Surf Beginners

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You’re new to surfing and don’t know which kind of board you need? Discover our range of beginners surf and find the absolute gem that suits you! ??

Which surfboard to choose when first starting out ? 

Start surf with a hard board

To everyone that will start surfing, the Acidolly checks all the boxes of a beginner’s expectations : easy and fast to row, long, volume and steady. From your first takeoffs to stronger maneuvers, the Acidolly combines all the strength of a modern longboardwhile remaining compact and evolutive. Takeoffs are easy.

To those who are looking for (a little bit) more radicalism in their beginnings and who don’t want a typical longboard, the Batmob is perfect! Shorter, responsive and fast but easy to row and to takeoff; it also shines on small waves and allows more “shortboard” maneuvers than the Acidolly. The best when it comes to speed, it lays the foundations of a modern style of surfing and will follow you through your evolution, especially for its playful nature.

Understand all our hard surf techno.

Start surf with an inflatable board

Last but not least, for those who don’t have space to carry a rigid board, our inflatable range offers three solutions:

  • the Compact: It’s perfect for summer conditions. Its small size makes it really handy especially for children or lightweights.
  • the Shortboard: Voluminous, this board stands out by its maneuverability and its speed that pushes us to progress without ever getting worked up.
  • the Longboard : Great to takeoff in the foams as for dropping from afar, it combines rowing speed and comfort of use.

The big asset of these boards is that they will always find a place of choice in your quiver, even when you’ll have evolved.

Which are the advantage for each surfboard ?

  • The Batmob for its potential to produce an impressive speed.
  • The Shortboard inflatable will help you to improve for a long time, from your first cutbacks (a curved turn towards the wave’s foam to await a slow section) to your first rollers (a really tight and vertical turn where you execute your rotation on the lip of the wave).
  • Regarding the Acidolly and the Longboard inflatable, they will serve you for long years in slow conditions. Both of them allow you to have fun with some beautiful nose rides. Their easy rowing will grant you to go on many waves.


Surfer : Evelin, GONG team rider, with a Batmob (on the left) and an Acidolly (on the right)

How to prepare your surfboard

Which leash choose for my surfboard?

A leash should usually be the size of the board or just below. For example a 7’ leash on a 7’2.

Indeed, the lengths announced are those of the rope, to which must be added the ties. And the leash stretches under tension, so we have some headroom before hitting the board head first.

A leash that is the right size, therefore fairly short, protects you less from a  board kickback, but it allows you to:

  • paddle and surf faster. The difference is crazy.
  • recover your board faster. So to get past the waves faster.
  • to annoy fewer people because your “harm” radius is reduced.

You only have to put a 10′ leash on a 5’6 board to understand how harmful it can be ;-))))

It is only in very big waves that the leash size is increased. Off topic here…

The diameter is also an important point: fine we go faster but there is a risk of breaking it when waves get into the head high range.

Finally, we change it every year. It’s annoying, but it’s your life jacket. There’s no way around it unless you prefer to surf with a certified sailor’s life jacket ;-).

Should I put pads on my hard surfboard?

The question of the pad often comes down to an aesthetic choice for the look of your board. But what seems like luxury to non-pros is actually a huge help.

If surfing is “the art of placement” then you need to put your feet properly on the board. And what better than a touch marker to know, “ok, I’m at the sweet spot for this turn.”?

40 years ago, we had this mark with the indentations that come under the foot on PU boards. But that’s a bit outdated as a trick, isn’t it? Like it or not, everyone has their own say.

If the indentations seem to you to be a slightly medieval solution, you can also wax only the sweet spots: hummm … guaranteed split… It may look stylish or professional, but it’s really playing with your offspring… ?

Sticking good pads is therefore essential. They will signal to your feet whether they are in the perfect position or not.

You still have to stick them properly, and some get very creative…

So the rule is simple for the tail pad: glued just in front of the leash plug! To say it simply, it must be placed completely at the back. This is where you will have the magical feeling:

  • foot on the flat of the pad for gentle turns.
  • foot on the kicker to tear everything apart or pop for reverses.
  • foot in front of the pad for tubing.

It’s super simple.

How to wax your surfboard?

Should I buy fins with my GONG surfboard?

The fins delivered with our boards are sufficient to operate them correctly.

But if we know that 50% of the performance of a board comes from the fins, a pro will necessarily want to adjust the set of fins to his size, his style, his tastes …

Some fins promote speed, others turns, others acceleration etc … They are fully described on their own product sheets. A good read by the campfire ?

If we summarize:

  • Boards that aim for acceleration: typically fish, big swallows, and Simmons in large sizes, are often ridden with a twin fin set-up with nice keels, or in quad for modern versions. These fins promote speed by strongly orienting the rail on its trajectory.
  • Manoeuvrable boards with a round tail are often tri-fin, 2 + 1 (two lateral and an adjustable US central), or twin if the hull is designed with channels to guide the flow.
  • The gunny boards derived from boards with pinched tails are in single for the purity of the lines, or in tri-fin for maneuverability. The 2 + 1 (two lateral and an adjustable US central) remains the best fin set-up because it allows everything you want.
  • The mini longboards are in single for the purity of the lines (but with limited performances), or in tri-fin for the handling (but we leave the program a little). The 2 + 1 (two lateral and an adjustable US central fin) remains the ideal set-up because it gives the most performance to these small longboards.

For 2 + 1 set-ups, a larger central fin stabilizes the board and lengthens the curves. Larger lateral fins boost speed in curves. We lengthen the ones and not the others, they are communicating vessels: a large central with large lateral ones is too much, your board will be unmanageable.

The size of the central US fin: 6″ to 9” in 2 + 1 and 8″ to 11″ in single (7″ and 10 “being the references of each set-up).

The material of the fins is after the shape the most important point: you need fibers. Rigidity is the key to having good fins. If you go up in quality, you go up in rigidity. And note that fiber fins are easily repairable in the event of impact with a rock for example.

How to choose your fins.

How to easily install your US fin and your FCS II fins.

Which board bag should I choose with my beginner surfboard?

For the board bag, choose it a bit bigger than the board. First to fit the board, then to leave room to add the fins, protections, etc … Be careful, a bag that’s too big will make a terrible sound on the roof rack. The kind that will make you want to hang yourself after 100km ?

Day bag or Luxe bag? The name is an answer. The Luxe bag is ideal when traveling but takes up a lot of space on a daily basis. The Day bag is great for everyday sessions.

At GONG both types are very strong. It’s up to you to decide.