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Why should I use a longboard when I start surfing? I'm new to surfing but I really want to ride a shortboard. Do I really need to start with a longboard?
In Beginner - Asked by Jose

Answer

We’ve all seen videos of Rob Machado and Andy Irons dropping into barrels, hitting the lip of the wave with force, turning on a dime and cutting back with these really cool, really neat looking 5'6 to 5'10 little planks of foam they call shortboards. It looks like a lot of fun and maybe that's what got you into testing the waters with surfing. What’s not fun, is paddling your little heart out only to watch wave after wave just roll by you. Better yet, how much fun would it be paddling and paddling for half an hour trying to get past where to wave breaks only to get pounded by white water. Yes, some guys make it look so easy and despite you being a triathlon athlete, learning to surf is like learning to walk. Regardless of how huge your lat muscles are, you’ve probably never been subjected to the rigorous motions of paddling in water with your hands for an extended about of time. Using a surf board at least 3 feet longer in length than your height will give you the surface area on your board that you will need for stability and paddling power. Trust me, its lot more fun than getting pounded all day long on a little board. Once you've had enough practice building those balancing and paddling muscles, then you can consider going with a shorter board. Remember, baby steps.

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