Though there's a lot of challenges to overcome in Temtem, one of the first you'll encounter is the Arrisola Dojo Leader, Sophia. We'll show you how to beat her and how to get the surfboard in the process, as well as how to get it back after losing it later in the game.
How to Get the Surfboard
Though the game doesn't state it outright, it's pretty clear that buying a Surfboard isn't an option, the only place that sells them sold out with no sign of when it'll restock. The only way to get one in the game is to beat Sophia, the Dojo Leader of Arrisola, whereupon she'll give you one to use as a reward.
Where to Find Sophia
Sophia should be at her Dojo, but isn't, kidnapped by Clan Belsoto in the Windward Fort north of town. You'll find her by following the main story, defeating Belsoto and their leader, Lady Lottie, then bringing the key that Lottie had to the cage where Sophia is kept and freeing her. She'll return the Dojo afterwards, allowing you to fight her.
How to Beat the First Dojo
Sophia has six Temtem at her disposal of varying types, her team representing what's around in Deniz more than representing a single kind of Temtem, though there are some recurring themes. We've listed them below.
- Kalabyss, level 16 (Water/Toxic)
- Loali, level 16 (Nature/Wind)
- Sparzy, level 15 (Electric)
- Pigepic, level 18 (Wind)
- Tuwai, level 21 (Wind)
- Oceara, level 21 (Water)
To begin with, it's clear that Sophia has a distinct weakness to Electric types. Kalabyss, Pigepic, Tuwai and Oceara are all very vulnerable in this regard, so you'll probably want at least one Electric-type in your team. Ganki is a good choice here, found all around in the Thalassian Cliffs, the Gifted Bridges and Windward Fort, with two powerful electric moves learned by level 16. Not to mention that a good toxic move like those learned by Saipat and Maku will help deal with Loali, as well as Oceara, if your Ganki is killed by that point in the fight.
That just leaves Sparzy, who is very much the wild card in this fight. Sparzy only has a couple of weaknesses - Earth and Crystal - and there's no way to get either of them before this fight unless you picked the Temtem Crystle as your starter. He also has the move Psychosis, which kills the Temtem hit by it four turns later, no matter what. Maybe put a Pigepic up against him with Fainted Curse to try and get some rather cheap damage in, or put him to sleep if you have Houchic in your party. Sparzy's not the most powerful in the team by any means, but he is an annoyance, somebody to throw off the simple type match-ups you can work with otherwise. Get rid of him as fast as possible, and try to use Temtem you aren't saving for type advantage.
If all this goes well, it shouldn't be long before you've defeated Sophia. She'll give you a Surfboard and 700 pansuns in cash, the former of which you can use to cross water on.
How to Cross Water on the Surfboard
Once you have the surfboard in your inventory, you can cross any body of water (except up waterfalls, of course). There's no trick to it - simply walk at the water without stopping and you'll automatically switch to the board, allowing you to move around as normal. God knows what's propelling you forward, but maybe there's an outboard motor strapped to the back. Either way, water of any kind functions like long grass, so there's a chance of encountering Temtem while you do so (usually water types, unsurprisingly).
How to Get the Surfboard Back After the Narwhal Crash
Some time later on in the game there'll be a point where you lose your Surfboard owing to an accident and will temporarily be unable to cross water or any other liquid. You'll have to proceed in the main plot until you beat the Quetzal Dojo and complete the Shipwrecked in Tucma! quest. After that, the quest Beached Narwhal will begin, taking you through the process of reacquiring a surfboard, as well as acid-proofing it for crossing Tucma's corrosive waters.
How to Find and Acid-Proof Your Surfboard in Quetzal
Once you start the Beached Narwhal quest, you'll go through these stages to acquire and acid-proof your board.
- Ask the Guildmaster to Repair the Narwhal. The Guildmaster is in the lower-right of Quetzal, in the Smith's Guild.
- Buy some means of transportation from Akatzin. Akatzin is in the odd-looking building just south of the Dojo. He's found your Surfboard and is unwilling to part with it. You'll have to find him a Toxolotl.
- Bring a Toxolotl to Akatzin. You'll lose this Toxolotl after giving it to him, so make sure you're not attached. You can find Toxolotl on the surface, especially in the circular area of Xolot Reservoir in the North. He'll give you the Surfboard, but it's not capable of being used in Tucma yet.
- Ask Sugey to acid-proof your Surfboard. Sugey is the doctor in the outdoor lab you encountered before getting arrested and imprisoned, the one with their own healing station. She'll acid-proof your board if you complete a side quest called Water Supply. This involves going back to the Mines of Mictlan and finding two water samples (they'll be marked in gold on your map). Once you do this, she'll acid-proof your board, and you're ready to go!
If that was of use to you, we can show you how to use your Surfboard to get one of the best Temtem, Nessla, right here, or go to our guide here to see how you can rename your Temtem easily. And if you just want a cheap method of victory that'll take you through any fight, we've got a guide on how to cheese boss fights and Dojo Leaders here.