How do you know if you are on the right kit?
There has never been more choice and diversity when it comes to getting a new kit. Almost too much choice! The role of the modern coach is not just to teach you technique but to make sure you are on the right equipment to progress. We believe in learning the correct technique to ride longboards, mid-range (minimals) and shortboards equally well.
Part of the service at GSS is to help you understand what you need, how it works and to help you make informed rather than fashion based choices. We recommend hiring and testing kit before buying, and work with local surf shops and board shapers to design the right equipment for you making sure when you do buy it's money well spent.
Surfboards - A Basic Guide
"It's always difficult telling someone they need to change equipment to progress, but without this tough love we can lose so much time fighting rather than styling with our kit."
The deciding factors in getting the right board are Height, Weight and Surfing Ability.
Softboard: These are great not only for learning safely but for more developed surfers to use as a training tool. The stability of the right length softboard is great for practicing and training new take off techniques. With the extra float and size you can catch and ride more waves, especially when it's a small day. More waves means more paddling which means more of a work out! Great if you've been out of the water for a while. Recently the ex world champion Sean Thompson has been pushing the message that a surfer doesn't need to move away from soft boards until they have mastered basic turns on the face of a wave.
Longboard: A longboard is any board of 9 foot or longer. The natural progression for most is from a softboard to a longboard and while longboards provide the extra length and paddle speed they are not just a means for catching waves more easily. Longboarding is a discipline in its own right with its own style and manouvres. You don't have to watch the style and elegence of surfers such as Joel Tudor for long to see why they have created a new wave of young guys and girls moving from shortboarding to longboarding.
Mid-Range/Mini-malibu board: These boards have the same shape or template as a longboard but are shorter. Surfers often buy mini-malibu's as their first boards. Be careful no to go too short and thin too soon. The only way to improve your surfing is through catching and riding waves.
Short Board: This is the shape most people think of when they think about surfboards. The evolution of perfomance surfing and the technological advances in board manufacture has enabled surfboard shapers to design and build short, light, thin, high performance boards. Again be careful not to kill your progression by going for a short board too soon. You wouldn't learn to drive in a F1 car. These are the surfing equivalent.