If you are new to surfing and want to buy a first surfboard, have a look at part 1 of this series for some basics that will get you pointed in the right direction.
There's so much choice available for someone looking for a second board that it can be overwhelming, if you remember that the best surfboard for you ultimately depends on where you want to take your surfing you should be able to narrow it down quickly to the type of surfboard most suited to you.
We are going to use some examples of a couple of surfers who would be best suited to different styles of surfboard, you might not fit into one of these categories exactly but they should be a good starting point for your search.
"I surf as much as I can, usually a couple of times a month throughout the year with long dedicated surfing holidays to Cornwall, France or the Canaries each summer, I surf whatever the waves are like, big or small. I'm keen to get a board that will be more agile than my Bic Longboard without stopping me catching waves on the small days."
Ian needs a surfboard with plenty of volume because he's going to be using it even when the waves are really small and gutless, as he's been riding a longboard he is used to paddling in easily and having a wide, stable platform to stand on.
Usually the best kind of board to go for would be a funboard style, something like the Fourth Chilli Bean or the Maluku Fish Cake MKII will have the float he needs whilst offering lots more manoeuvrability than his current board.
"I've been surfing for 6 months and I love it, I surf 2 or 3 times a week all through the year and have mostly been using an NSP Mini Mal. Recently I have tried out friends shorter boards and I feel I'm ready to move to a shorter board so I can start surfing bigger waves and doing turns on the face."
Sam is looking for a shorter surfboard so he can start making the most of the better waves he's surfing, because his focus is on progression and he's getting in the water a lot he needs a surfboard with some elements of a shortboard, but to make sure he doesn't sacrifice too many waves he needs some extra width and volume too.
A fish shape would suit Sam well, something like the Maluku Quad Fish or the Fourth Burger Fish would offer the pulled in tail and performance features of a shortboard with the high wide point and extra thickness of a fish shape that gives Sam the stability and paddle power he needs to take his surfing further.
Any second surfboard will be a compromise of stability and manoeuvrability, one of the most important parts of progressing with your surfing is catching plenty of waves, a good way to judge how easy a surfboard is going to be to paddle into waves is the volume, wherever possible we list the volume on the board page, it gives you one way to compare your current board, or surfboards you have used in the past, to your next surfboard.
Everything else being equal, the higher the volume the easier the board will be to paddle into waves, but there's lots of other factors which affect how the board paddles which all affect the boards performance when up and riding.
Once you've chosen the surfboard you'd like you need to select the appropriate length, this can be tricky with so many options available, again one of the best ways to get a good idea of what length would be good for you is to look at the volume, if possible try out some shorter boards than you're used to to get an idea of what kind of volume is good for you.
If you see a manufacturers description saying something like "ride this board 4-6 inches shorter than your standard shortboard" this is referring to a high performance, very narrow and thin board that an experienced surfer would use when the waves are good. So you can usually ignore this if your a second board buyer and focus on the volume instead.
If you want some specific advice on which surfboard to buy you can always give us a call on 01548 800567 or get in touch via e-mail: Store@magicseaweed.com