s the 1st, 2nd or 100th. Come and see us. We are always here to help. You can get hold of us on email at toyfactorysurfboards@gmail.com by phone on 01637 499912 or come in and see us at Unit 8b Seabase Units, Treloggan, Newquay, Cornwall TR7 2SX.

Happy board shopping.  Check here for a list of our surfboards.