Surfboards for Small Waves

Surfing in San Diego offers an incredible experience. However, the surf conditions can vary, and on days when the waves are small, choosing the right surfboard becomes crucial. Let’s explore some of the best surfboard shapes for small waves in San Diego.

Foamie Fun:

Foamies, or soft-top surfboards, are gaining popularity for their excellent performance in small waves. These boards are perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers looking to catch smaller waves with ease. The buoyancy provided by the foam construction allows for increased stability, making it easier to paddle and stand up. Brands like Catch Surf and Wave Bandit offer fantastic foamie options tailored for San Diego’s mellow waves.


Mid-length surfboards, typically ranging from 7 to 8.5 feet, are a versatile choice for small waves. They provide a good compromise between the stability of a longboard and the maneuverability of a shortboard. This makes mid-lengths an excellent option for surfers wanting to progress beyond the beginner stage while still enjoying the benefits of a longer board. Check out local shapers or reputable brands like Channel Islands for quality mid-length options suitable for San Diego’s small wave conditions.


The fish surfboard, characterized by its wide, swallowtail design, excels in smaller, mushier waves. With a wider outline and increased volume, fish boards generate speed effortlessly and maintain control in less-than-ideal conditions. They are a favorite among surfers in San Diego for their ability to navigate through small waves with style. Consider brands like Lost Surfboards or Album Surf for high-performance fish options that will elevate your small wave sessions.


The term “groveler” is synonymous with surfboards designed explicitly for small, lackluster waves. These boards typically feature a wider outline, flat rocker, and extra volume to maximize paddling efficiency and wave-catching ability. San Diego’s summer months often bring smaller swells, making a groveler an essential addition to your quiver. Explore models from Firewire and Haydenshapes for cutting-edge groveler designs tailored to San Diego’s unique surf conditions.

Surfing small waves in San Diego can be an incredibly rewarding experience with the right equipment. Whether you opt for a foamie, or go right for the groveler, selecting the best surfboard shape depends on your skill level and personal preferences. Take the time to test different options and find the board that enhances your small wave sessions,