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The waves were meant to be ridden. You know you've fantasized about hitting the surf since you witnessed Otto, Reggie, Twister and, of course, "The Squid" hang ten on Nickelodeon's Rocket Power.
If you're a beginner to surfing, fear not. If you're just starting out, it's recommended that you aim for a longboard that's roughly 8-9 feet long, 3 inches thick (known as the rail), and about as wide as you are; shoulder to shoulder. A board with this design should provide enough stability for a newbie to learn the basics, like paddling and "popping-up." However, when looking at boards, make sure to also check the surf of where you'll be heading out. Wider boards do better in smaller waves.