If all you need is a surfboard to get into the waves, many accessories exist today and are essential to the surfer's equipment.
The leash will allow you to attach your board to your leg and not let it get carried away in the waves or hit other surfers. The grips, one of the most recent accessories in the surfing world, will play the role of your wax and bring you a certain comfort in the control of your surfboard. Finally, the fins are elements that will transform your board and help you to better enjoy the speed of the waves. These accessories are not simple gadgets, their manufacture is precise and well thought.
So let us explain to you how to choose your grips, fins and leash according to your board and the type of surfer you are.
If fins or leashes are well known accessories, grips (or pads) have revolutionized the habits of surfers since their appearance in the 80s.
The grips are a simple invention: they are small foam boards that must be glued on the board at the level of the back foot. Its advantages are numerous, the grips allow a better adherence of the foot to the board and thus reduce the use of wax. For the newcomers, the grips will allow you to find out where to place your foot on the board. For the more experienced, the better grip of the grips will give you better control of your board. Finally, one of the reasons why we advise you to opt for a pad is also for the aesthetic side of your board. Let's stop hiding it, in surfing, there is the sport, but there is also the style.
Now that we have convinced you, let's see how to choose your grips. First of all, you should know that once glued, it is not possible to remove them, so it is better to choose them carefully. Pads can be made of one, two, three, four or even five pieces. For a shortboard, prefer a single piece which will be perfect for a rather narrow tail. For fish, hybrid and progressive boards where the shape can be wider, choose multi-piece grips to perfectly fit the tail of your board.
Then, some grips present a kick tail, that is to say a thicker part at the back of the grip which allows to block the back foot. Its thickness can vary between 12 and 25 mm. It's up to you to test what you think is best, but experienced surfers are advised to get the thinnest kick tail possible to keep the maximum feel. However, if you're looking for something to help you do more radical maneuvers, then choose a thick kick tail that will give you good support.
Invented by Tom Blake, the fins are today the essential accessory of any surfer. The fins are both the handlebars of your bike and the engine of your car. The fins will allow you to control your turns and to store speed in order to have a nice push and to link the tubes, or the foams, we do not judge. For the fins to be at their maximum potential, they must be chosen to fit your board perfectly.
To choose your fins, there are three things to consider: the base, the height and the sweep (the inclination). The base will be the parameter that will help you to take speed. The longer it is, the more efficient it is. For the height, if you are a beginner, choose a high fin, because it will ensure you a greater support of the board on the water. On the other hand, if you are more experienced and have no problems controlling your board, then choose low fins which will allow you to perform more technical maneuvers. Finally, the sweep is the element that will ensure the start of the turn, the higher the inclination, the more the fin will allow you to make long turns.
But then, how many fins to add to your board? The two reference setups are the thruster and the quad. The thruster is the most used in the surfing world, as it gives the most complete and balanced result in terms of hold, maneuverability and speed. The four fin setup, the quad, offers a better grip and allows you to optimize your sessions when the waves are very soft or hollow.
The leash is undoubtedly the essential accessory of the beginner surfer who has difficulty controlling his board, as well as any surfer who goes to rather frequented spots. You should not forget that the leash can be very dangerous and cause a lot of physical damage. The leash is still a safety element that protects you and others from your board. We are going to explain you how to find the right leash for your foot.
It is necessary to take a leash proportional to the size of your board, the shorter it is the smaller leash will be enough. The appropriate length also depends on your level. For beginners, prefer a rather long leash so that your board does not fall on you. On the other hand, a longer leash drags in the water and causes a loss of speed, so take a short leash if you are experienced. Finally, the last parameter to take into account when choosing the length of your leash is the type of waves you intend to surf. For the biggest waves, it is better to use a long leash to avoid any impact. In a rocky spot or with reefs, it is better to use a shorter leash to avoid getting stuck.
You should also think about the diameter of your leash. The thicker it is, the more solid it will be and the more resistant it will be in big waves. On the other hand, its thickness also influences its drag and its weight, so it's up to you to see what is best.
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