What are the different parts of my surfboard?

And how do they affect my surfing?

Now, a surfboard isn’t quite as basic as ‘just a surfboard’. There are different parts to a surfboard all of which serve a distinct purpose when it comes to your surfing. We will break them down for you below so that you’re a little bit more in the know!

Surfboard Parts Explained


The area at the tip of the surfboard. The nose shape depends on the type of surfboard. High performance surfboards, such as shortboard for example, usually have a pointed nose. Less high performance surfboard generally have a more rounded nose providing more volume, paddling power and stability.


The outline or edges of the surfboard are known as the rails. The curve and thickness of the rails is extremely important to how the surfboard responds when in the water. Sharp rails are unforgiving and designed for experienced riders, nice big, soft, round rails are more forgiving and better suited to beginners.


This is the top part of the surfboard on which you stand. Wax is usually applied to help your feet grip. A traction pad can also be applied on the tail of the surfboard and even the deck for more grip.


This is the end of your surfboard, the rear tip. Similar to the rails the shape of the tail greatly effects the surfboard’s performance. There are many variations in tail shape such as squash (flat), pin (pointed), swallow (W-shaped) and rounded pin (round point). Wide tails provide more stability and control, however this compromises the surfboard manoeuvrability.


This is the underside of your surfboard and by far the most important part. Depending on how much water flows under it and how much friction there is between the surfboard and the water can make a world of difference on how the surfboard goes on a wave. Some surfboards have lots of curve in them from the tail to the nose also known as rocker, they can also have concaves and channels. This all effects how the water flows under the surfboard and through the fins, dictating how the board feels for the surfer riding it.


Located on the underside of the board on the tail. The fins give you drive and direction, without fins your board would spin on the waves face. Surfboards can have between one and five fins, although the most popular setup is currently three fins, also known as the “Thruster”.

How to look after your surfboard?

Here are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your surfboard:

— Keep your surfboard in a board sock, surfboard bag or other type of protective cover when not in use.

— Don’t leave your surfboard in direct sunlight or a hot car. This will melt your wax and, more importantly, damage the foam and glass.

— Make sure you repair all damages/dings straight away or next time you hit the water, your surfboard will waterlog.

— Always clean and redo your wax job every few weeks (if you surf regularly). Last thing you want is a nasty, sandy wax job.

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