Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just catching your first waves, finding the right surfboard makes all the difference. With the endless options out there though, it can feel overwhelming to pick the perfect board to match your abilities, surf style, and local conditions. That’s where Bob’s Boards comes in.
With their wide selection of shapes and sizes from top brands, experienced staff, and competitive pricing, Bob’s has become a trusted destination for equipping surfers with high-performing, quality boards. This in-depth guide will teach you how to select your dream board from Bob’s lineup and offer tips on proper care to ensure you and your board catch the waves for years to come.
Consider Your Experience, Style, and Specs to Choose the Right Board from Bob’s
When browsing Bob’s extensive board selection in-store or online, think about a few key factors to narrow your options:
Experience Level – Be realistic about your current skill level. As a beginner, look for wider, thicker boards that allow stability as you learn to pop up and balance. Intermediate surfers can start experimenting with shorter boards for increased maneuverability.
Riding Style – How you like to ride also impacts your ideal board shape. More traditional longboards provide smooth cruising while shorter boards and hybrids allow quick turning in steep waves. Fish designs are fun for playful moves.
Your Size and Fit – Boards are sized based on factors like your height, weight, boot size, and athletic ability. A board that fits you well will feel balanced and responsive.
Wave Conditions – Think about the typical wind, water temperature, wave size, and break types where you surf. Bigger waves and stronger surf benefit from more volume and float.
Once you’ve reflected on your skills, preferences, and local conditions, dive into Bob’s specs on each board to find your best match. Look at:
- Length – Longer boards are faster and more stable. Shorter ones are more maneuverable.
- Width – Wider tails offer stability. Narrower nose is more agile on waves.
- Thickness – Thicker boards provide more buoyancy and lift for beginners. Thinner boards cut through waves with less drag.
- Volume – Measured in liters based on length, width, and thickness. More volume offers stability for newbies.
- Construction – Durability factors like solid vs. hollow, types of foam, fiberglass layers.
- Deck Shape – Concave, double concave, flat, or V-bottom. Impacts control, speed, and grip.
- Fins – Larger fins provide drive and tracking. Smaller fins are more nimble.
- Graphics – Express your style! Vibrant colors and designs available.
Test rides are invaluable to find that perfect fit. Don’t be shy – take the top contenders out during a session to get a feel for how each performs on the waves.
Test Ride Boards to Assess Responsiveness, Balance, and Handling
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices using specs, taking demo boards from Bob’s out on the waves is key. Testing out several boards during actual surf sessions allows you to feel subtle differences in responsiveness, maneuverability, and performance.
As you test ride, pay attention to:
- Carrying comfort – Length and balance should feel natural when walking out or duck diving through waves.
- Stability – Stand in your neutral stance to check the board’s balance point. It shouldn’t feel wobbly or tippy.
- Wave catching – Paddle into waves to check acceleration and how the nose glides and cuts through water.
- Responsiveness – When turning or carving, does the board feel lively and agile? Or slow and sluggish?
- Float – How high does the board lift you above the water line? Adequate float keeps you from pearling on steep waves.
- Grip – Many boards use wax for grip. Test different wax coatings to find your ideal traction. No slipping!
- Fins – Do they provide stability yet still allow quick turns where you want them?
- Durability – Check for chip-resistant epoxy or softer polyurethane bottom. Slick when new.
Trying out different sized boards, especially at your skill level, gives you a feel for the impact of design aspects like shape, volume, rails, and bottom contour. Don’t settle until you find that dream board that matches your surfing goals.
Ask Key Questions to Learn a Used Board’s History
Bob’s selection includes both new and used boards. If considering a pre-owned board, understanding its full history helps avoid nasty surprises down the road.
The Bob’s staff should provide info like:
- Model year – Technology improves each season so newer is often better.
- Repairs – Has it been patched from pressure dents or other damage? Any re-glassing or dense repairs?
- Condition – Check for cracks, delamination, waterlogging, major dings. Anything structural?
- Previous owners – More owners means more potential for wear and poor treatment.
- Storage conditions – Heat and sunlight are damaging. Has it been stored properly out of the elements?
- Transport – Ask if it’s been hauled loose or in a padded board bag.
- Usage – How many hours has the board been ridden? Extreme use shortens lifespan.
- Maintenance – Have repairs been done using proper materials and technique?
Buying used can offer great value. But be sure to get the full scoop from Bob’s staff on any pre-owned board condition and history before taking the plunge.
Keep Your Board in Peak Condition with Proper Care
Once you’ve selected your ideal board from Bob’s stellar lineup, it’s essential to care for it properly. Follow these tips to keep your board in tip-top shape session after session:
- Remove wax thoroughly after surfing so it doesn’t impact next application. Use a wax comb and natural citrus cleaner.
- Inspect often – especially deck, rails, and bottom for pressure dents, cracks, or delamination that allow water intrusion.
- Repair minor dings right away with marine epoxy to prevent further damage or waterlogging. Don’t delay!
- Re-fiberglass broken areas immediately to restore strength and prevent structural failure. Proper materials resist yellowing.
- Limit sun exposure whenever possible when storing or transporting. The sun degrades foam and fiberglass over time.
- Use protective gear – Board bags, deck pads, and rail wraps prevent dings during travel and storage.
- Rinse with freshwater after surfing to remove salt and minerals which are corrosive if left on.
- Store out of heat or cold – ideally room temp controlled storage not in direct sun. Keep away from extremes.
- Apply Light even wax coat before first using, then reapply as needed based on water temp for optimal traction. Too much waximpactspee
- Check hardware – inspect fins, leash plugs, pads periodically to ensure screws are tight and secure.
Treating your board properly goes a long way! And helps justify the investment in your prized possession.
Tips from the Pros for Getting the Most Out of Your Board
Experienced surfers know small tweaks and adjustments can make a board feel completely customized for your abilities and surf style. Consider these pro tips:
- Record your magic specs – Note the exact dimensions, volume, fins that worked best if you need to replace it.
- Find your stance sweet spot – Mark where your front foot goes for ideal speed, balance, and control.
- Check fin alignment often – They can get knocked out of place. Keep them straight for tracking stability.
- Start turns from proper rail – Initiating from the downhill rail gives you better leverage through the turn.
- Know conditions the board rides best – Size, shape attributes that match varying winds, swell, and breaks.
- Use deck concaves – Channels increase speed by funneling water through. Also add grip.
- Leverage side bites – Curved rails near the tail allow leverage on steep waves when turning.
- Get pro traction – Talk to Bob’s staff about pad and wax combos to perfectly suit your grip needs.
Subtle adjustments and tuning over time helps optimize your board’s performance. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little!
Paddling Out with Confidence on Your Bob’s Board
Finding and caring for a high-performance surfboard you feel totally comfortable on and tuned into your style makes getting in the water so much more exciting. Using the tips in this guide to select the ideal board from Bob’s unbeatable selection, properly care for your investment, and customize it over time will have you shredding waves in no time.
So next time you’re craving an ocean session, stop by Bob’s first to explore the endless boards and find the one that’s calling your name. Their knowledgeable staff will answer all your questions and can recommend the perfect fit for your abilities. Once you’ve found your dream board, you’ll be looking forward to every chance to paddle out and put it through its paces. Bob’s offers everything you need to progress your surfing. See you in the waves!