Recently, Spanish surfing has managed to make history by achieving the first gold medal in its history in the ISA Aloha Cup, in the ISA World Surfing Games 2018 held in Tahara (Japan).
For all those who do not know this sport, it may seem that you just need a good board and be able to keep your balance, but this is not the case. To be a good surfer it is necessary to know perfectly all the parts of our board.
NOSE: curved front part of the board, which has that shape to improve its maneuverability in the water.
LEASH: elastic rope that holds you together with the board. It is hooked on a plug that goes on the back of the board.
BACKGROUND OR BOTTOM: bottom of the table. The normal thing is that it is concave to facilitate the slide and it is a factor that will determine many times if a board is really good for surfing.
EDGE OR RAIL: Its shape also determines the properties of the table.
TAIL: back of the board, narrower than the nose or front:
- Wide: for gentle waves
- Narrow: for larger waves
- Rounded: the table glides better
- Straight: better for more extreme maneuvers.
KEELS: These are the pieces that give stability to the board, the rudders that allow you to make turns. They can be fixed or removable.
We will focus on this last section and we will give you some keys to know what type of keel to choose.
How to choose the best keel?
Aspects to consider:
- Body weight. The manufacturers classify their keels by size, and each size corresponds to a weight range.
- The fastening system of your table. You must choose those keels that are compatible with the anchoring system of your table, otherwise you will not be able to use it.
- Your level surfing. Depending on the rigidity of the keel, this will be indicated for one type of wave or another. For strong waves it is better to use rigid keels that provide greater grip. While the flexible keels will be used for less powerful waves, allowing greater dynamism, less grip.
- Type of wave to surf. For large waves, large keels and with more angle, getting more grip and speed in the turns. For small waves, small keels and with a smaller angle, allowing less grip and making shorter turns.
In what influence the Keel:
The keels have a great impact on the operation of a surfboard, especially on short boards such as shortboard, fish or hybrid.
- The Drive: capacity of accelerations of the fins and the capacity to maintain the speed turn after turn. The width of the base of the keel, its total surface, and the materials used affect the Drive of the keels. The more base and surface the keel has, the more drive it will generate.
- The Pivot: ability of the keels to make short turns.
- The keels with little Pivot favor the short turns, they are ideal for small waves and waves with maneuvers.
- The keels with a lot of Pivot will allow you to make a wide bottom turn, ideal for fast waves and long walls.
The angle that forms the leading edge of the keel with the board, called “Sweep”, is the parameter that influences the ability of the keels to pivot. The more angle, the more lying the keel, the more pivot it has.
- The Hold: Surf keels with a lot of hold will provide a lot of grip, while the keels with little hold will allow you to slide the tail more easily.
The price of Keels can vary depending on the characteristics, material, brand … if you want to find cheap surf keels there are some ranging from € 15 to € 70.
We hope to have clarified all the doubts and help you to make a good choice of the necessary material when surfing.