Surfing How-To

Packing your surfboard travel bag is an art. I’m not really sure how airlines manage to ding boards the way they do, but I’m pretty sure the ground crew gets pay raises for jamming blunt objects into surfer’s boardbags. Getting on the plane with the unknown of whether or not you’ll open your travel bag to freshly dinged boards is an unavoidable thought process for every traveling surfer.

Add in the ridiculous baggage fees airlines are imposing these days, along with the tanking American dollar that declines in value as it’s sitting in your wallet, and you’re arriving to your favorite surf destination with a sour taste in your mouth… And you’re not even out of the airport yet!

Not a good way to start a surf trip. The last thing you wanna do is spend time fixing dings in your board when you know you could have packed your boardbag better.

Reference the opening scene of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for a visual of the way your boards will probably get treated once you check them in. (general idea)

Have no fear, South Coast has your back. Now view how we can all pack our surfboards for maximum protection against Ace and his co-workers:

How to Choose the Right Surfboard

by Robb on September 17, 2008

By Robb Bailey

If you’re just learning to surf, the kind of board you use is second to learning the ins and outs of the sport. At South Coast Surf Shops we get a lot of beginners looking to purchase the right surfboard straight away, with no real experience in the water. The best approach is to get your feet wet before you pull out your credit card, using as many surfboard types as you can in order to learn what your style preference is.

If you can ride a handful of demo boards or borrowed boards before you buy, all the better. Once you’ve gotten a handle on the sport and the handling abilities of different surfboards on a wave, you will come to understand the art of choosing your perfect surfboard. Then you can make the investment of buying a surfboard that you can be happy riding every day.South Coast Noserider Longboard Surfboard

First things first: be sure to start learning with a bigger board. Most beginners learn how to surf on a long board, a board that is at least nine feet long. Any board longer than nine feet will be much easier to learn on because it will be much more comfortable to lie down on, much faster to paddle out to the break, and much easier to catch a wave. With time, practice, and patience, you will be standing up on your long board and catching waves in no time. At that point, you may consider a smaller board.

Let’s talk a bit more about the advantages of the long board. The factors that allow you to catch a wave are the size of the wave, the velocity of the wave, and the quality of your board. The key for beginners is to not get a board that is too short or too narrow. You will be much happier starting out on a long, wide board, as you will catch more waves and get more practice standing up. You’ll have far less inclination to lug a heavy board around with you, so find a board that is light enough to carry around. The thickness of the board doesn’t matter as much, but try to get a board that will fit comfortably under your arm or one that you can actually carry for at least two blocks. [click to continue…]

By Robb Bailey

Surf wax was designed to make the top surface of surfboards tacky. Although wax is a great way to keep the deck of a surfboard stickified, maintenance is a bit of a task (lazy surfers, right?). Wax requires constant re-application, and after a few sessions in the water it’s usually time to strip the old stuff off and start fresh. A more permanent solution is available with the use of deck grip.

Using deck grip or surf wax on a surfboard are equally effective methods to getting the tacky factor that surfers look for. In fact, most shortboarders use a traction pad for their rear foot and wax for the chest/front foot area, utilizing a combination of both. But there really is no “correct” or “right” way to get your board set up. It’s a personal choice, and every surfer will choose a slightly different setup depending on preference.

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Selecting the Right Surfboard Leash

By Robb Bailey

Although often overlooked, matching the right surfboard leash with the day’s conditions and environment can make or break your session.

The purpose of a surfboard leash is two-fold:

  1. To keep the board from getting washed into shore.FCS Surfboard Leash
  2. To keep the board from possibly injuring someone else.

Most surfers stick to one type of board and leash setup for everyday use. For the most part, one type of leash will do just fine. But the leash you use to surf a California beach break in 2-3 foot conditions is not the same leash you would use to surf 8-10 foot island waves with a reef below.

Different surfing conditions, surf locations, and board sizes will determine what leash to choose. Here are the general features that determine what type of leash to select:

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