Have you ever heard that the more surfboards you have, the better your surf sessions will be in terms of fun? You would be guaranteed much more enjoyable sessions out in the water with the variety of gear selection as opposed to just having one standard surfboard for all conditions.
With a whole quiver of boards, you’d be able to choose your surf gear that would best suit the wave for the day as well as for your own style of surfing, as each new day delivers new type of surf.
Waves come in all forms of energy, shape and size. One wave will never be exactly the same as another. This is what keeps surfing super exciting. And, being able to spice up your surf toys and pick the board you want to ride according to the surf conditions, is such a luxury that most of us are not able to enjoy, honestly.
Let us just admit that surfing is not cheap, whatsoever. Unless you are luckily sponsored by a top surf brand for being a well-rounded competitive surfer, or your brother is a local shaper and delights in throwing a fresh stick your way every now and then.
However, coming from just another lover for surfing, most of us have to think super surf-smart.
If you are at the level of intermediate or advanced surfing, I would recommend budgeting for two surfboards: one for bigger, more powerful waves (perhaps call it your “winter board” with all the low-pressure storms around), and another board for smaller, weaker waves (your ideal “summer board”).
Your bigger-wave board would be ‘smaller’ in terms of less volume overall with thinner rails, perhaps a more pulled-in tail and sharper nose, and have a somewhat defined rocker – all to be able to withstand the speed and power to slice through a bigger wave face.
My personal board suited for ‘punchier’ waves, is a high-performance 6ft Clayton, called the ‘Dredger’ model. It is 27 litres and I love it for surfing powerful Bluff or Supertubes in Jeffrey’s Bay.
Your surfboard suited for smaller waves, would be bigger in general size. It would be thicker and more buoyant in volume for easier paddling into the “pap” wave. Your board would be wider in dimensions as more surface area would certainly help catch the wave easier. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be long in length – just as long as it is buoyant and helps you float more in the water and hold rail while you ride a ’soft’ wave.
My big board is a red-and-white 6’8 Torq. It is probably 50litres in volume. Super thick, flat rocker and very wide to be able to catch all those fun little mellow nuggets, but it is still manoeuvrable if you really drive it as the tail is a pulled-in rounded pin. I love it!
So, there! It is unnecessary to have so many boards. However, I would highly recommend having more than just one board as not to be limited to one style of surfing or one type of wave. It is seriously up to you and what your own pocket can handle. Even if you do just have one surfboard – it is still so much better than having no surfboard, at all.
Photo cred: Maarten van Der Velde