Have you ever gone to the beach and realized that the surf was “high” and you didn’t have the right board to surf? Not only did you waste time and gas getting there, but you probably ruined your day surfing. You didn’t take the time to plan ahead what you should have been doing the night before and that morning before loading up your car, truck, or van to head to your chosen surf spot.
As a surfer, you have to make decisions every day before going to the beach, be it in the ocean, the lake or the river. You have to choose where you are going to surf and what type of board you are going to surf. Of course, the surfboard you choose will depend on the conditions and also the type of surfboard you own.
If you are going to the ocean to surf on your local getaway or other getaway away from home, it is important that you check the surf report to find out what conditions you can expect. Conditions will dictate the type of surfboard you will use that day.
The surfboard you choose for the day will also be determined by the types of surfboards you have in your quiver. I know surfers who have up to 25 different types of boards, but that is not normal for most of you. Many surfers, especially beginners, only have one or two. Therefore, if the types of surfboards you have do not follow the conditions of the surf spot you have chosen, it is better that you reconsider where or what you are going to do.
It would be a good idea for every surfer to have at least two surfboards and these days up to three. You must have a long board, a short board and a SUP board. The longboard is for the softest waves. the short board for the most radical waves that require a higher level of performance, and a SUP board also known as Standup Paddleboard for conditions where there are no waves or very small waves that are not really suitable for surfing.
Whether you go to the ocean, lake, or river, you can use all three types of surfboards. However, on a lake or river you need a boat to use your longboard or shortboard because you will have to be towed behind the boat like a water skier. Surfing behind a boat is called Wakeboarding. There are exceptions to this in larger lakes where there is sometimes enough wind to cause waves called wind waves. Lake Michigan is an example of a lake that locals surf on.
You can ride your SUP on all bodies of water if there is a large enough space to paddle. Stand up paddle boarding has probably become the most popular surfing sport. The learning curve is short and almost everyone can do it. I have seen a family of four together on their four SUPs. Surfers of all ages enjoy paddling their SUPs. You can see them on any given day in most bodies of water, especially if the sun is out. Some surfers even surf waves riding their SUP.
Skimboarding is another popular water sport, but usually for young, vigorous surfers who are in good shape. This is a method of surfing with a very small board, usually about 4 to 4 1/2 feet long, that you carry while running down the beach at maximum speed, dropping the board in very shallow water or in a zone wet, jump on the board and ride it on a wave or brush it on the shore as far as you can until you run out of momentum. You can do this on any beach that has enough sand or flat area that you can do what I described. You can also ride this little board behind a boat while it’s being towed or on a wet grassy hill typically found on a golf course.
With the advent of wetsuits, hoods, booties, and rash guards, it is possible for a surfer to enjoy almost every day on the beach and in the water year-round. These very important items will also protect you from the hot sun. There is nothing worse than getting into the water and getting too cold. This will ruin your browsing experience. Getting a sunburn will also ruin your day and perhaps the days to come when you are too burned out to go out in the sun again. You must always be prepared for these situations.
Did you remember to bring your towel and sunscreen? In addition to using the towel to dry and wipe the water off your surfboard before putting it back in your car, you can also use it as a locker to put on your wetsuit or remove wet shorts after a surf. So, my friends, don’t forget the surfboard wax and leash. In the old days, there were no straps and our surfboards continually washed off the rocks when we fell off the board. Rocks deal bumps and knock your surfboard out of the water while you wait for repairs. The straps are important. The wax prevents it from slipping off your surfboard. Unless you put a traction pad on your board, as they do on SUPs, you will not be able to surf because your surfboard will not have traction on the deck and you will roll off the board. Good surfers plan ahead and are always prepared for the occasion. When you’re hunting bears, you don’t carry a bee gun.
The bottom line is to make sure you have the right equipment. Being prepared will ensure that you have a good day at the beach and surfing. Get yourself the right type of surfboard for the conditions of the day.
Have fun and remember that surfing the waves and the waters of the world will teach you to surf life!
The bottom line is that having the right gear will ensure you have a good day at the beach and surfing. To be prepared. Get yourself the right type of surfboard for the conditions of the day.
Have fun and always remember Surf Life!