Learn to Surf Basics Types of surfboards

Surfboards: The most essential piece of surfing equipment

There are endless different types of surfboards used for different types of waves, styles of riding and personal preference. Here are some of the types of surfboard you might come across and will be riding when your surfing ability progresses from surfing novice to shredding the gnar.

What surfboard types are out there?

Beginner Surfboards

The trusty soft-top also known as a foamie. These surfboards are perfect for first time surfers and those who have only just started surfing. Often in sizes of 7, 8 or 9 feet, they offer plenty of stability, are safe, easy to stand up on and catch plenty of waves.

We use foamie surfboards in all our surf lessons across our surf camps. Their soft foam construction means these surfboards are incredibly buoyant, enabling beginner surfers to catch waves easily. Their dimensions ensure that they are very stable in the water, making it much easier for surf beginners to stand up.

Soft top surfboards also make for ideal beginner surfboards because they are less likely to cause injury should you fall off one. You’re also less likely to hurt a fellow surfers around you. They are super fun to surf and come in all the colours of the rainbow!

Intermediate Surfboards

Once you advance from a soft-top surfboards, there are a range of surfboards suitable for intermediates such as fishes, mini-mals and funboards. These all offer a more responsive surfboard than a soft-top, but still have a good amount of foam to help with paddling and catching waves.

When choosing your first surfboard, it is very important that you go for something that is stable enough and long enough that gives you time to get to your feet and figure out the motion of surfing.

The one rule in picking the right size surfboard when you are hoping to progress quickly is not to go too small. It is tempting to go for a short and light surfboard as soon as you can turn on a wave. But trust us, if you buy a surfboard that’s too small, you’ll get frustrated sooner or later and won’t progress to a level you would on a bigger surfboard.

Advanced Surfboards

If you reach the level of surfing where you want to shred the wave and take your surfing a little more seriously, then you’re going to need to get yourself a shortboard.

These type of advanced surfboards are a lot smaller and thinner than most surfboards giving you much more speed, power and control. However they are also a lot more difficult to master.

When should you get a shortboard? If you can catch waves and pop up without a problem and you’re getting turning down pretty well, you could look to take out the middle fin of your mini-mal to make the tail a little looser and the surfboard a little faster and easier to turn. If you can master that, you’re probably ready to go shortboard. 

What will I be able to do with my shortboard? Shortboards are easier to manoeuvre and will allow you to duck dive under waves. It should also make getting out into the line-up a bit easier.

Something Special

There are vast variations in surfboard design and some boards are very unique. Many people have different surfboards to provide a different type of surfing. Some surfboards are designed for high speed and straight lines, others designed for flow, style and fluidity.

Many people collect surfboards including Joe, founder and veteran surf instructor here at Star Surf Camps. Be sure to ask him about his collection when you next see him in the surf camps, he loves talking about it. Check out his Insta here.

Did you know?

The most expensive surfboard ever sold at auction was a 7’1 Malibu with the original “Baywatch” logo on the bottom. It was custom made for the hit television series which even Kelly Slater featured in! The surfboard sold for a staggering $1,000,000 —insane!

But enough of the trivia knowledge. If you want to learn more about surfing and your surfboard

👉 Why not check out our blog on the different parts of your surfboard

👉 Or take a look at our blog on the different types of fins setups here!