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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Slyde Handboard Based on Wave Type (Video)

5 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Slyde Handboard Based on Wave Type (Video)

Choosing Your Slyde Handboard Based on Wave Type

When it comes to bodysurfing, the right equipment can make a difference in your performance and enjoyment of the sport. Among the essential gear, the handboard stands out for enhancing speed, control, and the overall wave-riding experience. However, not all handboards are created equal, and choosing the right one for the wave type you'll encounter is crucial. In this guide, we'll explain how to select the ideal Slyde handboard based on different wave conditions.

Understanding Wave Types and Handboard Selection

Identify Your Skill Level: Before diving into the specifics of handboard selection, it's vital to assess your skill level honestly. The ocean is unforgiving, and overestimating your abilities can lead to dangerous situations. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, there's a Slyde handboard that suits your level of expertise.

Wave Type Consideration: Waves vary greatly in size, speed, and form, from gentle rollers to fast-breaking shore breaks. Slyde offers a range of handboards designed to perform optimally in specific wave conditions, ensuring you have the right tool for the job.

The Specialist Boards for Experienced Surfers

The Beginner-Friendly Option

  • The Grom Starter Board: Tailored for newcomers to the sport, this board features a less aggressive design with ample concave and rocker for stability and ease of use. It's an affordable entry point into bodysurfing, allowing beginners to experience the joy of riding waves without breaking the bank.

Versatile Boards for Everyday Use

  • The Wedge: As the "90 percent solution," the Wedge is the go-to board for most conditions, offering a balance of speed, control, and versatility. Its design caters to surfers of all levels, making it a perfect choice for those uncertain about the day's wave conditions.

Intermediate to Advanced Options

  • The Fish: Drawing inspiration from the classic fish surfboard design of the 60s and 70s, the Fish handboard is fast and agile, ideal for riding larger waves that aren't overly steep. Its shape allows for quick direction changes and is suited for surfers with a bit of experience under their belt.

Advanced Riders and Shorebreak

  • The Bula: Designed for adrenaline seekers, the Bula excels in steep, fast waves typical of reef breaks and point breaks. Its unique concave shape, inspired by the design process involving a mayonnaise jar, allows for exceptional control and speed, making it perfect for advanced surfers looking to tackle challenging conditions.


Selecting the right Slyde handboard based on wave type isn't just about enhancing your performance; it's also about ensuring your safety and enjoyment in the water. 

By considering your skill level and the specific characteristics of the waves you'll be facing, you can make an informed decision that will elevate your bodysurfing experience. 

Whether you're charging steep reef breaks, enjoying the glide on rolling waves, or just getting started, there's a Slyde handboard designed to meet your needs.

Choosing Your Slyde Handboard Based on Wave Type: FAQs

In addition to the comprehensive guide on selecting the right Slyde handboard for different wave conditions, here are 15 frequently asked questions that might further assist in making an informed decision.

What is a handboard?

A handboard, also known as a handplane or bodysurfing board, is a small surfboard-like device that fits on your hand. It enhances your bodysurfing experience by providing more lift, speed, and control as you ride the waves.

How does wave type affect handboard selection?

Different handboards are designed to perform best in specific wave conditions. The wave type—its size, speed, and shape—should influence your choice. For example, steeper, faster waves require a handboard with more concave for control, like the Buhla, while gentler waves might be better suited to a board like the Wedge.

What is the difference between the Buhla and the Fish handboard?

The Buhla is designed for steep and fast waves, ideal for experienced surfers looking for control in challenging conditions. The Fish, with its classic fish surfboard shape, is better for larger, less steep waves, providing speed and agility for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Can beginners use the Buhla or the Fish?

While beginners can technically use any handboard, the Buhla and the Fish are tailored for more experienced surfers due to their specialized designs for specific wave types. Beginners might find the Starter Board more accommodating and safer as they learn.

What makes the Wedge the "90 percent solution"?

The Wedge is considered the "90 percent solution" because of its versatility. It's designed to perform well in a wide range of wave conditions, making it a great all-around choice for surfers who want a single handboard that can handle most surfing days.

How important is the concave on a handboard?

The concave on a handboard is crucial for control and speed. It helps the board grip the water, allowing surfers to navigate steep and fast waves more effectively. Boards like the Buhla have pronounced concaves for this purpose.

Is the size of the handboard important?

Yes, the size of the handboard affects its performance. Larger boards provide more lift and stability, which can be beneficial for beginners or in smaller waves. Smaller boards, on the other hand, offer more maneuverability in bigger, faster waves.

How do I know if a handboard is the right size for me?

The right size depends on your hand size, strength, and the wave conditions you'll be surfing. Generally, the handboard should fit comfortably in your hand and not feel too cumbersome. Most manufacturers provide size charts to help you decide.

What materials are Slyde handboards made from?

Slyde handboards are made from a variety of materials, including advanced composites, foam, and even eco-friendly options. The choice of material affects the board's buoyancy, durability, and performance.

Can I customize my Slyde handboard?

While Slyde offers a range of designs and models, customization options may be limited to selecting different colors or patterns. For specific custom requests, it's best to contact Slyde directly.

How do I maintain my handboard?

Proper maintenance includes rinsing your handboard with fresh water after each use, avoiding prolonged exposure to sunlight, and storing it in a cool, dry place. Regular checks for dings or cracks can help extend its lifespan.

Are handboards allowed in all surfing areas?

Most surfing areas permit handboards, but local regulations may vary, especially in crowded or protected areas. It's always a good idea to check the rules of your specific surfing location.

Can I travel with my handboard?

Yes, handboards are compact and lightweight, making them easy to travel with. However, when flying, it's best to pack your handboard in a padded bag or wrap it in clothing for protection.

What safety precautions should I take when using a handboard?

Always surf within your abilities and be mindful of the wave conditions. Wearing a leash can prevent your handboard from getting lost. Additionally, surfing in designated areas and keeping a safe distance from other surfers and swimmers can help avoid accidents.

Where can I buy a Slyde handboard?

Slyde handboards are available through their official website, select surf shops, and online retailers. Ensure you're purchasing from an authorized dealer to guarantee authenticity and warranty coverage.

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