Buying the Board (and Wetsuit) that’s Right for You
You may be new to surfing, but you’ve likely experienced a sale person trying to upsell you a product that wasn’t right for you or didn’t match your needs. When buying your first wetsuit and/or surfboard be informed on equipment that best suits your requirements. Many surf shops will have employees who will be happy to share their expert advice and tips to get you on your way. Nonetheless reading up on blogs, forums and expert advice before entering a store will always serve you well. You might even find a shop that posts great tips and advice on their website. Here is an example of how your first dream of riding a wave can turn into a sales nightmare.
Part 1: How you discovered surfing
Picture it. You’ve almost reached the beach. Four people run by. Laughing. They push right past you in their wetsuits. Surfboard in hand as they run into the sea. You feel a rush come over you. Seeing them climb their boards gets you lost in wonder. You want in. You want to ride with them. You turn away from the beach and run. Run. Where is the nearest surf shop?
Part 2: Sold, but not what you needed
You walk in sweaty and ready for wave spinning action. Give me the best there is you demand. You want to ride with the pros. The salesperson lights up. Commission figures sparkle in their eyes. They recommend their exclusive brand ‘big shortboard’. You’ll pay anything to fly over those waves, and beside the board will be your guide.
Part 3: Package incomplete
It’s a long way back to the beach. As you’re running, out of breathe and dripping you see those savvy surfers in your mind’s eye. For a moment you forget your surroundings. All you see is people in wetsuits running their boards to the sea. A wetsuit! You don’t have a wetsuit! You turn around and set your sights on that surf-shop again. You’re thinking about that salesperson. They forgot to sell you a wetsuit. How knowledgeable were they if they let you leave without a suit?!
Part 4: Same mistake twice
Back at the shop the same smile-clad commission ready salesperson sells you a Zip-Free Flash Bomb wetsuit. It costs over £400, but like they said - you’re going to be the bomb out there on the water.
It’s a long way back to the beach. Night is encroaching. By the time you get back to the beach most holiday makers are packing up. The surfers you saw before have left. Doesn’t matter! You’re a pro now with pro gear. You’re a lone shark. You’ll make a kill out there.
Part 5: Deflated dream
Almost there. Almost. You throw your board in the water. Next you throw yourself to your board. And… BAM! It’s your face. You hit your nose on the back of the board. The board makes a short dive out of the water. There it goes, your board gently floating away. The only thing you killed was dignity. Your nose is bleeding. Luckily there’s no one there to see. Somewhere out there a savvy salesperson sucked you dry. You sit on the beach holding your board. Your nose begins to bleed again. You don’t have tissues.
Don’t let this scenario ruin your surfing aspirations. If you are new to surfing many beginner boards don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. A basic wetsuit won’t set you too far back either. As you gain experience you’ll understand better which equipment is best for you and you can invest in wetsuits and surfboards that teach you new skills.