Summer is often equated with fun in the sun. What better way to have fun in the sun then to enjoy the time honored tradition of surfing? Surfing, which was originated by the Polynesians, has since been enjoyed worldwide for many years. Getting into the sport can be a little tricky. There are many different types of surfboards created for specific skill levels as well as functions. The three main types of board are soft surfboards, the longboards, and the shortboards. All of these boards are used for different reasons and for various levels of accomplishment. Surfing is a sport that can be enjoyed by virtually anyone and at any age. You can never be too young nor too old to surf. Surfing is a sport that becomes a lifestyle, a way of life if you will. If you progress with your boards properly and in the right order, you are bound to reach an impressive level of skill. It is also important when learning how to surf that safety is always taken into account. You never want to push yourself to dangerous levels of accomplishment until your skills are up to par.
Soft surfboards are perfect for beginners, giving them the stability and comfort they will need when first starting off. These softer foam boards help to eliminate the dangers of longboards or shortboards. For instance, if you fall and your board flies back and hits you in the face or a wave knocks it into you, you will be better off getting hit with a softer material. Soft boards generally have a foam core or a hollow plastic core with solid foam around it. Foam coated with fiberglass makes for an extremely strong board that will stand the test of time. Aside from being perfect for helping to protect your body from getting beat up, soft boards are also better at staying afloat helping you to stay on top of the water thus making it easier to catch a wave. Soft surfboards are usually on the longer side between nine to ten feet, to help with your balance and stability.
Once you have mastered the soft board it is now time to move on to your next board. After the foam board, but before the shortboard comes the longboard. The length of this board is about the same as the foam board, however, this board is made out of fiberglass. The original surfboards were made of wood and weighed as much as one hundred and fifty pounds. Resin or fiberglass seems to be the preferred material today, and this helps with speed and maneuverability. These boards tend to also have hard fins which are good for carving the water. These boards are better for experienced surfers and are not recommended for beginners. Most of these boards tend to come in sizes ranging from nine to twelve feet in length.
The next step in surfing evolution are shortboards. These boards are fast, short, and maneuverable. On the downside they are also hard to balance on, and do not float very well when not on a wave. These surfboards are not for beginners and in fact can discourage a beginner from the sport, leading them to believe it is too difficult. These boards are lighter and thinner than other surfboards and tend to have three "skegs" or fins making them good for the trick side of surfing. Short surfboards are good for catching air, performing cutbacks, dropping off, just about any trick of expert level.