What Equipment Will you Need?

As a beginner, here are the most important gear tips for making the best decisions when purchasing your first river surfing equipment.

Surfboard on the River

Your board is crucial. Without it, you won’t be able to surf. A few factors can influence the length of your board. To begin with, you’ll need a board with enough volume to support your body mass. Second, what kind of waves would you be riding? You’ll want to ensure the board you buy fits the wave you’re riding.


Wear a helmet since you never know what might happen. Read out the River Surfing Helmets Buying Guide for all the information you’ll need to make the best decision.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device) or Life Jacket

A personal floatation device is a device that allows you to float on your own. This will allow you to conserve energy during the swims in between waves. It will also keep you afloat above the waterline and provide rescuers something to grab onto if you have to be saved.


Leashes are acceptable under one scenario: they must be connected to some type of quick release. Otherwise, leashes can be a life-threatening situation! Make sure you’re comfortable with leash safety before heading out.

Neoprene and footwear

Having to wear a wetsuit will enable you to surf for longer periods while also preventing hypothermia. Wearing surf booties may be necessary, depending on the river’s depth. They’re thick enough to offer some protection but thin enough to allow you to feel the board under your feet.

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