Though surf forecasting is more accurate than ever, there can still be surprises when you pull up to the beach. The surf may be much smaller — or significantly bigger — than predicted. That’s why experienced surfers will often show up with multiple boards tucked under their arms.
And if you happen to break a board, a spare on the beach will save your session. For a month-long trip to Indonesia, Nicol typically packs two board bags. Each bag carries up to eight boards. His standard board is 5’10”, and he usually brings five of them.
“Then maybe I’ll bring a little fun board, like a 5’6″ fish, for if it gets small,” he adds. Even the world’s best surf spots sometimes have small waves. For bigger surf, most experienced surfers will also have what’s called a step-up. “They’re just a couple inches longer than normal,” Nicol says. “Usually, I have two step-ups, and those are 6’0″. Wherever I’m going, I usually bring at least one, just in case.”
A slightly longer board can make bigger surf more manageable with faster paddling and a more stable feel on the wave.
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