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We often get asked at the shop - what's a good board for the lakes?
First, let's define a lake wave. Simply put - it is a wave with similar characteristics to what you'd find on the ocean. The key is to find a board to match the specific lake wave that will be ridden with the rider's current ability/level of surfing.
Here are three examples of waves in Ontario:
1. A rolly, cruisy wave with flatter sections like Bluffer's Lighthouse in Toronto.
Photo credit: Jon Howcroft. Rider Jeff Green. Board 8'4 Bic Funboard.
This wave is suited for a fish, funboard, longboard or SUP but can also be ridden with a shortboard on a day where all the conditions (wind, swell etc.) line up perfectly.
2. A beach break with some push like Bluffer's Cove in Toronto.
Photo credit: Daniel Steiner. Rider Mike Sandusky. Board 6'0 Lost V3 Rocket.
A shortboard handles this wave well when the wave is a good size, but depending on the day and one's ability, all types of boards can be used.
3. A wave that's somewhere in between, like Kincardine.
Photo credit: M. Sandusky. Rider Grant Kennedy. Board 8'0 Firewire Flexflight Longboard.
Most boards work well on this wave depending on the swell size and direction.
It should be noted that all of the above depends on one's level of surfing - the less experience you have, the more stable, forgiving and longer board you need and the more forgiving wave you need to learn on. (For more on this check out our blog titled Proper Progression.)
So what is a good board for the lakes you say? There's no one magic board; it depends on the day, the wave, your ability, your mood and your goals for the session.
Hope you have a chance to pick a board and chase some waves on the lakes soon.