Surfboard Basics

There is no right or wrong board size. The best board is the one you ride the best and enjoy. This could mean that it has more or less volume then the next guy. Everyone has a different body type so select the board that works with your ride style. Below you’ll find the basic of boards as it relates to shapes, sizes and tail patterns.

 

SHAPES

Stand Up Paddle Board

Generally 10’6 or 11 feet but, there are smaller ones for SUP surfing. This board has a ton of volume so you can stand up and cruise around with a paddle.

longboard

Can be as long as a SUP but, has less volume so surfers are paddling into waves with their arms rather than a plastic or carbon paddle.

Funboard

Are often in the 7’10” and 8 feet range. Rides more like a longboard but easier to carve as riders don’t have to dig or lean into their turns as much.

Gun

Ideal for big wave surfing such as Jaws or Mavericks. This board has more volume compared to a SHORTBOARD to easily paddle into big waves.

SHORTBOARD

Range from 5 feet to 6 feet plus. When selecting the right SHORTBOARD, board volume and height should match surfers weight and height to maximize paddling efficiency.

Fish

Has more volume compared to a SHORTBOARD but, these boards are shorter and wider.

SIZE

Board sizes are based on average skills and paddle strength. This chart doesn’t reflect or factor board volume.

SHORTBOARD

Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 5’2″ – 5’8″
145 – 165 5’8″ – 6’0″
165 – 185 6’0″ – 6’5″
185 – 205 6’0″ – 6’6″
205 + 6’7″ +

Fish

Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 5’1″ – 5’5″
145 – 165 5’5″ – 5’9″
165 – 185 5’8″ – 5’11”
185 – 205 5’9″ – 6’2″
205 + 6’2″ +

Funboard

Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 7’0″ – 7’2″
145 – 165 7’2″ – 7’4″
165 – 185 7’6″ – 7’8″
185 – 205 7’8″ – 7’10”
205 + 7’10” – 8′

longboard

Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 8’0″ – 8’6″
145 – 165 8’6″ – 9’0″
165 – 185 9’0″ – 9’6″
185 – 205 9’0″ – 9’6″
205 + 9’6″

SUP

Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 8’0″ – 8’6″
145 – 165 8’6″ – 9’0″
165 – 185 9’0″ – 10’6″
185 – 205 10’6″ – 11’0″
205 + 11’0″ +

FOAM

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) also known as styrofoam

Pros Con
Resin mends with EPS Foam because the foam isn’t as dense and can seep into the foam for better contact. Absorbs water.
Light weight. EPS Foam is expensive.
Easy to shape and manipulate. The chemicals are bad for the environment.
Small repairs are easy to do with Suncure or Solarez. Not to be left out in the sun (need to let the cell breath) because the foam can heat up.
Floats well and flexible. Blank foam templates are machined and not handcrafted.

Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)

Pros Con
The foam is dense making it hard for water to absorb. XPS Foam is expensive.
Light weight. Doesn’t bond to resin as well.
XPS foam is durable. Can easily delaminate.
Easier to shape and sand down to the perfect shape. The foam needs to breath because of gas build up so companies are introducing vents (Thermovents) in these boards.

SHORTBOARD VOLUME BY WEIGHT

If you’re able to take anything away from this page it should be volume by surfers weight. When starting out, it is best to have the correct volume to the surfers weight. The more volume the easier it is to paddle and stand up on the board. Maximize your time in the water by finding the correct volume in the chart above. Please understand, the chart above is for an average surfer with intermediate skill level. If you are a beginner you may add a few more liter and subtract a few liter if you’re an expert.

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