Ten Tips for Selecting Your First Surfboard

by Julie Cox on February 23, 2010

“Buy a board that makes you smile” and nine other tips from Las Olas surf instructor and pro longboarder, Julie Cox.

Julie Cox is a competitive longboarder and surf instructor who has consistently placed in the top ten in international surfing events. When not surfing, Julie is the Operations Manager for the California Surf Museum where she’s currently working on a new exhibit, “Women on Waves” opening March 6, 2010.

The “Jule Collection” is her own line of women’s longboards developed with the adult female surfer in mind. Her innovative line up is designed for women who like to dream, smile, shine, and surf.

Look for Julie in the upcoming film The Physics of Surfing.

Ten Tips for Selecting Your First Surfboard

1. First, buy a board that makes you smile.

2. Be honest with your ability and understand that wide longboards are typically the most stable and easiest to catch waves.

3. Choose a board closer to the type of surfing you actually want to do and the type of wave where you’ll be surfing. For example, if you want to be a shortboarder and your home break is a beach break, get a 7′ or so. If you want to be a longboarder and your home break is a point break go for something at least 3′ over your head.

4. Buy a leash and board bag to protect your new investment.

5. Make sure all the dings are fixed and the board is not taking on water.

6. Buy a small tube of solar resin so you can learn to fix your own dings.

7. Don’t worry if your board is too wide to fit under your arm. There are many ways to carry your board and some people like and need that width. Try carrying the board on your hip or on the top of your head instead.

8. It’s good to take the advice of sales people, but listen to the inner you. If you find you are leaning toward a certain board, go for it!

9. A little known secret: fins make a huge difference in how a board rides.  Experiment with fins and know that just by changing your fins, you can change the way your board rides.

10. If you get out there and then feel you made the wrong choice, you can always resell your board.  Or begin your “quiver” and get a few boards for different surfing conditions!

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