So, you have mastered the art of catching waves on your soft board and really want to progress your surfing skills to the next level and purchase your first fibreglass surfboard, but there are way too many to choose from and you don’t want to waste your money on a board that’s not suited for you. I know, I see customers make this mistake often!
This is why I have made this list of the top five boards that I suggest to help the beginner surfer become an intermediate surfer.
1) The Hermit by The Critical Slide Society
The Critical Slide Society have created a moderate volume board to help get into the waves early in these situations. Let me introduce you to the ‘Hermit’, which is the most versatile board in their collection.
Out of all the TCSS board’s the Hermit was the one that shocked me the most! This quickly became my primary go-to board in the TCSS range if I wanted to surf every day and only had room in the car for one board.
I grabbed a 7’0 at 51L In the Straw colour, which is the smallest size available. This was more than enough foam for me. I weigh 85kg at 6ft tall and surf 3-4 times a week. If you are a beginner, there are more significant options that would help shorten the learning curve.
The Hermit does it all! It turns and engages the rail beautifully and is super responsive, considering the size of the board. I could move my feet around and do small little cross steps when needed to generate more speed in those dead spots that appeared on the wave. It is also a board that gives the rider plenty of time to make those small-minute adjustments if required.
The Hermit is $995 and includes a free fin. This is a great price considering you probably won’t need to buy any other boards as you will have most conditions covered. Click here to buy one today, or reach out if you have any questions.
2) 7S Super Fish 4 Surfboard
When I first started my surfing journey and was trying to transition from beginner to intermediate, I bought a heap of different boards, many of which didn’t quite suit my surfing ability. I wasted so much time and money, trying to get that perfect fit for where my skill level was, but no matter what I tried I just couldn’t find the right one.
I wish that I had known about the 7S ‘Super Fish’ back then. I honestly feel like I would be such a better surfer today if I had bought this board while making that transition. A massive claim, I know!
The ‘Super Fish’ has a step rail. This design gives the rider more foam under the chest to help catch waves and makes for easier paddling, while still keeping the sharper rails to ensure better turning. Having this feature offers the perfect balance of stability and turning response when on the wave.
The Super Fish would best cater for the beginner surfer transitioning to intermediate. Someone who is ready for their first fibreglass board or who wants the ‘Fish’ shape that everyone is talking about, or for the surfer who is getting a little older, or maybe carrying a few injuries that still wants a high wave count on a board that they know will still perform well.
The 7S 'Super Fish' is a steal starting at $695
3) Salt Gypsy’s The Dusty
Salt Gypsy is the only brand on the market making surfboards specifically for women! They make sustainable, lightweight boards that are cost-effective in a variety of beautiful colours Blush, Mustard and Navy.
If you are a learner or an experienced logger, you will notice it is so easy to paddle. This is because of its super flat rocker. Being a 9-foot board ‘The Dusty’ enters the wave so early and smooth and gives the user plenty of time to pop up and commit to the wave, which is handy if you are a beginner.
The 9’0 has 69L, so it has plenty of float. I found it super stable under my feet and could easily ‘attempt’ to walk up and down the board. The nose of the board has a slight concave. This gives extra stability when trying to get to the nose.
The most fun I had on this board was a small wave at my local beach. I racked up a high wave count and was really trying to get to the nose. One of the last waves I caught, instead of trying to nose ride or overcomplicate things, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride, ‘The Dusty’ trimmed across the wave like a hot knife through butter.
4) Modern's Highline.
The Highline would be the perfect transition to a shortboard. With a heap of foam compacted into a shortboard shape, it makes catching waves on a smaller board much easier. And, with more time on the wave, you will have the opportunity to try new things or dial in on something you have been working on to help progress your surfing skills to the next level.
The Highline has the perfect amount of rocker. I surfed this board recently, and every wave felt so smooth on the take-off, no matter how peaky the wave was, how deep I was sitting or if there were any small bumps in the wave face. The tail is super wide and thick, making it so easy to adjust my feet. If I ‘Kooked’ the take-off or if I felt like I needed to move my back foot, I knew it had the forgiveness to do this. Which is awesome if you are learning and need that stability. The downside to this is that there is a lot of board to turn.
The Highline is a board that you could relax and get comfortable with and surf in every kind of condition. Or if you have a busy lifestyle and don’t get a chance to surf often it is a board that you could get back to where you left off. Personally, I reckon this would be an awesome first board for any grom or beginner, or even great for those more experienced surfers looking for a fun little wave with the kids or your misses on a sunny summer’s day!
This retails at $595, which includes a set of fins. Available in 5’10, 6’0, 6’2, 6’4, and 6’8 and three great colours to choose from firestorm, sea tint & clear.
One thing that these boards have in common, is a high amount of volume. Making it easy to catch waves as you progress from a foamie to a fibreglass, ensuring that you don’t lose that wave count that you have been working hard for!
5) The Logger Head by The Critical Slide Society
When I first bought the Logger Head, I took it down to one of my local beaches, called 7-mile beach. This wave is perfect for longboards! I still remember the first wave I caught on The Logger head so clearly. The conditions were perfect. The sets were a generous 2ft and breaking super clean. I spotted a wave, turned and paddled, I prepared myself to pop up, I looked down the line, got to my feet and was like OMG, this is longboarding. This is what I have been missing out on!
My favourite thing about ‘The Loggerhead’ is paddling for a wave and setting myself in that ready position and having the time to decide which way on the wave I am going to go or keeping an eye on the person on your inside to see what they are doing first without losing any momentum.
Now, I am a terrible longboarder and happy to admit it. Riding the Logger Head made me go back to basics. It is super forgiving and so good to actually practice things such as cross-stepping and longboard turning. This is also handy if you are learning to surf because The logger head is noticeably a thick board which makes for a stable landing for your feet.
They retail for $1295 and come with a fin which may seem like a lot of money, but in the world of longboards, its actually very fairly priced
6) The Angler by The Critical Slide Society
The Critical Slide Society or TC have designed a Twin Fin that suits a wide range of abilities and surf conditions. It is called ‘The Angler’ and it was clear after my first couple of waves that I was in that category.
Critical Slide is all about the simple joy of surfing. They design boards that are not going to win a world title, they are designed to get every last drop off fun out of wave! Exactly the same reason I surf. I can’t do any of the manoeuvres that the guys at my local board riders can do but I can appreciate the feeling of frothing a fun wave just as much.
‘The Angler’ rides just like it looks. A whole lot of fun packed into a small colourful shape.
I got a 5’11 at 38L in the colour Ochre and just feel in love with the colour choice. Even though the other option is Artichoke which looks just as fun. My first layer of wax just made the colour stand out even more, which had me frothing so hard to surf it. It definitely catches eyes and turn’s heads as you walk down to the water.
I have found in the past that 38L for me is tip-toeing towards that ‘boatie’ oversized feeling but with the Angler’s shape, I didn’t get that feeling as I have on other boards. I felt that I nailed the right size board for me. (I am 6ft and roughly 85kg who surfs 3-4 times a week.)
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