Buying your first surfboard
When buying a first surfboard, my first recommendation is to go to a surf shop and ask for help. Most shops will be glad to offer suggestions. Please be sure to tell them answers to the questions listed below so that they can help you. My second recommendation is to get a lesson or two before you hit the water for the first time. A lesson will also help you try a board or two so that you have a better idea about the board you should be riding.
In most cases, as a beginner, you should get a long and wide surfboard, either a funboard/mid length or longboard. It is a lot easier to surf on a bigger board, at least 12 inches taller than you. Everyone has their own opinion on this issue, but most people will agree that a bigger board is the way to go when learning. I learned on a 7’9 and I actually wish I would have learned on a board that was 9’+. I recommend that most beginners just go pick up a cheap foam wavestorm from Costco or a used board on craigslist/marketplace. Yes most surfers hate when they see these foam boards in the lineup but there is a reason why surf schools use them. They are great for learning. I actually bought one that my 6 and 10 yr old ride. I’ve ridden it in some big surf to test it out and it really wasn’t terrible but not a board you can progress on but its great when first learning until you are ready to upgrade.
As a beginner, it’s easy to find a board that’s right for you. Just simply get a big board. It doesn’t need to be 10 ft tall, although longboards are great for learning, it can be as small as 7 or 8 feet. Remember, the longer the board, the easier it is to catch waves, paddle, and stand up.
Surfing is a challenging sport to learn. If you are on vacation for a weekend or week, it’s not something you can just pick up. I have had so many (athletic) friends, in their teens and 20’s assume that they could learn to surf in the week that they visited me. They were dead wrong. Surfing takes dedication, patience, and practice to learn but can be learned at any age. From small children to older adults (in their 70’s) – they are all surfing and learning to surf. It just takes time.