Here at North Devon Surf School we hire out a lot of kit over the course of a year. We have about 130 surfboards in our fleet, and there are times in the summer when everything is out on lessons or hire. Our instructors all surf regularly (whenever they get the chance – even after a triple lesson day!) on a variety of boards. So we like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to picking the right board for the person or conditions.

We get a number of customers during the year asking for “a proper board”, meaning “not a foamie”. There are various reasons for customers wanting to hire a hard board rather than a foamie, and as with any hire customer, we ask all the important questions to work out what will give you the best experience, because we want you to have a good time. We want you to catch lots of waves, maybe stand up or just get to your knees, or maybe you’re working on turning and paddling out. For this to happen, you need the right board for your size, ability and experience.

And here’s the exciting news – a foam board is a real surf board! It has float, meaning it will support your weight easily in the water and will catch waves  without you paddling like a windmill. If you are surfing a foam board, chances are that you are catching way more waves and having far more fun than the person next to you, who has hired a 6ft short board because it makes him look cool walking down the beach. The more waves you catch the quicker you improve, so you’ll be the one standing up and looking like a pro.

Another myth is that you can’t turn a foam board. Wrong! If you have the skills to turn a surfboard then you can do it on any surfboard, no matter what it’s made of, and a foam board is the place to learn and practice those skills safely.

Our instructors regularly surf foamies during their breaks in the working day because they’re a “grab and go” board – no fussing around with wax or bags, or worrying about dings when it’s a bit close to high tide. They’re good for a small or big day, they paddle out back, and shred those top and bottom turns – just like a “real board”!

We all enjoy surfing them, you really can’t go wrong with a foamie!

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