Here's what you need to getting started on the waves

Ken McAlpine

Surfboard. You'll want a board you can handle: Longer,wider, and thicker is easier. Board size also depends on the heightand weight of the rider: Bigger surfers generally ride biggerboards. Find a good surf shop and ask lots of questions. New longboards range from $450 to $650―for beginners, a good usedboard ($250 to $375) may be a better option. Ed Guzman likes softerfoam boards for the first few months of learning.

Wet suit. What you'll need depends on where and when you'llsurf: thinner for Southern California, thicker farther north.Depending on thickness and stitching, suits range from $240 to$385. Buy new―old wet suits tend to be leaky and cold.Depending on how cold the water is, you may also need wet-suitbooties ($40) and gloves ($30).

Leash. Some experts don't wear a leash, but leashes are amust. Get a good one ($25).

Rash Guard. This soft (nylon or polypropylene) undergarment($22 to $35) is worn under the wet suit to stop the rubber suitfrom rubbing directly on the skin and giving you rashes.

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