We often see first timers who refuse assistance and lessons flailing around on miss matched boards. Falling into the water repeatedly, their first experience often times becomes their last as exhausted and frustrated they swim the board back to the beach.

Bigger is better! Trust me, many first time suppers will opt for a smaller board when presented with the option but please do not. Looking at an 11-12 foot monster the average beginner may feel a bit intimidated by the prospect of wrestling the Titan to the water. While these big boards seem to be over kill they do provide newbies with valuable stability.

Stability is the key to unlocking good technique and making strong progression. This is especially true in wavier environments. As a beginner your main concern should be maximizing your power and control and a stable platform will allow this. It is way harder to focus on engaging your core when you are constantly falling in. It is also exhausting. There is a lot to learn! Tight turning radiuses, deep anchored strokes, engaging bigger muscle groups and minimizing resistance are just a few things that contribute to a less stressful first encounter.

Beginner wave riders also often make this small board mistake. Start surfing on the bigger sizes. Just catching waves can be difficult on a smaller board because of the instability. It takes a while for new wave riders to adjust to the undulating movement underneath so a bigger board does offer a solid advantage. Again it is impossible to work out your timing and stroke if you are swimming.

Great news, progression is quick! Once you have the basics down then go to the smaller sizes. Just like riding a bike your forward momentum brings stability. You don’t need freakish circus like balance skills to stay dry on the smaller boards, you just need to paddle. Smaller boards, specifically more narrow boards drag less water, go faster and will challenge your core a bit more.

So, go rent a board. Let the rental center choose equipment that is well matched to your ability, height and weight. If you are planning to buy a board it is even more important to rent first. Paddle boards are expensive so you don’t want to be stuck something that is too big or worse yet too small. Most SUP manufacturers have a comprehensive range of boards and will often recommend sizes for rider weights and abilities. The three important measurements to consider are a boards length, width and volume.

Once again we hope that this was helpful and look forward to seeing you on the water.

Love Jason and Sarah.