||04-08-2010 8:25 PM
As you can see from all the different posts, a board is more taste than a one size fits all. Demo if you can, if you cant call up a proshop and talk to someone. There is sooo many details that cant be expressed typing. That being said, here is my view on a beginner/intermediate board:
Get something that is forgiving if you are just starting out or relearning. And by forgiving I mean a soft or rounded edge. This will lessen the likelihood of catching an edge and give you more confidence to try something new and push our own riding level, and you will prob enjoy the experience more if you are not wincing in fear every time you land. This soft edge may slow down your edging a little, but you wont be charging the wake like Rusty for awhile.
Continuous Rocker is another feature you will look for. This will give you a board that is easier to control and be more predictable for your riding level. It will also let you carry a little bit more speed into the wake than a 3 stage or abrupt/aggressive continuous rocker. (this will also help you get back a little bit of that edge you lost going with a softer edge) The continuous will also help you carry more speed while jumping and that will soften your landing.
Fins, channels, & bottom features - my personal preference is to go with a board that allows you to change the feel of your board. Your riding level will progress while you are learning so why not get a board that can progress with you too? a completely smooth bottomed board will not track as well as a board with channels or cupped edges. So look at the bottom of your board more than the graphics on the top of your board.
Finally, size - go with the right sized board, not just the biggest board you can get up on. It is true a larger board will give you more pop, but a smaller board will be easier to control. You are tall for your weight, but your board doesnt really know that. If you are a really strong and dont mind man handling your board, go for a bigger board. If you feel pretty timid behind the boat (like most beginning/intermediate riders are), dont be afraid to size down. Get the board that fits your personality and it will promote having a good time behind the boat.
Here are a few boards I suggest: (and before any one pitches a fit. Yes, I am from Hyperlite and that is what I suggest because that is what I know the best and what I like riding the best.)
1st choice - 137 Hyperlite Tribute - soft edge, continuous rocker, easy release off the wake
2nd choice - 134 Hyperlite Forefront - soft edge, board sent with extra fins to help you progress, continuous rocker, great beginner/intermediate board
3rd choice (only pro model on the list) - 137 Murray BIO - if you want to spend the extra money this will be a blended 3 stage rocker that will still be forgiving, soft edge
My best advice though is to call up a pro shop and establish a relationship with them. Whether it is online or you go into a shop you will benefit during and after the sale if you talk to someone and get their out look on a board or a company. If you dont know of a shop to talk to call up Hyperlite and we will help you find one that has great customer service. Our number is 800-938-4646. And of coarse, demo the board if at all possible. If you have any questions please feel free to call us. Thanks.
Corey M @ Hyperlite