Choosing the Right Beginner Surfboard

Choosing the Right Beginner Surfboard

Learning to surf is an exciting journey, and choosing the right surfboard is critical to maximizing your surfing experience. Whether you're a first-timer or a beginner looking to improve your skills, this guide will help you navigate the waves of decision-making. At Shokogi, located in the beautiful Playa Venao, Panama, we specialize in providing the best surfboards and lessons to get you started on the right foot—or, should we say, the right board! Let's dive in.

Understanding Your Surfing Level

Before diving into the technical aspects of surfboards, assessing your current surfing level is essential. As a beginner, you need a board that provides stability and buoyancy to help you catch waves easily.

Your skill level determines the type of board that will best support your learning process. Beginners often struggle with balance and paddling, so a board compensating for these challenges is essential.

Understanding Surfboard Types: Foamies vs. Hardboards

When starting, the type of surfboard you choose can make a big difference in your learning curve. Soft tops are made with a foam core and a softer exterior, which makes them safer and more forgiving during falls. This is especially important for kids and beginners still getting comfortable in the water. At Shokogi, we pride ourselves on our own brand of high-performance soft top surfboards, Ocean Monkey, which are perfect for kids and beginners.

Hardboards, while offering better performance, are typically used by more experienced surfers. They offer better performance in the water but require more skill to control. For beginners, the safety and ease of foamies usually make them the better choice. After mastering the basics, you can transition to a hard top board, we typically recommend trying out an epoxy board first.

The Perfect Size: Finding the Right Length and Volume

Choosing the right size surfboard is crucial for beginners. Generally, longer boards offer better stability and are easier to paddle, which is ideal for learning. For adults, a board between 8 to 9 feet is usually recommended. A shorter board between 6 to 8 feet can be more manageable for kids.

Volume, a combination of length, width, and thickness, also plays a vital role. A higher volume board will be more buoyant, making it easier to catch waves and maintain balance. At our surf school in Playa Venao, we help beginners find the right board size and volume to match their needs.

The Role of Shape: Understanding Board Design

The shape of your surfboard affects how it performs in the water. Beginners should look for boards with a wide, rounded nose and a broad tail. This design provides more stability and makes it easier to catch waves. Our Ocean Monkey boards are designed with these features in mind, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable learning experience.

The board's bottom contour also matters. A flat or slightly concave bottom helps with stability and speed, making it easier for beginners to stand up and ride their first waves.

Considering Your Weight and Height

Your weight and height are important factors in choosing the right surfboard. Heavier surfers need more buoyancy, so a larger, thicker board is usually better. Taller surfers may also benefit from a longer board to ensure stability and ease of paddling.

A shorter, thinner board can be more manageable for kids and lighter surfers. Our team at Shokogi can help you find the right board for your specific body type, ensuring you have the best experience on the water.

Wave Conditions: Matching Your Board to the Surf

The wave conditions in Playa Venao, Panama, are perfect for learning to surf, with consistent waves that are suitable for beginners. However, choosing a board that matches the typical wave conditions you'll be surfing in is important. For smaller, slower waves, a larger board with more volume will help you catch waves more easily.

If you plan to travel and surf in different conditions, you might consider a versatile board that performs well in a variety of waves.

Try Before You Buy: The Importance of Rentals and Lessons

Before committing to a purchase, it's a good idea to try different boards through rentals. At Shokogi, we offer a wide range of surfboard rentals in Panama, allowing you to test out different sizes and styles to find what works best for you.

Taking lessons is also highly recommended. Our experienced instructors can provide valuable guidance on board selection and help you develop the skills you need to progress. Our surf school in Playa Venao is dedicated to helping beginners get the best start possible.

Investing in Quality: Why Ocean Monkey Boards Stand Out

When you're ready to invest in your own board, quality matters. Our Ocean Monkey soft top surfboards are designed specifically for beginners, with features that make learning easier and more enjoyable. They are durable, high-performance boards that you can rely on as you develop your skills.

At Shokogi, we believe in providing the best equipment and support for our students. Our Ocean Monkey boards are a testament to our commitment to quality and our passion for surfing.

Start Your Surfing Journey with Shokogi

Choosing the right beginner surfboard is an important step in your surfing journey. At Shokogi, we're here to help you every step of the way. Whether you're renting a board, taking lessons, or investing in your first surfboard, our team is dedicated to making your experience as enjoyable and successful as possible. 

Ready to catch your first wave? Visit our surf shop in Playa Venao, Panama, and let's get started. Book a surf lesson package or join our surf camp today and experience the thrill of surfing with the best equipment and instruction. Happy surfing!