SURFING: Those little extras can make all the difference
SURF GUIDE PART 12: WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO GET YOU STARTED
EXTRA accessories are required, once you have got your board.
1. Surfboard wax: This is used on the deck (top) of your surfboard to help with grip between your feet and the board.
There are many different brands of wax and each individual surfer will have their favourite one.
When waxing up a fresh or new board, you need two different types of wax: one as a base coat and one as the top coat.
The base coat needs to be a harder wax, which is normally for tropical water, and for the top coat, depending on the water temperature, use one a little softer.
When applying your base coat, try doing a criss-cross pattern using the side (edge) of the block of wax. Then, when applying the top coat and still using the edge of the block, start doing small circular patterns gently without pushing down too hard to create a tight, lumpy and grippy surface.
2. Wax comb: This little piece of plastic has been shaped with a sharp edge on one side and the other side is like a hair comb with slightly thicker teeth.
The toothed side of the comb is usually used when you don't have much wax or to rough your wax up when it starts to get a little slippery or glazed, which happens as your wax gets older or when the wax you have is not suited to the temperature of the water.
The bladed side of the comb is for when you have a build-up of old dirty/slippery wax and you clean it off and put on a fresh wax job.
If you put the board deck up in the sun for a few minutes, allowing the old wax to soften, use the blade side to scrape off the wax before throwing it in the bin.
3. Deck or tail pad: A tail pad is another accessory that is used on a board for traction under the back foot.
The back foot is the foot that we turn off, so wax going slippery in that area is not good.
It is a great idea when buying a new board and tail pad to ask the surf shop salesperson to attach it (stick it down) for you.
If you are doing it yourself, make sure the deck of the surfboard is free from all grime or wax.
Generally, it is a good idea to make sure the front of the pad comes up over the front/ drive fins as this is where you want your back foot to be positioned to help build speed.
It is commonly yet wrongly thought that you should put your foot against the tail kick at the back of the pad like skateboarding.
But the tail kick was actually thought up to stop your foot slipping over the back of the board and injuring your shins.
4. Leg-ropes: There are a few different lengths and thickness to consider when buying a leg-rope.
The leg-rope is used to keep the board close and attached to you when you wipeout and save you from swimming to the beach to retrieve the board.
The thinner leg-rope or comp cord, as it is commonly called, is for smaller waves so as to not cause as much drag in the water which can marginally slow you down.
The thicker leg-rope is for bigger, more powerful waves. It is stronger and stands less chance of breaking.
Also, there are different lengths for different lengths in boards, so when buying your leg-rope, make sure you inform the shop assistant what size and type of board you have so you get the right one.
When attaching to your board's leg-rope plug, double up the nylon rope. This will not only make this part of the leash stronger, it will also stop the nylon rope from hanging off the back of the board and possibly causing damage to the tail.
Make sure you attach the ankle strap to the ankle of your back foot when riding a wave.
Make sure it is on firm, with the part of the leash which connects with the ankle strap pointed to the back and outside of your ankle.
Remember that a leg-rope is not a safety device, and check for damage such as nicks and cuts to the eurothane cord as this will lead to your leg-rope breaking.
5. Board bags: A board bag is not necessary for you to surf.
Yet it is a valuable accessory to help protect your board from minor cracks or dings when lightly dropped or smacked against something solid, as well as protecting any material the wax might rub against, such as the seat of a car or carpet.
The base content of wax is petroleum jelly.
And no matter how hard you try to clean or remove it, it won't come out of fibres such as carpet.