Today’s Music: Girl in a Coma
Today’s Adventure: Caring for another human being
A quote from Swaylock surfing forum
“Every beginner “Kook” should start out on a used board. It’s a tradition!”
* A beginner is not necessarily a Kook.)
And yet, what should the beginning surfer look for? Well, I’m a beginning surfer, and here’s what I’m looking for:
1 – A board I can afford
Boards can be found for anywhere from $250 to $1800. Really, there’s one for just about any price range.
I don’t think I need a high-end, master crafted, hand shaped board.
Although experienced surfers look down on Chinese, mass produced boards, they are cheaper, and some are not crap.
But be warned – sometimes, you do get what you pay for…
2 – A board that will last
As a beginner, I expect I’ll spend alot of time falling off my board and having it smack into all sorts of things – rocks, jetties, ripping foam. To say nothing of it bouncing on the roof of my car, being dragged along the street to to the beach, being dragged along the beach to the waves, accidentally being dropped…
The board is going to have to be strong enough to endure that, and other damage I can’t even imagine yet…
3 – It has to be big
A surfboard is a small plank on a big ocean. Made to ride a breaking wave.
Let me say the again: a breaking wave. That’s when the wave rises up and falls over on itself into a gloriously bubbly frothy churn. Which is not really stable.
Which is why I’m going to want a board between 9′ and 9’6″, 3 1/2″ thick, and 23″ wide. It won’t be good when I have some skill and want to do tricks, but it will help me get up and learn the feel of riding a wave (riding a wave!!!) so I can graduate to a faster board.
4 – It has to have a cool graphic
There you go, proof I’m a n00b. But really, who doesn’t want their toys to look cool?
5 – It has to be right for me
In the end, like most individual sports, your gear has to fit your personality.
My climbing chalk bag (swirly multicolor), my climbing shoes (bright aqua), my diving fins and mask (dayglo yellow), all say something about me. I like to think that my tools are colorful and playful, but also effective and functional.
Generally, I want the tools I choose to do their jobs more than I want them to look cool. And when I learn to surf competently, my surfing skill will show more than the graphics on my board.
I don’t know what kind of board I’ll get. I know that as I read and research more, the board I want comes more sharply into focus.
But when I’m going out to play, I want the whole damn world to see it, and smile at the crazy man heading out for another thrill ride.