Learning how to choose the right surfboard can be the difference between reveling in the joy of surfing your new board (yeeeew!) or spiraling into a mini surf depression as you hopelessly flail around on the wrong surfboard for your abilities. Sounds dramatic, but if you choose the wrong board, you’ll quickly discover that the struggle is real.
Searching for your next surfboard is super fun and exciting. But if you don’t know much about surfboards, then your surfboard search can ultimately turn into a daunting task. That’s because figuring out the right surfboard for your needs can be a confusing endeavor – especially for beginner and intermediate surfers.
The board you need as a complete beginner is different from the board you’ll want once you become proficient at catching and riding waves. Boards for barrel riding are different than boards for noseriding, which are different than big wave boards, high-performance boards, and retro shapes. And then there’s the matter of surfboard size (length, width, volume), rocker, fin setup, and a host of other factors that are enough to confuse even the frothiest surf geek.
There are many types of surfboards on the market, each offering their own benefits for different styles of surfing and experience levels. It can be a little overwhelming to make a decision about choosing the right one for the correct application.
Common Sizes: 5'2" - 6'4" long 20" - 22" wide Distinguished by its "swallow tail" end, fish surfboards have a wider, rounder nose that is good for small to medium sized waves.
Common Sizes: 5'5" - 6'4" long 16" - 19" wide The shortboard is the most common style used by advanced and professional surfers as they are designed to maximize speed and maneuverability.
Common Sizes: 6' long or more Hybrids combine elements from other styles to customize the experience. For example, a heavier surfer might want a performance board with a heavier or wider build.
Common Sizes: 6'6" - 8' long 20" - 22" wide Funboards are designed for less-experienced surfers who want to have the turning ability of a shortboard and the paddling ease of a longboard.
Common Sizes: 8' - 9' long As the name implies, longboards have a greater length as well as a rounder nose, both of which make it harder to maneuver but easier to paddle and catch waves.
Common Sizes: 6' - 10' long Ideal for big wave surfing, gun boards have a narrow design that makes it easier to paddle out and control on steep waves.
So the answer really depends on the type of waves you are riding and your skill level. If you have questions we are happy to help!