Different types of Surfboard:

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Board
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When it comes to surfing, choosing the right surfboard is crucial for an enjoyable and successful experience. Surfboards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, each catering to different skill levels, wave conditions, and surfing styles. Whether you're a beginner just starting out or an experienced surfer looking to expand your quiver, understanding the different surfboard types is essential. In this article, we will explore the various surfboard types available, their characteristics, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Strength and stability

A beginner foam board, also known as a soft top or foamie, is an excellent choice for novice surfers who are just starting out in the sport. These boards are specifically designed to provide stability, buoyancy, and forgiveness, making them ideal for beginners learning the basics of surfing. Here are some key aspects and benefits of beginner foam boards:


Beginner foam boards are typically made with a foam core, which provides excellent buoyancy and floatation. The foam core is then wrapped with a soft and durable outer layer, usually made of polyethylene or a similar material. This construction ensures that the board is lightweight, durable, and safe for beginners.

Soft Top:

One of the distinctive features of a beginner foam board is the soft top surface. The soft top provides a comfortable and forgiving platform for beginners to practice their skills. It also helps to prevent injuries as the soft surface minimizes the chances of bumps or bruises while learning to surf.


Beginner foam boards are wider and more buoyant than traditional surfboards. The increased width and volume offer greater stability, making it easier for beginners to balance and paddle. This stability allows new surfers to gain confidence and develop their skills without feeling unstable or wobbly on the board.


Foam boards have a forgiving nature, meaning they are more forgiving of mistakes and errors in technique. They tend to be more forgiving when it comes to weight distribution, foot placement, and balance, allowing beginners to make minor errors without losing control of the board. This forgiveness helps beginners progress more quickly and build their confidence in the water.

Wave Catching:

The buoyancy and floatation of a foam board make it easier for beginners to catch waves. These boards paddle well and have good wave-catching abilities, allowing novice surfers to get into the wave earlier and experience the thrill of riding a wave.


Foam boards are generally considered safer for beginners due to their soft construction. In the learning stages, falls and collisions are common, and the soft top of a foam board reduces the risk of injury compared to harder surfboard materials.


Beginner foam boards are typically more affordable compared to other types of surfboards. This affordability makes them an accessible option for those who are just starting out and may not want to invest heavily in a higher-end board.


While foam boards are primarily designed for beginners, they can still be enjoyed by surfers of all skill levels. Many experienced surfers use foam boards as a fun alternative on smaller days or as a board for family and friends to share. Their buoyancy and stability make them suitable for learning new maneuvers or simply enjoying a relaxed surf session.


A longboard is a type of surfboard that is characterized by its length, typically measuring 9 feet or longer. Longboards have a rich history and are considered the oldest form of surfboards, tracing back to the early days of surfing in Hawaii. Here are some key aspects and benefits of longboards:

Stability and Ease of Use:

One of the primary advantages of longboards is their stability in the water. Due to their length and volume, longboards offer excellent stability, making them ideal for beginners or surfers looking for a more relaxed and cruisy style of surfing. The added stability allows for easier paddling, better balance, and increased wave-catching ability.

Wave-catching and Glide:

Longboards are known for their exceptional wave-catching capabilities. Their length and buoyancy enable surfers to paddle into waves earlier and with less effort, increasing the chances of catching more waves. Once on the wave, the long, streamlined shape of the board promotes a smooth and effortless glide, allowing surfers to enjoy extended rides and maintain momentum even in smaller or weaker waves.


Longboards are incredibly versatile and can be ridden in a wide range of wave conditions. While they excel in smaller, slower waves, longboards can also handle larger, more powerful waves with the right technique and skill. Their stability and ease of use make them suitable for surfers of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced riders.
Longboards are particularly well-suited for nose riding, a classic and graceful maneuver where surfers walk to the front (nose) of the board and ride with their toes hanging over the edge. The added length and stability of a longboard make it easier to hang and maintain balance on the nose, allowing for longer and more stylish nose rides.
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Traditional Style and Aesthetics:

Longboards embody the nostalgia and classic style of surfing. They pay homage to the early days of the sport and are often associated with a more traditional approach to wave riding. Many longboards feature beautiful, hand-shaped designs and intricate artwork, adding to their aesthetic appeal and timeless charm.

Community and Culture:

Longboarding has its own unique community and culture within the surfing world. Longboarders often embrace a more relaxed and inclusive atmosphere in the lineup, promoting a friendly and respectful environment. Longboarding contests and events showcase the artistry and finesse of traditional longboarding, further nurturing the sense of community among longboard enthusiasts.

Cross-training and Fitness:

Riding a longboard requires engaging your entire body, from paddling to maneuvering the board on the wave. The physical demands of longboarding contribute to overall fitness, improving cardiovascular health, core strength, balance, and coordination. It's a great way to stay active and enjoy the benefits of surfing as a sport.
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Shortboards are the go-to choice for experienced surfers who prefer more maneuverability and high-performance surfing. Shorter in length (typically between 5'6" and 7'0"), these boards feature narrow outlines, pointed noses, and a lower volume. Shortboards are designed for quick turns, generating speed in critical sections of the wave, and performing advanced maneuvers. They are typically used in medium to large waves and require more skill and wave knowledge to ride effectively.


Fish surfboards have a distinct shape characterized by their wide and stubby outlines, swallowtails, and twin fins or quad fin setups. They are designed to provide a balance between the speed and maneuverability of a shortboard and the stability and wave-catching ability of a longboard. Fish boards excel in smaller, mushy waves, allowing surfers to generate speed and make quick turns in less powerful conditions.

Funboard / Midlength

Funboards, also known as midlength boards, bridge the gap between longboards and shortboards. With lengths ranging from 7'0" to 8'6", funboards offer a good compromise of stability, maneuverability, and wave-catching ability. They feature wider outlines and more volume than shortboards, making them suitable for surfers looking to transition from a longboard to a shorter board. Funboards are versatile and can be used in a variety of wave conditions, making them a popular choice for surfers of all skill levels.
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Hybrid / Egg

Hybrid or egg-shaped surfboards combine elements of both shortboards and longboards. They typically have wider noses, wider outlines, and more volume than traditional shortboards. Hybrid boards offer stability and ease of paddling, making them suitable for beginners or surfers transitioning from longboards. They are versatile and perform well in a range of wave conditions, providing a balance between stability, maneuverability, and wave-catching ability.


Guns are specialized surfboards designed for riding big, powerful waves. They are longer (often exceeding 8'0") and narrower than standard shortboards, allowing surfers to paddle into larger waves and maintain control at high speeds. Guns feature a pointed nose, pulled-in tail, and a more pronounced rocker, enabling surfers to take on steep drops and handle the power of big surf. Guns are typically used by experienced surfers who have a good understanding of big wave surfing and the necessary skills to handle challenging conditions.

Performance Longboard

Performance longboards are designed for experienced surfers who want the maneuverability and responsiveness of a shortboard combined with the stability and wave-catching ability of a longboard. These boards are typically shorter than traditional longboards, with narrower outlines, thinner rails, and more aggressive rocker profiles. Performance longboards allow surfers to perform progressive maneuvers while still maintaining the flow and glide of a traditional longboard.
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Choosing the right surfboard type is essential for enhancing your surfing experience and progressing as a surfer. Each surfboard type has its own characteristics, advantages, and suitability for different wave conditions and skill levels. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced surfer, there is a surfboard type that will suit your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as your skill level, wave conditions, and desired surfing style when selecting a surfboard. Ultimately, finding the right surfboard will greatly contribute to your enjoyment and progression in the water, allowing you to ride the waves with confidence and style.