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What is it? A very popular large board that is gen-
erally 9ft or larger. Anything smaller is referred to
as a Mini Mal. The large size of the board makes
it easy to stand on, easy to paddle, but harder to
Material/shape: Traditionally the board has a
round nose and is made of fibreglass.
Wave type: Works best in small.
Suits: Perfect for beginners because it floats easily
and is easy to paddle.
What is it? A board designed for speed. Designed
for someone who wants tighter turns, and wants to
Material/shape: Made from fibreglass and epoxy,
the board is under 6ft 10in.
Wave type: Fast.
Suits: High performance surfer who wants to do
more tricks. You need to be fit to use this board
because it isn't as buoyant as the larger boards,
which makes it much harder to paddle.
What is it? A popular and newer style of board
that is strong and light. Fuller than a shortboard
and easy to use.
Material/shape: Made of fibreglass (PU), the
board is easy to turn and long enough to still be
easy to paddle.
Wave type: Small.
Suits: A beginner or someone who is in their 30s
and interested in returning to the surf. If someone
walked off the street into Andy's store, this is the
board he would recommend.
What is it? One of the best boards for a beginner
who is scared of getting hurt, or a child who is
interested in getting started.
Material/shape: Made from similar material as a
body board. The board has a soft top, soft sides,
soft nose and soft tail. The bottom is hard and has
plastic fins -- this board won't hurt you or anyone
in the water.
Wave type: Small waves and white wash.
Suits: Beginner level.
It's heating up outside and what
better way to get fit and have
fun than to get out on the water?
But before you're tempted to
tackle the swell, make sure you're
teamed with the right surfboard.
text « clare ryan
POINT BREAK: (left to right) Malibu (Mal), model:
Walden Hang Glider, sizes: 9ft 6in and 10ft, RRP: $1300 -
$1400. Shortboard, model: Webber Afterburner, sizes: 6ft
to 6ft 10in, RRP: $765 - $785. Hybrid shortboard, Model:
Aloha Quickshift, sizes: 6ft to 6ft 8in, RRP: $695 - $725.
Softboard, model: GSI soft sur oard, sizes: 6ft to 11ft, RRP:
$525 - $845.
Hit the beach
Beginners: Secret Harbour in Mandurah and
Experienced: Cables in Cottesloe, Rottnest Island
and Trigg Point.
REGIONAL WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Beginners: Back beach in Lancelin and Geraldton.
Experienced: Margaret River to Yallingup.
For more information on the right surfboard for you,
contact Surfscene Surf Specialist, 24 Rokeby Road,
Subiaco, (08) 9381 2815.
Visit surfindustries.com or call 1300 368 42
With more than 20 years' experience, surfer Wade
Sanford says a beginner surfer needs a board that
"It needs to be long, thick (depth and rails) and
wide through the middle and tail of the board --
this creates stability and paddle power," says Wade.
If you're experienced, but still using the surf-
board you caught your first wave on, then you're
overdue for an upgrade. Wade recommends a short
board that is thin through the rails and has a nar-
row width with a curve through the profile.
"Overall, the board size is relative to your size
and the type of board that you're riding. A general
rule for a beginner is that the board should fit
(the width) comfortably under your armpit," says
Wade. "If you can't hold the board under your
armpit then you physically won't be able to paddle
properly. But, if the board is too narrow then it
won't float enough for you to paddle efficiently."
Wade shares a few important pointers you need to
know before you hit the water.
• Respect fellow wave riders and wait your turn.
You can't expect to paddle out to a new break and
get the first wave that comes through.
• Don’t “drop in”. This is when you catch a wave
that someone else is already riding. When paddling
for a wave you must make sure that there is no
one on the inside of you. The person closest to the
already broken part of the wave gets priority.
• If you want your board to last then don’t leave
itinthe sunorthe carandtrynottodropit.The
more you look after your board the longer it will
last. "You can snap your board on your first surf or
it can last a generation, but generally a board will
last two seasons," says Wade.
• Always be aware of the surf conditions and your
Andy Harler, owner of Surfscene Surf Specialist
in Subiaco, has been helping customers find the
right surfboard for 19 years. We ask Andy to run
through a few styles.
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