Surfboards are an integral component of surfing, spanning various sizes and construction. When choosing the appropriate board for you and your skill level and surf conditions it can make a world of difference to your performance and enjoyment!
There are four main types of surfboards: Longboard, Shortboard, Eggboard and Fishboards.
Longboards are one of the world’s most beloved surfboards, boasting a diverse selection of styles and sizes that span 8 feet or longer. Common features on longboards are wide decks with big, rounded noses for increased volume as well as extra thickness to increase board thickness.
Longboards can be ridden in various ways and are an increasingly popular choice among wakesurfers as well as surfers looking for larger waves. Crafted with polyurethane foam covered by fiberglass cloth and resin (or sometimes even EPS and epoxy) or even plastic material (EPS and epoxy), longboards tend to be lightweight, buoyant, and highly maneuverable.
Longboards are great boards for beginners looking to learn how to surf. Furthermore, more experienced surfers may prefer longboards due to their ability to carve turns at high speed and execute high-speed maneuvers with greater ease than shortboards.
Longboard shapes vary significantly, with logs and performance logs being two of the most prevalent options. These boards usually feature 50/50 or 60/40 rails, a large single fin, and concave under the nose to facilitate noseriding and trimming.
Longboards featuring convex bottom contours, rolled vee’s, and teardrop concaves in the tail to promote rolling motion and assist with turning are ideal for carving maneuvers ranging from classic Hang 10s to Cheetah 5’s.
Noseriding remains an integral component of longboarding, while high-performance logs offer more freedom when it comes to carving maneuvers like vertical snaps, 360s, spinners, airs and barrel rides. These advanced carving moves have attracted many former shortboarders into longboarding.
Shortboards are among the most widely-used surfboard shapes on the market today, making an excellent choice for intermediate riders looking to progress quickly from small boards, or those just getting started surfing. Though harder to paddle than its longboard counterpart, shortboards provide great stability and speed when paddled.
Surfers have access to an assortment of shortboard designs and styles in the surf industry, each boasting its own distinct look, feel, and performance characteristics. Shapers can experiment with width, length, rocker, fin setups and tail/nose shapes in order to craft boards of various lengths or width.
Shortboards differ from longboards in that their shapes can be altered simply by changing up or down their fin setup, giving surfers more versatility in testing a range of fin types from thrusters to quads.
Surfers now have more freedom than ever to create the ideal ride, such as switching out their standard three-fin thruster for a speed-focused quad and seeing how this affects their riding style.
Shortboards come in various materials such as wood, polyurethane and expanded polystyrene (EPS). While they tend to be lighter than longboards, they still generate enough speed and can glide effortlessly through the water.
Volume is another crucial consideration when purchasing a shortboard. The volume determines whether or not it floats on the surface, as well as playing an integral part in its ability to catch waves.
At its core, choosing the ideal board size depends on factors like your height, weight, skill level and surfing conditions. A board that is too big or small will make paddling uncomfortable; launching waves becomes harder; landing safely during take-off becomes challenging; or simply being unsafe overall during takeoff and landing takes more effort and concentration than intended.
Egg surfboards are an excellent choice for beginners looking to enter surfing. Their extra wide design helps newcomers balance better while paddling faster and riding waves more comfortably.
Size is determined by both surfer weight and height. Beginners should begin their search for boards between 6’4″-7’6″.
Another key criterion is volume (liters). The more volume a surfboard contains, the greater its buoyancy will be.
An essential consideration for smaller surfers, where a larger board may prove harder and more dangerous to manage when waves knock it around.
As a beginner, it’s wise to select boards with soft construction that won’t ding or break easily – this will make learning the sport simpler while protecting against injuries.
This board’s EPS core offers plenty of flex while the double maple wood stringers in its center ensure durability and strength – perfect for beginners as well as intermediate surfers alike.
The board also includes a 3-D traction pad to make riding less-experienced riders more manageable, making this an excellent transitional board from longboards to shortboards for newcomers.
BIC Sports’ Egg Surfboard is an affordable solution for newcomers seeking an egg surfboard. At 22.5 inches wide and designed to help beginners make an early entry onto all kinds of waves, this board also comes equipped with a traction pad and egg fin setup to give a more stable ride.
Steve Lis created the Fish surfboard design in 1967, making it one of the most beloved and sought-after surfboard models available today. While initially intended as a kneeboard, today it serves as an all-rounder that can help riders handle everything from small waves to reef breaks.
The Fish is an untraditional surfboard, packing more volume into its length. This provides plenty of buoyancy to help catch waves quickly while turning tighter in tight pockets.
Fish surfboards also boast wide tails that make driving down small waves easier, making it perfect for hollow surf conditions where boards tend to get pulled in shallow, but can still perform well in more mellow reef breaks and beach breaks.
Fishes offer additional speed benefits thanks to a flatter rocker profile and wider outline, providing quicker acceleration in comparison to shortboards. You can use them to perform maneuvers and sections that generate speed for greater enjoyment in the water.
The fish is an excellent board for beginner to intermediate surfers, though not necessarily advanced or experienced riders, due to its lack of maneuverability for turns and weak performance in large waves (though still adding speed in smaller ones). Still, this board offers beginners a fantastic way to start shortboard surfing while exploring new ways of expanding their surfing expertise; beginner surfers who wish to learn turning and driving lines might benefit as well.
The alaia surfboard has a rich and longstanding tradition. Originally constructed of wood and measuring between 7-12 feet in length and 50-100 pounds in weight.
Polynesian people used these ancient boards, made from Acacia Koa wood, to ride fast. Riding either standing up or lying prone was possible on these fast boards.
Modern surfing has seen the alaia back into fashion thanks to Tom Wegener and “The Present”, two films which helped revive its prominence in surfing culture.
Alaias are similar to modern surfboards, except they lack fins and vertical edges on the board. This enables them to ride waves effectively but makes them difficult to control.
These boards are also known for their flexibility, which enables them to change from a flat rocker profile into a more curved profile when turning, giving incredible speed. Furthermore, these boards can make learning how to surf an immense challenge!
As it can be quite challenging to paddle out and gain on-rail footholds, when beginning an alaia ride it is wise to keep expectations realistic – once you learn how to do so it will open up an entirely new experience!
Another great benefit of these boards is that they’re made out of natural materials that won’t harm the environment – an attractive feature for eco-conscious consumers who care about both protecting the planet and their health.