A complete guide for picking the right surfboard


Like all firsts, surfing for the first time is something you will never forget in your life. It is exhilarating and fun, sometimes embarrassing too but if you are hooked on to it, you will want to meet the waves again and again. Chances are that you may have used a board that was rented or borrowed and now you are looking to buy your own one. Picking the right surfboard is very important for having a super fun and successful surfing adventure.

As a general rule of thumb, the correct surfboard should always be one palm higher than your height and first-timers should choose thicker and longer surfboard design. First, let us discuss the common surfboard designs available in the market along with their brief descriptions.

  1. Fish: Having a wide design, it is a great choice for riding small waves.
  2. Shortboard: With a shortboard, you get the benefits of speed and agility but it is low on paddling power and has the higher chances of toppling over.
  3. Hybrid: Provides a combination of stability and speed, but is not recommended for beginners because it can be difficult to manage in high waves.
  4. Funboard: Has good paddling power and can be maneuvered easily in the waves, a good choice for beginners.
  5. Longboard: Good for riding in small waves, it offers stability and easier paddling choice.
  6. Soft top: Soft and stable, it offers the highest levels of safety to the surfers and is a top pick for beginners.

With so many options, picking the right surfboard for you can seem like a daunting task. The first thing for you to know is that there is no single surfboard design that is perfect for everyone. There are many factors that come into play and each factor plays a significant role in determining your selection. In this article, we are going to look at all the factors that can help you in effectively picking the right surfboard.

Factor one: Your skill levels:

Your skills as a surfer are essential for picking the right surfboard. We usually divide the skills into three categories, beginner, intermediate and advanced.

If you are a beginner, you will have gone in the waves just for a few times or maybe you are starting surfing for the first time. For this your prime focus is learning and how to be stable on the board. The best option for you is, therefore, a soft top board. They are not too long but have extra width, volume and thickness to provide stability. Another option for you is to go for a longboard. They are long and stable and can provide a lot of floatation. At this stage do not choose shortboards or ultra thin surfboard designs. No doubt they are stylish and hi performance boards but they also require a high skill of control.

If your surfing skills are intermediate, you must be comfortable in the water and are looking to improve upon your skills. For this level, you can select a shortboard or a fish. They will help you experiment with long and short waves while providing speed and maneuverability.

For advanced surfers, any surfboard is good to go as they are already skilled enough to surf on whatever they want, whenever they want.

Factor two: Your Measurements:

For picking the right surfboard, you should also keep your body measurements in mind.  Knowing your weight and height is important because obviously the taller and heavier you are, the sturdier your surfboard should be. Generally, you should go with a large size surfboard but if you are on a lighter side (less than 200 lbs) then smaller boards such as a soft board or shortboard can be a good option for you. If you weigh more than 200 pounds you should go for longer and thicker surfboard designs.

Factor three: Waves Conditions:

You will find an advanced surfer to have a collection of surfboards and the biggest reason for this is the type of waves they want to ride. As the type of waves change from beach to beach and even daily at the same beach, you need to be prepared for them. For picking the right surfboard, assess the waves you would like to surf. If the waves are smaller a longboard or a fish board can be opted for. For medium to high waves select a surfboard design from shortboards or funboards.

Factor four: Your Fitness level:

For surfing, you need a lot of physical strength and stamina so your age and fitness level plays a large role in picking the right surfboard. If you are physically fit, young and active and are already into other board sports like skateboarding, you can select a fish board or even a shortboard for your first experience. For the rest, a safe choice will be longboard or a hybrid as they are more stable, provide more float and will not require a lot of hard work from you.

Factor five: Your Frequency

Firstly never invest in very expensive surfboards as they work just like the inexpensive models but are prone to wear and tear very quickly and can cause an unnecessary dent in your pocket. Secondly, establish the frequency of your surfing. Are you going to surf daily or on some occasions? If you take surfing just as an activity you do once in a while it is better to invest in an all-rounder like a longboard. They are suitable for all wave types. For people who are really into surfing and will spend more time on it, they should buy a simple surfboard design like a longboard first but then gradually build up their collection to include shortboards, hybrids, and fish and so on. In this way no matter what wave conditions you face, your collection will always be there to help you

Picking a suitable yet trendy surfboard is not a very difficult thing if you know the basics. While in the past you may have felt confused by looking at so many options, with our guidelines you are sure to make an informed decision and hit the sea in no time.



Scroll to Top