Thinking about buying a surfboard for your kid? If it's your child's first surfboard, there are a number of tips you should keep in mind. Ultimately, there is no right answer, and a lot of the process depends on the age and experience of your child.
1. Start Easy
If something is extremely hard for a beginner, they may get turned off and give up on the hobby. This is just as true for surfing as it is for piano. Just as fledgling players start with simple tunes, beginning surfers need boards that are easy to use.
For really small kids, any board that requires them to stand up is likely to be too challenging. Instead, give small kids boogie or body boards. That allows them to get a sense of the surf and playing in the wake, without getting hurt. Then, they can upgrade as they get more confident. For an older child such as a pre-teen who has experience standing on skis or skateboards, you may want to check out a foamie. These are large foam boards that are hard to tip.
2. Remember Your Safety
As your kid learns to catch a wave and stand up, you're likely to be behind the board, helping him or her. A proper surfboard can be a bit intensive in this situation — if your child misses the wave and the board flings back, you may get hit hard in the face. To reduce your chances of injury, you may also want to stick with the foam board for your child. Also, look for soft fins — foam or soft rubber are ideal.
3. Think About Upkeep and Portability
When choosing your child's first board, also think about upkeep and portability. If you're already lugging your own board as well as snacks and towels to the beach, you can't also carry your kids boards. Because of that, you need to focus on getting a surfboard that your kid can handle. Take your child shopping with you or look at sizes of surfboards in person before ordering them online. Ideally, the size you select should be easy for your child to manage.
Also, consider your child's ability to keep the board up. If it requires wax and your child is too young to accept that type of responsibility on a regular basis, you may want to forgo that option and choose a style that doesn't require wax.
4. Upgrade when ready to manoeuvre
Once your child has down the basis of surfing, you may start to notice some issues with the large foam boards. Namely these boards don't turn that well. When that happens, congratulations — it's time to upgrade your kid to a regular surfboard.