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Common types of surfboards

There are many types of surfboards, all shaped to suit a specific type of wave or ability of a surfer. From longboard to shortboard, from fish to semi-gun, the possibilities are endless.

Here’s a guide to the most common types of surfboards:

surfer girl on a shortboard

A shortboard   Photo by N.Bhatt

1 SHORTBOARD

Shortboards are highly maneuverable and suitable for fast, steep waves. They range from 5 to 7 feet. They usually have nose rocker, a pointy nose and thinner rails. They are made for aggressive surfing in the most critical section of the wave. 

fish surfboard

Fish surfboard   Photo by Johan

2 FISH

Fish boards are usually shorter, wider and flatter than shortboards. They go faster in slower breaking waves and surf more smoothly than shortboards with their fast and snappy turns. Because they don’t have much rocker they paddle well, but are difficult in steep hollow surf. Beginners like them because they have more volume and are easier to balance.

 

3 FUNBOARD

Funboards is a general term for all surfboards that will let you catch more waves because of the extra volume. They are perfect beginners board because they are wide and stable. Also suitable for heavier surfers and people who generally don’t want to put in much effort to catch waves. They are easier to maneuver than longboards. Usually 7 to 9 feet long.

surfer on a longboard

Surfer on a longboard   Photo by K.Menehune

4 LONGBOARD

Longboards are 8 to 11 feet long and are easy to paddle and catch waves on. With a longboard you can catch waves much sooner than on a shortboard. Because of the length it will allow you to walk up and down on the board. It is a very good beginner board but there are many people who ride only on longboards.

 

5 HYBRID

The Hybrid surf design mixes the design features from two similar board types. For example the shortboard and the fish or the shortboard and the longboard. The result is a board that for example has more volume, suited for heavier surfers, but still has the ‘feel’ of a shortboard.

6 GUN

The gun is built for speed and the intensity of a big wave surf. With its narrow tail and nose it is specially designed for experienced surfers who need to maintain speed and control necessary in big waves. 

 

Stand up paddleboard

Stand Up Paddleboard   Photo by D.Young

7 SUP

The newest addition to the line-up is the stand up paddle board: SUP. It is a large, wide and buoyant board 10 to 12 ft and is designed to stand up while paddling. You will require a paddle and good balance skills. You can surf the SUP from really small waves to bigger waves. But you can also just cruise the lake or canals of your home town and enjoy the scenery.

Featured image by I.Januartha

But there are many more wave-riding vehicles in the ocean….