Yeah rash guards are a must. I never wore one....well I used a short wet suit a few times. Your chest and stomach will be like hamburger meat lol. Do you have any friends to show you the ropes? Thats how I got started. I say if you dont have friends with spare boards you could rent the first couple times to see what kind of board suits you. I started on a 9.5 foot wooden long board. It was awesome!!! Then switched to a short board. You are in for a great time bro
Credit to M.C !!