Beginning surfers in Bali

Surf shops in Kuta offer an array of surfboards ranging from brand new Al Merrick to beaten up boards that have gone brown in the sun. Figuring out what right board is right for you takes more than just finding one with nice colors.

The major factors that affect a surfboard are the length, width and the amount of glass (resin) that is used in the coat, as it affects the overall weight. I have been told by more than one experienced surfer that the biggest problem with beginning surfers is that they try to surf waves that are too big on boards that are too small. The result is that they cannot ride a single wave. Best strategy is to take a surf lesson with a western teacher and have them go with you to a few shops to look at boards. They will take into account your height, weight, age and how good you are. Do not try to buy a sexy 6ft pointy nose board from a Balinese owned surf shop, those guys do not care if you ever surf it or not. Generally when people first learn to surf they want a board with plenty of stability and buoyancy, 2ft taller than the person. After mastering that they can move on to a Mini-Mal. This type of board is not the most sexy looking board in the world but you will enjoy yourself riding small-medium waves. Mini-Mals have a wide body, rounded nose with not too much rocker (incline). Beginning surfers should surf the beach breaks at Kuta and Legian at high tide only. Don’t be tricked into renting a board from a local at low tide (when the tide is out there’s no one else surfing).

After 6 months of surfing talk to a surf teacher about where you stand and trade the Mini-Mal in for something else.