For anyone that hasn't been barreled, getting barreled is when the lift of a wave throws over and you're actually traveling through the inside of the wave. With that being said, wave knowledge is going to make or break your session, and after a while, you're gonna see what speed you need, where you need to sit, and what's gonna work best for you to not just get in the barrel, but to come out the other side.
The very center of the wave is the peak. And the deeper you are, meaning the closer you are to the peak, the further back in the barrel you are. The farther over to the sides, or the shoulder, the more chance that you're not gonna get as deep of a barrel, but you might come out of that barrel opposed to being stuck too far behind. This takes a ton of practice, and you literally have to play it wave by wave.
No session is gonna be the same and no wave is gonna be the same. You might need more speed, you might need less speed, or it might not be make-able at all, but you'll never know until you go. So you always have to get into the wave to really to see if you can even make it at all.
As far as equipment goes, all of the different boards you can choose from are going to be good for getting barreled. But some of the models are better for different types of barrels. My first choice, generally speaking, is the Bula. It's small, it's easy to paddle, and with the curvature, it's great for bottom turning on big, big, gnarly shore break.
My second choice is the Phish. The reason I like the Phish is because it's got more foam, a really long shape, and that thing creates so much speed, I feel that I have more of a chance of making it out of these really quick, narrow barrels that we have here in Florida. On the flip side, anywhere with really big waves, you might be better off with the Bula.
The brand new board soon to be released is the Grom. What I did notice, and this is huge, is that the board had so much float, you can almost ride out of anything. Your best bet is to think about what waves you have near you, and what you're gonna be riding the most consistently. Is it gonna be a big, gnarly barrel, like Newport Beach, or is it gonna be a little bit smaller kind of rushed barrels here in Florida? Base your decision on your board off of that, and don't be afraid to think you might need one, two, or all of the models to work into situations that you're gonna be riding in.
Bottom line, this is not something you're gonna pick up in one session. So don't get discouraged if you're not making it out of barrels right away.