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Catching Your First Wave: A Beginner's Guide to Surfing in New Zealand

10th Nov 2023

New Zealand's captivating coastline, adorned with stunning beaches and world-class waves, beckons surfers from all corners of the globe. Whether you're an absolute novice or an intermediate surfer seeking to refine your technique, New Zealand provides the perfect conditions to hone your skills and experience the unparalleled thrill of riding the waves.

At, we share your passion for surfing and are committed to helping our customers find the ideal equipment to match their needs and skill level. We've compiled this comprehensive guide to equip beginner surfers with the knowledge and gear they need to safely navigate the waves of New Zealand's stunning beaches.

Unveiling the Perfect Surfboard for Beginners

Selecting the right surfboard is paramount for beginner surfers. A board that's too small or too large can hinder your progress and make learning the basics more challenging. At, we offer a comprehensive selection of beginner surfboards, including longboards, foam surfboards, and soft-top surfboards, ensuring you find the perfect match for your surfing aspirations.

Longboards: The Stability You Need to Conquer the Waves

Salt Gypsy Dusty

Longboards are the ideal choice for beginner surfers due to their exceptional stability and ease of paddling.Their larger surface area provides greater buoyancy, making it easier to catch waves and maintain balance as you navigate the water.

Foam Surfboards: Durability and Forgiveness for Your Surf Journey

Modern Highline Epoxy Soft - White

Foam surfboards are a popular choice among beginners as they are lightweight, durable, and forgiving. The softer foam construction reduces the risk of injury if you fall off the board, allowing you to focus on mastering the fundamentals without fear.

Soft-Top Surfboards: Combining Stability and Durability

Soft-top surfboards seamlessly blend the stability of longboards with the durability of foam surfboards. The soft, spongy top provides a comfortable surface for practicing pop-ups and maneuvering the board with confidence.

Essential Gear for Beginner Surfers: Unleashing Your Inner Wave Rider

In addition to a surfboard, there are a few essential pieces of gear that every beginner surfer should have to ensure a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

Wetsuit: Comfort and Protection Against New Zealand's Waters

Oneill Hyperfreak Fire CZ Full 4/3mm

New Zealand's waters can get chilly, even during the summer months. A high-quality wetsuit will protect you from the cold and keep you comfortable while you're in the water, allowing you to focus on catching waves and honing your skills. Winter suits will be full arm and leg, and 4/3mm thick is the most common. In summer, thinner, around 2mm, and it'll depend on where you surf on whether you need a full suit or a short arm, or leg, or even boardies and a thermo top.

Surfboard Leash: Securing Your Board and Your Safety

FCS Essential Leash

surfboard leash leash attaches your surfboard to your ankle, preventing it from getting lost if you fall off. This essential piece of gear ensures you can retrieve your surfboard with ease and adds an extra layer of safety to your surfing experience. A rough guide is to buy one as close to your board length as you can.

Surfboard Fins: Enhancing Stability and Control

FCS II FT PC Thruster Set - Black/White

Surfboard fins provide stability and control while you're surfing. Beginner surfers should opt for larger fins for increased stability, allowing them to focus on learning the basics without worrying about board control. Most beginner boards are supplied with fins, but always check before purchasing.

Surf Wax: Gripping the Board for Confident Rides

Sticky Johnson Wax

Surf wax helps you grip the surfboard, preventing you from slipping off when it's wet. Applying surf wax to the top of your board before hitting the waves ensures you have a secure grip, allowing you to focus on maneuvering and catching waves with confidence. You will need to use different wax for different water and air temps at various locations and times of year.

Sunscreen: Protecting Your Skin from New Zealand's Sun


New Zealand's sun is strong, so it's important to protect your skin with sunscreen. Applying a generous amount of sunscreen before heading out to surf will safeguard your skin from harmful UV rays, allowing you to enjoy the sun safely.