A-Z GUIDE on choosing a Surfboard
There are so many types of surfboards to choose from that will make your head spin around. The good news is – that you can simply choose the right type of board to match your needs whereas not too long ago you had to have a shaper to do it for you – unless you were willingly happy to take your uncles beat-up dingboard. It is reasonable to choose a surfboard to match the right type of wave you ride on your local hometown, others just have one and universal surfboard for all kinds of waves. Well, as the conditions vary, one board might not quite do the trick to maximize its purpose. So.
I will be covering the most known surfboard types that are out there on the market. It’s somewhat crucial to find the most suitable board that will suit your local beach break, skill level, and body type to get the most of what’s out there!
How to choose a surfboard?
Surfboard must be picked according to your skill level and the types of waves you are going to ride. Also, how often will you be taking your board out on the surf. If you are a keen surfer, surfing more than 3 times a week, a variety of surfboards is great when you want to maximize your time in the surf. On the other hand, a surfer who goes out only once a week or a month – one hybrid board will do the trick just fine.
What is the best surfboard?
The best surfboard is the one you will be having the most fun with. A properly chosen surfboard is best according to your surfing skill, and the intended surf break you are going to use it.
Surfboard guide size
Check out each board size suggestion to get the most out of your preferences.
Types of surfing
Everyone has a differnt style of surfing, but the main types are:
Shortboard – Carve and ride on fast and hollow waves. Level: Expert
Longboard – Cruise on small to medium, mainly slow and fat waves. Level: Intermediate to Expert
Soft Top / Hybrid – Surf whitewater or green waves. Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Generally about the same or shorter than the rider SIZE
Fast, High-Performance Capability, Maneuverability CHARACTERISTICS
– The most used board by surfers you really see performing on the waves. Shortboards are generally very light for easy maneuverability and duck dive capabilities – but on the downside, shortboards are slow to paddle for a wave. Why hard to paddle you might ask? Because shortboards are chosen for the perfect fit for surfers weight, height and the type of wave he or she will be riding. In order to perform well in the good surf – shortboards are very light and don’t float as good as larger boards. To properly use a shortboard you have to know how to read the wave and by doing so you will know where is the perfect point to start paddling for a wave. Mastering the art of surfing with a shortboard takes a lot of practice and patience, but it’s the most suitable choice for the high-quality surf.
NOTE: Many beginner surfers choose to ride a shortboard way too soon, but by doing so they will be missing lots of quality time in the ocean by not knowing how to read the waves correctly. I would recommend sticking to larger types of boards before you are really ready for the right shortboard.
- Also, many people are not sure how many liters should the board have, and they might easily get a board which is too small or too big for them. A great guide is found at the JS Industries website.
The “real fish” is always rather wide from the top and about a foot shorter from a rider SIZE
Funky, groovy, easy to paddle and fun CHARACTERISTICS
Fish is a fun board that can be ridden on all types of waves. From knee-high to slow rolling overhead waves. Due to their universal shape, they are kind of like the funky kids of the family. The fish surfboard is having fun on mushy, slow and unpowered waves.
Fish surfboards are perfect for the summer, where the swells are generally slow and low. Fish surfboards are recognized by the wider upper half and a bit narrower bottom.
Hybrid Fish is a mixture between a shortboard and a fish, generally longer in size than the rider.
Approx. 8 – 10 feet in SIZE
Fun, heavy, easy to paddle CHARACTERISTICS
Longboarding is also where the surfing and surfboards kind of grew out. They are the ultimate cruise-ships of the seas. Though it is easy to catch a wave on a longboard, it takes lots of practice to master one in the waves. Longboards are for good for small and weak waves, although you see people riding them on all sorts of waves. Due to their large and heavy build – a longboarder should take caution when surfing one near others due to the heavy build of the board.
Though this longboard pictured here is a triple fin, “real” longboards (that are not made of foam) have a large single fin.
Generally something between a short- and longboard in SIZE
The universal all-rounder for all kinds of waves CHARACTERISTICS
Though Hybrids and Mals are different boards, they are both generally performing somewhere between a shortboard and longboard. Great for beginners due to their universal performance path and for people who would like to ride all kinds of waves, but can accommodate only one board. Hybrids are easy to paddle, but hard to duck dive. Fast on the paddle but a bit clumsy riding down a wave.
A great allrounder.
What material of surfboard to get? Fiberglass vs Epoxy
Well, there are two main “ingredients” that surfboards are made of. Epoxy and Fiberglass. Both are widely used, although fiberglass surfboards history dates back a few more decades than epoxies. Technically speaking in modern words:
– Epoxy board consists of a polystyrene core and then coated with epoxy resin. That is said to float better, have stronger qualities against stress and weight less than fiberglass. Epoxy is also a newer technology, that has gone through its “first phase” by removing it’s newcomers mistakes.
– Fiberglass boards have polyurethane core and are then covered with fiberglass resin with the fiberglass cloth.
Anyhow, whenever you have the chance to try, you’ll feel the difference between the two as they have a different feel on your hands and on the waves. Wax stays on the same way on both and the ding-repair kits cost the same too – so no fuzz there.
Which fin set-up to choose?
1,2,3,4,5. Single, twin, triple, quad or five-fin?
Fixed-fin, FCS or FCSII?
Modern surfboards have a great variety of fin set-ups to choose, whereas back in the day there were mainly fixed fins – that means the fin was attached to the board in the process of making one. So there was no possibility to remove the fin when needed for convenient transport or
when changing the preferences. There have been
trends, what people prefer to use, and of course personal preferences in one’s experience and history of use. I personally think that fixed fins give the board a unique feel, as it is like a one-piece board. But as the time goes by you will not be seeing many of fixed fins anymore.
Single-fin setup is mainly used on longboards. As the board is long and heavy, it needs a one solid and large fin to guide it through the wave smoothly. You might sometimes see a shortboard as with a single fin, and it is not hard to spot it in the distance as it rides very differently and more groovy on the wave.
Twin-fin – most widely used on fish surfboards. Surfboards, that have a clear fishtail, and has to have one fin for each side. Those type of twin-fin fish surfboard is very fun, responsive and easy to get along with on all sorts of waves
Triple-fin – the most known set-up used by all of the surfboards possible. Countless amounts of ways to customize the fin’s size according to the size and type of waves.
Quad fin – Another alternative for twin- and triple fin surfboards. As there are two fins on each side of the board, this will give you more stable ride riding down the wave.
ive-fin – used on the high-performance board to maximize the feel and grind through the waves. This kind of set-up is for the perfectionist athlete who knows what are they after.
Which Thickness and Length to buy?
A leash is a crucial and convenient accessory to have with a board. It helps you to grab your board once you have fallen off it so you could simply pull the board back in and crawl up. Although what many people don’t know is that the leash creates a drag on water. So, performance leashes are generally thinner and regular leashes are thicker and said to be more durable.
Surf without a leash?
Well, when there is the whole beach for you and you don’t need your board as a life vest, many intermediate learning surfers choose not to wear a leash for two good reasons. One reason is the drag, and other is that you have to perfect your skills and finish off the wave well enough if you don’t want to swim all the way back out to grab your board. It makes you more aware of the moment.
Are generally similar in design and different by the color-scheme or artwork. They work as the name says traction pads and you can manage the position of the board quick and get the feel of the board by stepping on it when riding down a wave. Some surfers prefer to use the specially designed traction pad in the middle of the board for the perfect traction. Generally, a tail pad is crucial when you want to make sharp turns and have the best traction on the board.
Ta-Daa! There you go – the anatomy of a surfboard
WHICH SURFBOARD IS BEST FOR A BEGINNER?
Welcome to the world of surfing, beginner surfers! You have arrived at the right place! As a beginner surfer, choosing the right board might be a frustrating task. This guide here is made to guide the beginners to the right information. Make sure to read about the tips to stay safe and catch more waves down below.
Answer: Long, Round, Soft and Thick
Well, as a beginner surfer – getting to know the balance is the main key when you want to advance your skills on the water. A long, soft and thick surfboard is perfect for beginners to learn on. I know, that many surfers who got the spark for the surf, want to skip the learning process in order to get a cooler-looking shortboard. Well, unfortunately in surfing that’s not really possible. It takes a lot of time to get good at surfing and really enjoy the sport, and getting a performance board at the very beginning is the opposite of the learning process.
The best way to start surfing as a beginner is to do it on a soft top foam board. All the surf schools have a wide variety of soft top boards for the beginners who are learning to surf.
WHY is the soft top foam-board best for the beginner surfer?
- It’s soft and won’t hurt you as bad as the fiberglass board could.
- A tall surfboard helps you to catch waves easy
- It’s thick in order to float well
- It’s round and safe
At the first stages of learning to surf – falling down and bailing the board is very common. Even if you have been snowboarding or skating before – standing up on a surfboard on a moving wave is completely different ball-game.
So – It is better to learn on a board that’s soft, not a fiberglass one that could hurt you or others around you.
Also, the traction pad at the top of the board is soft so you don’t get a rash when paddling on it. If you are not used to paddling on a waxed surfboard that’s got a superb grip – your chest will get a bad rash for sure.
It’s large and light
Starting to surf as a beginner, you want to get to know the basics real quick. The more time you spend on the board standing – the more “touch” you will get. And the long soft top foam board gives you the most credit.
Beginner: A surfer who is learning the basics of surfing on a long foam-board.
- Planning to surf occasionally; On the weekends or with friends every now and then.
- A surfer who likes to have fun on the weekend and does not want to rush into larger waves.
- Best board for a beginner is around: 7-10ft.
Advanced Beginner: Surfer who has been to the surf-school, already knows the basics and wants to progress fast.
- Feels confident enough to go surfing alone.
- Wants to progress fast to surf large and powerful waves.
Suitable for: Beginner, Advanced Beginner
Great beginners surfboard. It’s got all the features to advance you from being a beginner to a novice surfer. Gold Coast Soft Top Surfboards also have a 30-day return guarantee, that lets you return it (For a fee). You are most likely not going to need it to return it as this is a great board for small and weak waves if you are more advanced anyway.
Great for riders up to 170 lbs or 80 kgs
- EPS closed-cell foam core
- Rubber tail bumper for safe standup
- Croc skin textured IXPE foam
- Diamond weave slick HDPE bottom
- Tapered rails
- Beginner-friendly round nose and tail Rocker
- Rounded thruster nose & pulled in squash tail shapes for fun & stability
- Full-length double concave on bottom deck for added speed & fin performance
- Widened chest area for easier pop-ups
- Rubber die cut logo
- Plugs on the nose for GoPro FCS plug mount
- PVC Lined fin holes to prevent water entry
1 x Foam surfboard
3 x Rounded safe edge screw-in surfboard fins
5 x 2” Fin screws
1 x 2” Leash plug screw
1 x 7’ Surfboard Leash
2 x Full-Length wooden stringers
1 x 2/3’s Length fiberglass rod center stringer
2 x 6oz Full Coverage top-to-bottom layers of resin for durability
Suitable for: Beginner Surfer
A great soft top surfboard package deal that’s ideal for beginners learning to surf or any other surfer to enjoy small or weak waves. This package deal is all you need to have – to enjoy surfing as a beginner. It comes with a carry bag, all the essentials for surfing and even color pencils to customize your board.
- 8’8”x 23”x3.25”
- Great for a rider up to 230 lbs or 105 kgs
- Croc Skin textured IXPE foam
- Board Top Deck & diamond weave slick HDPE bottom deck
- High-Density EPS closed cell foam core
- 2+1 Stringer system
- Rubber tail bumper for safe standup storage
- Tapered rails
- Rounded Out Nose and pulled in squash tail shapes for extra stability
- Full-Length Double Concave on bottom deck for added speed & fin performance
- Traditional longboard surfboard influenced Shape
- Rubber die cut logo
- Plugs on the nose for GoPro FCS plug mount piece
- PVC Lined fin holes to prevent water entry
2 x Full-Length wooden stringers
1 x 2/3’s Length fiberglass rod center stringer
2 x 6oz Full coverage top-to-bottom layers of resin for extra durable & rigid surfboards
1 x Foam surfboard
3 x Rounded safe edge screw in surfboard fins
1 x Traction-pad
5 x 2” Fin screws
1 x 2” Leash plug screw
1 x 9’ Surfboard-leash
12 x Surfboard paint pens
1 x 9’ Surfboard bag
Wavestorm is another great surfboard for beginners who are looking to increase their wave count and advancing from beginner to novice surfer.
8’0” x 22 ½” x: 3 ¼”
Volume: 86 liters
Carry Weight: 11.5 lbs / 5.2 kgs
Great for a rider up to 200 Lbs / 90 kgs
- Strong expanded polystyrene core with 3 marine-ply stringers soft water barrier skin
- Crosslink top deck and rails textured traction pad for stable foot placement and
- High-Density slick bottom skin
- 8′ Classic surfboard with blue pinstripe graphics
- Removable ankle-leash
Suitable for: Beginner, Advanced Beginner
Funky looking soft-top funboard. Perfect for a beginner surfer learning to surf or intermediate surfer looking to have fun waves on the small surf. Wide enough, long enough and thick enough to consider this as the perfect advanced-beginners soft-top board.
7′ x 21″ x 3″
Made using recycled EPS foam.
Three fins, two wood stringers and two layers of 6oz fiberglass cloth above the foam for extra durability. Available in Orange, Green, Red, and Yellow – Yes, just like da rasta! Yaa-man Rock-it!
Suitable for: Advanced Beginner Surfer
This Fish Shape surfboard is great for a surfer who has already learned the basics and looking to up their game before getting a solid surfboard in near future.
6’4″x21-1/4″x2-3/4″ – (39L)
P2 Construction – EPS foam inside. Fiberglass lamination and Epoxy Resin. Rubber nose- and tail guards for protection. Multiple wood stringers inside the foam for strength. Slick bottom and non-slip top so you don’t need to use a wax. Generous rocker.
Best for Experienced Beginner Surfer
Great surfboard by Wave Bandit. There’s a model with a Steel Blue on the top and pink on the bottom and the other way around. This board has everything to be classified as a great surfboard for a beginner.
7’0 / 8’0 / 9’0
- Fun Egg shape
- Double Maple wood Stringers for extra strength
- EPS Core
- Requires wax for grip
Tips for beginner surfers
S T A Y C A L M
I recommend spending two minutes that it takes to read the following, in order to stay safe and catch more waves.
The first phases of learning to surf are always the hardest. Make sure you go through that step carefully as the ocean is not very forgiving. The main thing you should remember in your time in the sea – is to stay calm and relaxed. You can be a hardcore swimmer or a gym-junkie, in surfing, there are way different rules that are applied by nature. If you succeed to stay cool, you are all set!
Look up the spot you are about to surf. Seek out if there’s sharp reef under the breaking point or are there any big rocks to take cautious. There’s plenty of apps and websites that tell you all the information about the break. Should you get in at the low or high tide? Is the spot you are going to surf for advanced or for all levels of surfers. There’s a good reason for that.
GET IN at the right time and right place – Check up your local weather forecast and see if the waves will be breaking and on what heights. If you don’t see people surfing at a popular spot – there might be something going on. There might be sharks (sharks are cool) or strong undertows, heavy currents or rip-tides. If not the above – you are lucky enough to have the whole beach to yourself.
Tips for Surfing
Paddle at the right time – Generally with a beginners surfboard you don’t need more than 3-4 good paddles in order to get the speed to stand up. What many beginner surfers do wrong – is that they paddle too much before the right time. You should be at the spot before paddling, where you are just 3-4 second away from the breaking spot.
Keep your hands off the rails – Once you paddle for a wave and are about to stand up – try to keep your hands off the rails and feet off the water to create less drag. It is more power-wise to paddle for a wave with less drag than paddle for a wave with more drag and more power. Surfing is all about the smooth lining
That’s one common rule in water, that’s overlooked by so many. Never dive head first!
Learn how to turtle-dive instead of just jumping off the board. If you are already paddling for the unbroken waves and see a big wave approaching you – simply turn yourself over so you could stay under the board. If the wave is just about to break on you – jump down the board and try to hold the leash as close to the board as possible.
Avoid surfing all the way to the shore – Yes, the moments of bliss make you forget the time and space around you. The main key as a beginner surfer is to catch as many waves as possible to get better at it – but surfing too close to the shore can break your fins and even the board. So, be careful!
Arch your back – Not your neck. It
Stand in the middle of the board – in order to catch waves most efficiently.
Relax and stay Smooth If you paddle out, always stay half relaxed. If you are waiting for the set – Relax. If there’s a wave coming – start paddling. There’s no point of paddling with your whole strength, you have to be smooth rather than strong. Surfing is a low resistance sport, where will you be waiting about 50% of the time, paddling back about 45% of the time and surfing if lucky for about 5% at the most.
If you fall down the board – stay calm and protect your head and face. The more you struggle underwater – the less breath you’ll have. As you tension your muscles – the more oxygen leaves your body which leaves you breathless. It’s a very underrated fact for beginner surfers – that it’s easy to drown even if you think you are a good swimmer.
Always stay calm – Even if you find yourself in a situation or place on the ocean – that’s unfamiliar or making you anxious – stay calm. There’s always a way out even if the currents might circle you around. If you stay under the sets, don’t rush too much since the water will be full of air that will make it hard to surface for a breathe.
Look around – To see who else is surfing the waves. The basic etiquette – is to surf and let others surf.
Etiquette – Stay clear from the surf area when you are paddling towards the breaking point. Somebody might be catching a good wave and you might be on their way. It’s also reasonable to paddle from the sides of the break in order to save energy.
If you see people waiting in a clear line – wait for your turn at the end of the line. Always leave some space around you and others so that you could move freely when a large set is coming through.
Whoever is closer to the middle part of the surfable area of the incoming wave – has the right to surf it first.
Try To Not Lose Your Board – If you fall down the board and let go of it – the surfboard that’s rumbling through the breaking waves can hit somebody or yourself. Even worse – the leash can tangle up with someone else’s board. If you lose your board and trying to reach back at it by pulling the leash – be very careful when doing so and always try to protect your face. The water is never in a solid state so it’s very unpredictable to manifest your actions if there’s water in your eyes, you are short of breath and the surfboard that’s on a leash coming down from a wave.
Get the proper gear – surfing takes place in the water, where the temperatures and rules of physics are different than on the ground. Thankfully we live in 2018 where the technology and value have become handier to the consumers.
Which Surfboard’s Best For An Intermediate Surfer?
As an intermediate surfer looking for the best surfboard, you have a wide variety of boards and styles to choose from. You have most likely already gone through the soft top surfboard phase, but not yet confident getting a performance shortboard. The good news is – that if you are already planning to surf in the future as well – a board you are about to choose now can be used in all sorts of waves in the future as well.
The best Surfboard for an Intermediate surfer is also good for the advanced surfer in small to medium waves so it’s a great all rounder for sure.
Make sure to check out the surfing tips for intermediate surfers down below as well!
So, Which Is THE BEST Surfboard For An Intermediate Surfer?
An intermediate surfer is the one who has gone through the basic surfing lessons in surf school or by themselves with a large foam board. An Intermediate surfer knows how to paddle for a wave, stand up and even make turns. To advance yourself from beginner-intermediate to advanced intermediate: you will be able to catch waves easy, make turns and even finish off the wave. Down here I have listed some crucial factors on which are the best surfboards for intermediate surfers.
Intermediate surfers surfboard factors:
- Surfboard must be Longer Than You
- Thicker Than 2‘ 3/4
- Rounded, pointed, Wide Nose
The best choice would be a surfboard that helps you to catch waves easy, has an average turning radius and allows you to ride small, medium and large waves. What is a large wave? A large wave for an intermediate surfer is the one – he or she is scared to paddle for or has hesitations. The feeling of intimations by large waves is natural instinct what you should listen to. When there’s a huge swell, long and large waves – a larger board is good for super early take offs, but hard to dive under the large sets.
The Best Surfboards TYPES For An Intermediate Surfer
Mal, Fun, Hybrid or a Fish surfboard
Those boards have generally good cornering radius and allow you to paddle freely and take off early on a wave.
Mal for level beginner-intermediate surfer
Fun for level beginner-intermediate surfer
Hybrid – intermediate surfer
Fish – intermediate surfer
Which one of those to choose from? A Mal and Funboard are easy to paddle and perfect for those who are planning to surf maybe only once a week or once a month the whole time.
A Hybrid or a Fish surfboard is for somebody who’s keen to practice the sport to advance to riding larger waves in the future. Hybrid and Fish surfboards are best for intermediate surfer for a good reason: They are the most capable of doing tricks and sharp turns while having the laid-back characteristics.
What SIZE surfboard is best for the intermediate surfer and why?
6’2” – 7’4”
Has to be size right in the middle – not too large or not too small.
(In the board world, 5-6 ft is small and over 8 ft is generally long)
For example, a 6´0 surfer´s best surfboard choice for an intermediate skill is a board that allows you to make turns and rides good waves – should be around 6’2 to 7’4 long.
Also, check out the VOLUME CALCULATOR on the JS Website
Why not get a surfboard larger than 7’4” as an intermediate surfer? If you already learned to surf on a large board, you know how clumsy and bulky it rides when you want it to perform better – so there’s no need to get a board larger than 7’4. If you learned to surf on a surf school, and have NOT bought your very own surfboard just yet – a 7’0 surfboard would be a great idea, since you can always use it on small waves if you are getting better anyway.
Why shouldn’t an intermediate surfer not get a board shorter than 6’0″? We know that you want to learn fast to hit those good swells and sets, but if you are still coming from an amateur background – the shorter board will not make you a better surfer fast. A shortboard shorter than you (Expect the fish) is only good at very good conditions for very experienced surfers who know how to take off late. You also need a super good paddle strength and stamina to use a shortboard to its limits.
The best surfboard THICKNESS for an intermediate surfer
Volume in the range of 40-55 Litres
For Example, 6’0 tall, 80 kg surfer would be looking an intermediate surfboard around 2 3/4” Thick – to 6’0 tall weighing 95 kg 3” in thickness. There’s no silver bullet here, but it’s better to have a board that’s rather thick than too thin.
BEST SURFBOARDS FOR INTERMEDIATE SURFER
7S Super Fish
A hybrid between a shortboard and a fish surfboard. A great all-rounder, that conquers all sorts of waves. Enables to ride the most types of breaks, waves as a beginner-intermediate to intermediate-advanced levels of surfing. This model suits for both men and women as it is labeled as the unisex model.
- Comes in Sizes 6′ / 6’3″ / 6’6″ / 6’9″ / 7′
- Nose shape: Wide
- Tail: Tapered
- Construction: Innegra Matrix
- Rocker: 3-stage
- Fins set up: Thruster, Quad or Five-fin
The 7S Super fish is by far the best stepping stone for intermediate surfers offering a great turning radius, good stability and an awesome feel to it.
A tapered tail outline helps to maintain agile maneuverability. The swallowtail adds bite on the face of the wave, especially on those glassy conditions. The balanced rocker has just enough lift in the nose to prevent nose dives on steeper waves, and moderate curve off the tail keeps the board responsive when driving off your back foot. Plenty of volume in the middle area provides great paddle power so you can get into waves early, easy and smooth.
Great buy, a board that will stick around with you for tens of years if taken proper care of. Note that this is a plank board, without a leash or fins. As this board is rather long anyway – you don’t have to get a tail pad.
“The Mini Log” by JK Surfboards
A great all-rounder by JK Surfboards. It’s another great choice for intermediate surfer looking for the best surfboard that’s good for all sorts of waves and would be easy to paddle and watch waves. A great stepping stone for a beginner who wants to become advanced-intermediate surfer for sure.
- Size: 7’4″ / 43.3 Litres
- Material: Epoxy
- Fin set up: Thruster
Awesome board for someone who is not in a rush to advance for the shortboard. A board that’s best for an intermediate surfer who goes surfing once a week or few times a month as it is easy to paddle and stable to ride.
A round nose for smooth cruising session. Shallow rocker for small to medium waves. The round style of this board is characterized by the laid-back type of riding style it is designed for. Comes with future fins as well so don’t need an extra investment.
Great bang for the buck. It’s a board you can take it anywhere and score the waves. All you need is to get another 6ft long leash, some wax and you’re good to go.
NSP Elements Hybrid Fish
It is fast and fun and helps you to advance surfing real quickly. NSP is working hard to be innovative in the surf industry, and you will most likely get some extra performance factors with this board – that even me and you are not aware of.
- Available in Size 6’4″ – 39L / 6’6″ – 43L / 7’0 44.3L
- Material: Epoxy
- Fins set up: Thruster
- Includes: 3 x M7 Nylon Fins
Ready to rip in all conditions. Its got the wide chest area from longboard, overall shape inspired by shortboard and the fish-tail from a fish surfboard.
Flat-Rocker, Wide Nose to add volume under your chest for more paddle power, as well as provide easy entry into even the smallest waves with quick acceleration and drive. A slight hip under the location of the back foot to create a pivot point for snappy, sharper turns, while boxy and full rails also add to its volume and overall forgiving feel. The Elements Fish surfboard gives you traction, speed when riding down-the-line, and maximum drive through some of the flattest sections out there. Sounds like a deal-breaker to me!
Probably the most advanced technology board on the list, as it also comes with fins that are matched for the board. This board excels well in waves chest high and below. You could easily take it to a bigger surf – but need to be careful where to sit as this board is hard to dive. You have an option to get a tail pad – if this board stays “small” for you and you’d like it to rip. Also, they ship this board free of charge US Wide.
NSP Elements HDT Hybrid Fish
Another great product by NSP Elements. NSP, by the way, stands for New Surf Products. They are committed a bunch of cool people who are helping many people to spend quality time in and on the water.
- Available in Sizes: 6′, 6’4″, 6’8″, 7’2″
- Nose: Pointed
- Rocker: Flat
- Constructions: Element
- Fin set up: Thruster, Quad or Fife-fin
Best surfboard for an intermediate surfer who is an intense achiever and has got no time to fiddle around with large and slow boards fun. This board is a bit hard to start at the really beginning – but will guide you through the processing steps real quick.
This is the perfect board for intermediate surfer since it’s got all the features like a wide nose, flat rocker and modified tail side under the rear foot. Plenty of volume under the chest for paddle power, great shape for having the maximum fun on the waves. This board lets you have heaps of fun. The Elements HDT Fish gives you traction, down-the-line speed, and maximum drive through some of the flattest sections, while the five fin box system brings options to your ride to meet your preferred style or the day’s wave conditions.
The design of 2018. Looks cool, performs well and has plenty of features to be awarded as the best surfboard for an intermediate surfer.
NSP Elements Hybrid Shortboard
“Best Choice for experienced intermediate surfer”
- Size: 6’0″ (35L) / 6’2″ (40,5L) / 6’4″ (43,5L)
- Available in Blue and Green color
- Includes 3x 7M Nylon Fins
A shortboard size surfboard with a Wide Nose and a low rocker for easy wave watching. Lots of volumes fitted on a shortboard that’s great for all sorts of waves. Super maneuverable. Durable and lightweight due to the EPS Core, Fibreglass Cloth and Epoxy Resin.
Best choice for the active learner. It’s a must-have board to the surf enthusiast collection. Whether you are an advanced beginner learning to surf, an intermediate surfer advancing your skills or an expert surfer – this board has something for everyone. And it works on all sorts of waves!
NSP Elements Longboard
“The Best-Selling longboard in Amazon in 2018”
- Size: 8’6″ / 9,0′ / 9’6″ 10’0″ – 64.4L and above
- Includes fin/fins
- Durable Epoxy core and fiberglass cloth
8’6″ and 9’0″ longboard include a set of fins (CENTRE: 8″ Nylon center-fin SIDES M3 FCS Side-fins
9’6″ and 10’09” longboards include a 9″ Nylon Center Fin
Perfect for the keen surfer who wants to surf all kinds of waves. This longboard helps you to ride those small waves and practice then nose-riding technique, where once all the surfing once started out. Awesome board at a reasonable price.
THURSO SURF Lancer Fish
Great Entry-Level Fish Surfboard
- Size: 5’10” x 20.08″ x 2.76″ (33.6L)
- Includes fins and leg-rope
- Non-Slip Deck Grip
A Twin-fin fishtail with a wide and round nose. This package includes everything so it’s ready to surf once it arrives!
Check out Thurso Fish Soft-Top on AMAZON
Awesome fish-style surfboard for an intermediate surfer who is in the phase of trying new and different boards. This is a very cheap entry-level fish surfboard to test out if you like riding the fish or not. Great for fun and weak to medium waves. Suitable for a surfer up to 200lbs. Perfect for beginners to learn surfing on as well.
TIPS FOR INTERMEDIATE SURFER:
If you have already chosen THE board to suit your needs and can’t wait to jump in and paddle for the waves – I recommend reading through this column as well to maximize your time and effort! As an intermediate surfer – where there’s the most to learn, you will also have to learn about other factors rather than focusing only on the surfing techniques.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SURFBOARD – Handling your surfboard is crucially important maintaining its health and the keeping it watertight. If you have dinged your board somewhere – it will most likely have a crack in it. Make sure to stack the board somewhere where it wouldn’t fall and transport it without hitting anything. A board that’s got a minor crack in it – will let the water in, and the salt water will spread inside your surfboard – making it rot inside. The more water gets in the board over time – the weaker the material will get, and SLOWER as well. Sh1t! If you have dinged your board slightly – get it fixed. Sometimes you need to wait for a day or two to let it dry out.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SURFBOARD OUT ON THE SUN
The UV rays are bad for your skin, your board, and your wetsuit. So make sure to protect your skin, store or dry your surfboard and wetsuit in a shaded area.
Use a comb and wax to maintain its sticky surface. Want to read more about waxing?
Learn these tips to maximize your time in the water.
STAY SMOOTH, NOT LOOSE
– Remember that you have to stay smooth the whole time in the sea, but don’t get to sludge. Always protect your head when you dive in the water as there are still surfers around. Also getting out of the water, usually with your eyes closed – take cautious because there can be somebody surfing over you or your board can be in the very short distance. I’ve personally hit myself with the board when pulling it back from the leash even years after surfing. Know how to be power wise – never get too tense when surfing, always be relaxed to save more breathe and juice in your muscles.
RE-LEARN TO DUCK DIVE
– If you already have a good surfboard and want to become an advanced surfer – duck diving with a larger board than a shortboard is an ideal way to master duck-diving. Generally, intermediate surfer surfboards are larger than the performance of high-quality shortboards, so they need a more push to get them underwater. A great way to do is to step on the tail-pad with your one foot and use your other foot to push it down before diving. This helps you to force the surfboard down to deeper water. Try not to jump off the board, cause letting go of your board creates trouble for others. Only jump off the wave when you are really screwed and find yourself few meters in front of the breaking wave.
JUMPING OFF A WAVE
I know it feels and seems like a tempting thing to do – but it is not recommended for intermediate surfers for a good reason. It can hit you from behind and knock you unconscious! Unless you are a red bull cliff diver and know how to professionally jump into the water with flips, then yeah you can do it for a show, but as an intermediate surfer – it can end badly. The worst case scenario – as the wave is about to end and you are thinking about jumping over it to get back to the lineup – know that the board could easily you’re your head or dive in the water with you. Stretching your leash also shortens its lifespan.
LEARN HOW TO PADDLE EFFICIENTLY – legs together, arc your back not only your neck, keep your fingers together when paddling, keep your hands off the rails to maximize the glide when about to stand up. Also when there’s only a weak push from the take-off- you could force the board down with your hands by a bit before standing up – that gives the board the extra push down the wave. You could even do a double handed paddle for last, to get the most speed as possible.
The biggest hazard in surfing is probably not the water – but the surfer himself. So make sure you keep an eye out for safety all the time. If you see somebody already surfing the wave you are paddling for- STOP and turn around. Whoever is closer to the breaking point gets to surf the wave. Also, don’t paddle in from the surfable or breaking area. It is not only super hard and energy-wasting thing to do, but it also stops others from having fun to maneuver around you.
LEARN HOW TO READ THE FORECAST
As an intermediate surfer with your new surfboard – you should also learn more about the forecast and check out when, where and at which tide to surf. Oftentimes the best time for surfing is right before the sunrise since there’s little or no wind and it is offshore
Check out my article about surf websites, where you could find useful sources for the forecast as well.
KNOW HOW TO USE THE RIP: Rip Current is a spot on the beach where all the water that has been breaking towards the shore – flows back to the ocean. Rips are useful when you want to go to the break-line easy since the waves are not breaking in the rip. Although rips are a major safety hazard for the simmers, make sure to swim sideways once you happen to get trapped in there.
Which Is The Best Surfboard For An Advanced Surfer?
This guide here is made for the surfer who takes no exceptions in performance. As an expert surfer, you are confident riding all kinds of surfable waves out there. Having the board to match your skills, style, needs and the types of waves is the key that opens new doors for experienced surfers. Having the right surfboard to accomplish that is crucial. There’s always room to advance your riding style, and the right board could create a new style and a whole new approach.
Luckily, it is 2018 and the selection of performance surfboards is wide. As an expert or advanced surfer, you have the knowledge of your personal preferences marked down. Hopefully, this guide will give you a brief overview if you’d like to extend your arsenal.
Who is an expert or advanced surfer anyway?
An expert surfer is a surfer who has advanced the skill of surfing through time and experience. Experienced surfers know how to read the forecast, are physically fit and have the knowledge where and when to paddle for the right wave. In one word – they are extremely efficient, squeezing out all the fun that’s out there. Whether there would be knee-high or well overhead waves strolling – an experienced surfer knows where’s the best place to be. Another advance an experienced surfer has – is the experience of different gear. Advanced surfers have tried wetsuits and boards, that are good, and others that not so much. They know their niché.
Why experienced surfers mainly ride performance shortboards?
Well, It’s not that they only ride the shortboards. Advanced surfers are capable of riding all sorts of boards. Whether it would be a longboard, fish, mal or a shortboard – it’s all the personal preferences they have chosen. But It is the shortboard – that allows you to ride well in the high-quality surf.
Shortboards are obviously the best tools to have fun in the environment. Performance shortboard allows an expert surfer to barrel, make all sorts maneuvers, duck-dive freely when the pounding gets rough and the list goes on. The perfect shortboard is like a tailored suit, measured and fitter for perfection.
Reasons to get a Surfboard online
So why to get a board online, when you could support your local community store? Well, as your neighbor might be dreaming of getting a new flashy Husqvarna lawnmower, but you have your eyes set on the new chilli rare bird surfboard, that’s not on your local store. Read more about the reasons to get a surfboard online down below.
Prices are generally lower. And usually, free shipping includes on deals in the price range where the pro-boards lie. As the whole marketing world is already slowly “stepping inside” to the web anyway, purchasing a board online is going to be the future tune anyway – so might as well give it a try.
Before starting this sentence, I can already imagine those lucky people reading this article from far away secluded locations, where there are no people on line-ups and the waves are unheard of like nowhere else.
So yeah, A good reason to get a surfboard online is the location and the absence of the surf-stores in near-by areas. If you already live miles away from civilization, it’s not very likely you have a surf-store with a great variety of surfboards to offer.
The Selection online is endless, as most of the boards (except your local shaper boards) are online. You could also do a lot of research about a certain board. But I get it, with the board – it is mainly good to get “the touch” with the board first-hand. But never know, It is always good to wait for something to arrive from Amazon, isn’t it?
What size surfboard do I need?
Check out our article about the surfboard volume best .
Performance Shortboards for Advanced to Expert Surfers 2018
So, here’s a brief selection of performance surfboards available on Amazon
CHILLI – Rare Bird 50/50
CHILLI – Rare Bird
Fin Set-Up: 5-plug, Futures fin-boxes, FCSII
Single concave from the front foot back to a double concave and a slight vee out through the back fin for an easy transition. This board is inspired by Mitch Coleborn’s favorite model Toucan, that’s suitable from knee-high to head-high barrels
Built using the latest EPS/Epoxy materials, that combines a lightweight EPS core with High-Grade Fibreglass Cloth Carbon Fibre Frame and EpoxyCarbon Fibre Frame a parabolic carbon frame on the deck. Linear carbon stringers on the bottom are designed to provide a controlled flex pattern. The familiar flex of the liner carbon stringers allows the rider to generate speed while the parabolic frame on the deck controls twisting through the front two-thirds of the surfboard. With a highly responsive feel, this layup allows the surfer to generate speed and drive with ease.
Untitled by Hayden Shapes
Available Sizes: 5’7″, 5’9″, 5’11”, 6’1″, 6’3″, 6’5″
Fin Set-Up: Thruster
Built for speed, versatility, and fun. This slightly fuller plane-shaped, winged swallowtail carries a deep single concave to V to get you up to top speed in even the mushiest conditions. Leaning on the higher tail rocker throughout your turns lets you turn with confidence in a very reactive and tight arc. Higher concave is designed to increase lift in weaker conditions and allows the board to track and plane on the center part of the rail line. The entry rocker is nice and flat to again allow this board to generate speed in average conditions, along with enhancing the paddle power. The center of the rocker has a medium amount of curve to help transition into the higher tail concave. It has a lot of paddle power, great acceleration and top end speed – everything you need from a performance all-rounder.
Simon Anderson – Spudster XF
Spudster XF by Simon Anderson
Size: 6.0 (36L)
Fin Set-up: Five-fin (Not Included), FCSII fin-boxes
Material: EPS Epoxy
Vee-tail, medium volume rails, low rocker, wider and fuller nose, a deep single to double concave. All this to make this board work on 1-3ft waves and upwards. It is best for slow and fat waves. Great paddle power. This board, hence the name XF features a Vector Flex that has been engineered to maintain stiffness through the center while increasing flex through the nose and tail utilizing a combination of netting and fiberglass that has been designed to withstand high-velocity impact. All the previous resulting in a natural flex pattern and connection to the wave face that is lacking in other EPS/Epoxy surfboards. Interesting
JK – Da Grom
Da Grom by JK Surfboards
Available in sizes: 5’2″ / 5’4″ / 5’6″ / 5’10”
Fin Set-Up: Thruster. Includes 3 Futures Fins
As the name and the variety of sizes betrays – Da Grom is for da young rippers. This board has a single to double concave bottom – a must for a performance shortboard. JK Surfboards are designed in Manhattan Beach, California. Awesome choice for the determined young surfer who is reaching out to top their game in surfing. This is a great deal and a fair price as it comes with three futures fins as well.
JK – The Retro Fish Groveler
Size: 6’2″ (47 Litres) 6’4″ (50 Litres)
Fin Set-Up: Quad
Available in Yellow (6’2“ and Red 6’4″)
US EPS Poly Foam blanks, resin tint gloss finish. This Groveler fish-tail surfboard is an ideal for waves that need a board with more volume. It’s an updated version of the classic retro fish in a new shape. This board helps you to survive the mushy summer waves. Both models are 3″ thick and 22 – 22 1/2 wide.
Check out the JK Retro Fish on AMAZON
Gold Coast – Razzo
Razzo by Gold Coast Surfboards
Size: 6′ (35.5L)
Not really something you would see an expert surfer picking from the surf-store rack, but this is a great deal for someone – who needs a cheap soft-top surfboard deal that includes fins and a leash. Gold Coast Surfboards specializes in soft top surfboards, that are great for beginner surfers experimenting surfing. This model is their most top-of-the-range shortboard.
NSP Hybrid Elements
Hybrid Elements by NSP Surfboards
Available Sizes: 6’0″ 35L 6’2″ 40,5L 6’4″ 43.5L
Fin Set-Up: FCS (Includes 3 x M7 Nylon Fins)
Low rocker, wide nose, and a pulled in tail for easy paddling. The hybrid elements maintain good speed and have very easy maneuverability. Great all-rounder for the advanced surfer in not as ideal conditions. The flatter rocker and wider width help you to catch mushy, high-tide waves and maintain speed to keep you going through the slower sections. Holds a bite for maneuvering through steeper waves.
NSP Elements Longboard
Size: 8’6″ (64L)
Also Available in 9’0 / 9’6 / 10’0
Colour: Navy Blue
Fin Set-Up (Thruster, Single)
8’6″ and 9’0″ Long Longboards include a pair of M3 Side fins and an 8″ Centre fin.
9’6″ and 10’0″ Long longboards include a 9″ Single fin only.
Made out of EPC Core, Epoxy Resin, Fibreglass Cloth. A Perfect surfboard for an experienced surfer who wants to test out his skills on riding a longboard. An awesome solid and nice looking longboard that comes in at a reasonable price.
Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto V Futureflex
Hypto Krypto by Haydenshapes
Available Sizes: 5’4″ / 5’8″ / 5’10” / 6’0″ / 6’6″
Five-fin set-up (Fins not included)
Rounded Pin-Tail, Mild-Entry Rocker profile. FutureFlex construction means that its EPS core, laminated with biax-fiberglass, epoxy resin, and parabolic carbon fiber frame. Good one-board-quiver. Easy paddling due to the wide area which makes it a great all-rounder. Creates plenty of speed, and the pin-tail makes it fun for quick turns. Good for foot-high to overhead waves, just be brave enough to use this board all the way.
LIB Tech Vert Logo
Tech Vert Logo by LIB
Available Sizes: 5’10” / 6’0″ / 6’2 / 6’4 / 6’6
Thruster Fin Set-up
This energetic shortboard features a squared thumb tail, high-performance sharp nose, and an increased rocker. Made out of a 100% closed cell foam that won’t rot or absorb water. Lib Tech Boards are extremely hard to ding. Includes fins!
Read more about the Tech Vert from surfboards.com
There you go – I hope you found that guide useful and got the idea when choosing the right surfboard.