Surfboard shapes


So you have just started your adventure with surfing. You are probably overwhelmed with all kinds of board there are on the market. All this different sizes and shapes. This blog post will try to put some light on what is out there.

surfboard shapes showing longboard, gun, mini mal, funboard, hybrid and fish shapes.
Surfboard shapes

Foamie (soft top)
This is the only surfboard type that is not on the graph above. This is because it can have different sizes and shapes and it is rather the material than anything else that differentiates it from other boards. The top of the board is covered by a soft material therefore they are more friendly and safer for beginner surfers.This is the type of board that most people will have their first lessons with. Usually people will start on a large foamie (8-9 feet) and go down to smaller sizes. It is not only safer but also more floaty than traditional surfboards so it will be easier to catch waves. It is also popular with kids.

female surfer holding a blue foamie surfboard on the beach

Long board
This is the most traditional surfboard shape and has been there for longest. These boards are really long as the name suggest (9 feet and more), quite wide, have rounded nose and are very floaty. They will catch waves easily and are stable to stand on. They will be a natural progression for a surfer after he has learnt to ride a foamie. They usually have a single fin set up.

Two surfers holding large longboards

Mini mal
These are similar in shape to a longboard but slightly shorter (7-9 feet). They are still quite wide therefore very stable. They will be more manoeuvrable that a longboard and still catch the waves quite easily. There are good boards for a surfer who is already comfortable with a long board and would like to progress to a shortboard in the future.

two surfers on the beach holding mini mal surfboards
Surfers with Mini Mals

These type of boards are usually used by more experienced surfers and you probably now them from modern surf competitions. They are shorter then minimals (5-7 feet), narrower and their nose is pointy. This allows to do tight and radical turns on the wave. As these boards are not very floaty it will require stronger paddling to catch a wave.

Female surfer holding a shortboard

These are usually a mixture of the minimal and a shortboard. The idea behind is to keep larger volume of a minimal but allow for more agile turns while on the wave. The nose of the board is more pointy than the one of minimal but not as pointy as the shortboard one. They are wider than a standard shortboard to allow more stability on the wave.

This boards are short and very wide almost from the top to the bottom. Their nose is still pointy but goes wide very quickly (almost at the top of the board). They have a very small rocker that allows them to gain a lot of speed on the wave. They often have swallow tail and quad fin setup. In Europe they are popular summer boards as they allow to have a lot of fun in smaller surf.

This are usually a cross between a wide floaty fish and classic performance shortboard. The idea behind it is to keep the larger volume of the fish and its flatter rocker (allowing more speed on the wave) and combine it with manoeuvrability of the shortboard. 

This boards are narrow, quite long, have a very pointy nose and a lot of rocker. They are used for big wave surfing.

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