New to surfing? Making a list of all the things you need? Wondering what makes a good beginner surfboard?
As a newbie, we know you must have a sea of questions like "What equipment do I really need?". The truth is: it's wise to keep things simple while you hone your skills. However, there are a handful of essential surfing items that deserve your attention.
At Westcountry Surf School, we're here to be your trusted guide and help you navigate the essentials for an unforgettable surfing experience. So, read on to discover more about must-have gear for beginner surfers.
When it comes to surfing, there's no denying that a surfboard is an absolute essential. It's not just a mere tool; it's your connection to the ocean, enabling you to rise above the shore and glide along the waves. With a surfboard beneath your feet, you become one with the water, harnessing its power and embracing its ever-changing conditions.
If you've only just started surfing, chances are you don't own a surfboard yet. That's absolutely fine because many surf schools, including ours, provide surfboards as part of their lessons.
Plus, some beaches offer surfboard rentals, so you can still catch those waves even without owning a board. We offer rentals of our brand-new soft-tech boards at Watergate Bay. However, it's important to note that during peak seasons, our boards can sell out quickly on sunny days. So, if you're considering hiring one of our boards, we highly recommend giving us a call in advance to secure one.
For those looking to splash out on their first board, we recommend starting with a soft-top surfboard or longboard, which are more forgiving and easier to learn on. These boards are typically longer and wider, providing better balance and buoyancy. They're ideal for mastering the basics and building your confidence on the waves. Picking the first board is always a special moment. There are many online sites and local retailers in Cornwall where you can pick up a board that fits your needs and unique style.
#2: A Surfboard Leash
In your surfing arsenal, there's one crucial piece of safety equipment that should never be overlooked—the leg rope, also known as a surfboard leash. This simple yet indispensable cord connects to your ankle and the tail of your surfboard, serving as a lifeline in the water. Its primary function is to prevent your board from being swept away by the waves and to avoid accidental collisions with fellow surfers and swimmers.
While it's technically possible to surf without a leg rope, doing so is dangerous and irresponsible, especially for beginner surfers.
It's an essential safety measure that should always find its place in your surfing kit, ensuring your own well-being and the safety of others in the water.
#3: Wetsuit or Rash Guard
When it comes to selecting the right attire for surfing, the choice between a wetsuit and a rash guard largely depends on your personal tolerance to water temperatures. However, it's worth noting that the Cornish coast can sometimes get very cold!
A wetsuit is a fantastic option as it offers insulation and protection against cold ocean waters. You can opt for a long wetsuit covering your entire body or a shortie that exposes your elbows and knees. If you find yourself in warmer waters, a rash guard can serve as a great alternative. It provides sun protection and helps prevent chafing while riding the waves.
We provide wetsuits for those joining us for lessons, so you don't have to bring your own. You just need to bring a towel, flip flops and swimwear for underneath.
Applying surfboard wax on the deck (top) of your board provides traction and grip, allowing you to stay aboard while paddling and riding waves.
Fins help with stability, manoeuvrability and control of the surfboard. Most beginner boards already come with attached fins, so it's not something that most newbies need to think about.
However, it's worth noting that some boards may have removable fins, which can be convenient as you progress and refine your skills in the water.
Sunscreen is an absolute must-have, not only for surfers or beach buffs but for everyone. Safeguarding your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays is essential, even when the clouds
We advise selecting a waterproof sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). You should also give it sufficient time to fully absorb before diving into the water and enjoying your surf
#7: Surfboard Cover
While it may not be considered a top priority like other items on this list, investing in a surfboard bag or cover is wise. A cover can safeguard your surfboard during transportation and storage, effectively shielding it from scratches and dings. Not only do surfboard covers offer valuable protection, but they also provide added convenience with their handy pockets for storing accessories.
#8: Surfboard Rack or Storage
Lastly, if you plan on keeping your board at home, a surfboard rack or storage system will help keep it safe and organised.
As your surfing skills develop and you explore different types of waves, you may require additional or specialised equipment. It's always a good idea to seek advice from local surf shops, surf schools like ourselves or experienced surfers in your area to ensure you have the right equipment for your skill level and the specific conditions you'll be surfing in.
Looking for surf lessons near you in the vibrant surf town of Newquay? Contact Westcountry Surf School today at 07772 251 778 or book online to grab yourself a spot in our surfing sessions.