Surfing Shops in Los Angeles

So you go surfing in Los Angeles, and immediately you are hooked! Being in the ocean, the rush of the waves and the entire experience leaves you feeling fabulous. We know what it’s like!

If you are ready to begin or advance your life as a surfer in Los Angeles, you’ll need a few things, and Aqua Surf Shop can get you set up without the hassle of driving from store to store.

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Step 1: Choosing a Surfboard

So you’re ready to buy a surfboard; this is an exciting time for a new surfer and will have an enormous impact on your surfing experience moving forward. There are two major decisions you will have to make.

First, should you get a “hardboard” or a “soft board?”  Hardboards are made of either hard epoxy or polyurethane with fiberglass, and these boards are firm to the touch. (They are generally more maneuverable but are also very delicate and can quickly become damaged, or “dinged,” as we call it in the surf world). Soft boards are softer to the touch, more durable, and offer a safer and stress-free way to grow as a surfer. The range of soft boards on the market has exploded, with many brands offering high-quality boards for plenty of stoke in the water. Our boards of choice are the Storm Blade Boards, with an excellent rocker ratio to volume. We find that these boards are the best for catching a high number of waves while minimizing the risk of the “nose dive.”

How big of a board should you get? The biggest mistake many new surfers make is getting a board that is too small. By getting a board that is too small, you will limit your paddling speed, wave catching, and the overall rate of progression because you won’t be able to get your reps on wave after wave to improve. While the professionals make the 6ft shortboards look amazing, don’t rush this approach, it will come if you stay dedicated. Get yourself a board with plenty of volume, and work your way up to different board models as you progress. Most experienced surfers will have a full quiver of boards for varying conditions. We recommend the 8ft SSR or 9ft SSR models for beginner to intermediate adults, while kids often do great with the 6’6” SSR or 7” SSR. Don’t forget a leash to go with that board, either!

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Step 2: The Way of the Surfing Wetsuit

While surfing in a swimsuit is the tropical dream, in California, you’ll find that most surfers prefer to wear a wetsuit most of the year. Beyond keeping you warm, a wetsuit will also protect you from the sun, extra floatation, and full-body padding for a high comfort level on the board. This allows you to focus more on the fun.

What matters when choosing a wetsuit? The two primary considerations are the cut/fit and the thickness. We recommend a full-body wetsuit for maximum benefits. The next consideration is thickness. Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters, with the typical dimensions being 2mm, 3:2mm, and 4:3mm. The dual number system means the thicker sections are on the core and thinner on the extremities. A 3:2 mm wetsuit is ideal for most of the year and will keep you very comfortable until the winter, when die-hard surfers may opt for a 4:3mm thickness. We recommend a 3:2 full suit to start with. If you are interested in getting yourself the perfect fit, you can consider getting a custom surfing wetsuit specific to your measurements.

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Step 3: Getting your Surf Gear to a Nearby Beach

You’re going surfing. You have your board and suit. How do you get all this gear in your car? Depending on what you’re driving, you’ll most likely need roof racks for your board (or if you don’t want a sandy vehicle.) There are racks + straps for cars that already have hard racks, and then there are “soft racks” for cars without any rack system that include pads and straps that will get you to the beach. As for that wet and sandy wetsuit, try using a change bag that you can use as a change mat and then cinch up to transport your suit while keeping your car clean. We recommend cleaning your wetsuit with fresh water after use and keeping your wetsuit out of the sun for a long and comfortable wetsuit life.

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Step 4: Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen

The little things will make you a master of the surf lifestyle with all of your basics covered. The first detail to master is the art of sunscreen. Using a good sunscreen made for surfing, with high zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide content, will keep you enjoying surfing sessions without suffering from sunburns. Sunscreen is part of being a surfer; we recommend face sunscreens like Tropic Sport or Zinka for maximum face protection.

Are you ready to go for it and need almost everything?

Consider a Surf Starter Bundle, including your own brand new board and wetsuit. You can hit the ground running and commit to your new dream of being a surfer. We call this the “full send!”

If you have questions or find yourself unsure of what you need, feel free to call to speak with one of our surf experts, and we’ll be happy to help.

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