Can You Start Surfing On A Shortboard?

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You are getting started with surfing and wondering which kind of board you should begin with. You probably want to learn about the differences between a shortboard and a regular surfboard. In this post, we will break down the differences between these two types of surfboards, including easier paddling and balancing. Keep reading to learn more.

You can learn to surf on a shortboard, but it will be more difficult. Shortboards are more difficult to paddle, stand up, and balance. Shortboards are better for more speed and taking on larger waves. They are better suited for experienced surfers, but it is possible for a beginner to learn with a shortboard.

Maybe you have access to a shortboard and want to try surfing. You definitely can, but it is not the easiest way for a beginner to learn how to surf. You might wonder what kind of board beginners should look for. We will detail how to size a surfboard based on your height and weight, including the preferred sizes for beginners, intermediate and advanced surfers. This post will answer all of your questions and tell you if skateboarding can help you become a better surfer. Keep reading to learn more.

A young woman beginner surfer with blue surfboard having fun on small waves, Can You Start Surfing On A Shortboard?

Can You Start Surfing On A Shortboard?

Learning how to surf on a shortboard is possible, but it is not the recommended board for beginners. The amount of foam, the length, and the thickness are all factors that determine the best surfboard for your size and skill level. Beginners will do better with larger boards that are longer and thicker. These boards will have more foam, making it easier to pull yourself up and stabilize on the board.

Boardworks Froth Soft Top Shortboard Surfboard

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What Is Considered A Shortboard?

A shortboard is any board that is under 7 feet in length. They are typically made of fiberglass and contain less foam than traditional surfboards. Shortboards contain less foam, which makes it more difficult to paddle. The shorter length gives the board more speed, and it is better for maneuvering on larger waves. A surfboard that is 7 feet or longer is called a minimal surfboard, which provides more stability and ease when paddling.

What Should Beginners Look For In A Surfboard?

Bigger surfboards are the best option for beginners. A surfboard with at least 7 feet in length will make it easier to stand up and balance. Thicker boards will make it easier to catch and glide on smaller waves. If you are looking for the easiest surfboard to learn with, then you should get the longest, thickest board available. When you get comfortable riding the waves on a big board, then you can trade it in for something thinner and shorter.

Wavestorm 8 Foot Beginner Surfboard

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How Do You Size A Surfboard?

Beginner surfers should use a minimal surfboard, 7 to 8 feet in length and up to 3 inches in thickness. This is the easiest board to paddle and to learn to stand up with. A rule to figure out the best-sized board for an intermediate surfer is to measure one palm above your head. For the vast majority of people, this will be classified as a shortboard.

Joyful young woman beginner surfer with blue surfboard having fun on small waves

This rule of thumb is not the only metric people use. There is a measurement for volume that will be a better factor for determining each user’s best size board. A beginner surfer that has a weight of 150 lbs should have about 26.5 to 27.5 liters of volume. Add or subtract 1.3 liters for every 10 lbs of weight above or below 150 lbs. Intermediate surfers should subtract 1.5 liters of volume, and advanced surfers should subtract 2.8 liters from the beginner surfboard formula.

The volume is based on the amount of foam a surfboard has. More foam is easier to paddle and more stable, so it is better for beginner surfers. Once you master standing on the board and riding small to medium waves, then you may benefit from less foam, weight, and size. This gives you more maneuverability on the larger waves.

Is Surfing Easy Or Hard To Learn?

The body motions involved in surfing are easy to learn, which will allow you to ride on small waves fairly quickly. There are other surfing tricks and more advanced techniques, which will take significantly longer to learn. Your own health and physicality can make it easier or more difficult to learn because you will have to lift yourself out of the water into a standing position when it comes time to ride the wave. You can also make it easier by knowing when to go surfing and what kind of weather conditions are ideal.

Surfer girl standing up to the waves

It is important to have the best equipment for your size and skill level. This will make all the difference when you get out in the water. Learning how to surf can be frustrating at first, just like other kinds of skill-based activities. Some people can ride a wave on their first time in the water, while others may take a few weeks or longer to learn. For more in-depth information on this topic, check out Is Surfing Easy or Hard to Learn? [Here Are the 6 Steps to Take]

Is Surfing Easy If You Skateboard?

Surfing is a water sport that requires a learning curve for all newcomers to water board sports. Skateboarding can help someone become a better and more confident surfer when it comes to riding the wave. The most difficult part of learning to surf is paddling and knowing when to stand up. The motion and strength required to stand-up are also difficult for beginner surfers, and skateboarding does not help someone learn or improve these skills.

Other Kinds Of Surfing Sports

Several board sports occur in the water, and you might wonder if you can use any of these boards for surfing. Stand up paddleboards (SUP) can be used for surfing. One benefit to this way of surfing is that you can begin standing and ride the wave as it comes. There are some different challenges that will be faced when using a different kind of board. The SUP board is much heavier, but it can also be used for more activities than a surfboard.

Premium Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP)

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There are many other kinds of board sports and board types, but none can be repurposed as a surfing board. Kiteboarding, bodyboarding, skimboarding, wakeboarding, and windsurfing are examples of different sports you will need a special board to participate in. For a more detailed breakdown of these other board sports, check out 10 Types Of Surfing Sports You Could Take Up.

In Closing

A shortboard is not the preferred board for beginner surfers. A shortboard is anything less than 7 feet in length. They are more difficult to paddle, stand up, and balance on the board. Standing up and balancing is the most difficult part of learning to surf, so using a shortboard is not the best choice. You absolutely can learn how to surf with a shortboard, but it may take more time and cause more frustration. If a shortboard is available for you to use, then you can begin learning. Otherwise, you will have a better time using a minimal surfboard that is over 7 feet.

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