Choosing the best board for you – the process can seem overwhelming. There are many possibilities depending on your skill level, types of waves you surf, and which areas you ride. Let’s go ahead and break down the different types of surfboards so you can choose the best fit for you.
TYPES OF SURFBOARDS
In surfing, we have different kind of waves, so we also have many types of surfboards on which to enjoy them. Choosing the right board is essential to the experience.
If you’re buying your first one, you’ll definitely need some tips on how to buy a surfboard. Choosing a good beginner surfboard can be confusing if you don’t have a local surf shop to help you out. When buying a surfboard for beginner surfers, it’s important to consider their body size and the location where they will be surfing.
In general, the best beginner surfboards are long, thick boards for good stability and flotation. These types of surfboards allow you to catch more waves with less effort.
Intermediate and advanced level surfers experiment with everything from a 10’6 longboard to a 5’4 fish surfboard. The most recent addition to the surfboard lineup is the stand-up paddle board.
Shortboards range in length from 5’ to 7’. They have nose rocker (an upturned nose) to help you avoid burying the tip of your board under water (pearling), and possess two to four fins that allow for quick, radical turns. They are called shortboards because, well…they are shorter and narrower than long boards. While I would not recommend one for a beginner over 100 lbs, they are super fun for anyone with a bit of experience.
BIG WAVE GUN SURFBOARD (BIG WAVE BOARD)
The “big wave gun,” also known as the elephant gun, is for the really big stuff and a poor choice for all but the big wave surfer. It is a longer (8’-9’) and higher volume board built for the speed and intensity of big surf.
The longboard surfboard ranges in length from 8’ to 10’6 and is ridden from the tail (back section of the board) all the way to its nose.
It is shorter and wider than most short boards and looks a bit stubbier as a result. Fish surfboards typically are equipped with two to three fins and are extremely agile in small- to medium-sized surf. Experienced to moderately skilled surfers love them because they go fast in slower-breaking waves and give a different-feeling ride than a shortboard. The wide surface area of the fish board makes it easier to paddle and catch waves, and allows it to be surfed faster in slower-breaking waves.
FUNBOARD (FUN SHAPE SURFBOARD)
Somewhere between the shortboard and the longboard lies the utilitarian funboard. The funboard supports all types of surfers in a variety of conditions. It ranges in length from 7’0 to 8’2.
STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD
The stand-up paddle board is a large, wide, buoyant board from 10’ to 12’ in length, and is designed to allow the surfer to paddle while standing up in all kinds of conditions.