I don't know about you, but every time I paddle out, it seems that groms are owning the lineup, showing off their skills as they air off the lip like it's just another day on the playground. Groms these days are insanely talented, and a high-quality grom surfboard is the only way to promote these internal talents when in the water.
Grom Surfboards are a perfect way for smaller surfers to get a performance board under their feet to help increase their surfing abilities and really rip in some decent waves. But between constantly changing surfboard technology and kids that never stop growing, it can be a little tricky to nail down the right one.
If your little shredder is ready to take their surfing to the next level, then we're here to help you navigate the world of grom boards with mellow ease.
A grommet, or 'grom' for short, is a word to describe the youngins' in the lineup- the surfers generally under the age of 16 who are enjoying the very beginnings of their surfing journeys. A grom surfboard is then, of course, a surfboard shaped to match the small size and stature of this group of stoked-out surfers so that they too can perform progressive maneuvers on a wave.
From tiny munchkins to tall and lanky adolescents, just as we adults must choose surfboard dimensions best for our specific weight, height, and surfing ability, so must the groms.
But what sets us adults and our board choice apart from groms is that, comparatively, younger kids quite frankly have an easier time progressing their surfing abilities and that their size is constantly evolving. With this, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a grom surfboard for your kiddo.
Let's start with how fast kids grow.
Mainly a kid's height, but also their weight, can change immensely from year to year. Because of this, it is advised to choose a grom surfboard that is slightly larger than their current body size so that they can learn with the board as they grow into it.
This promotes the longevity of the surfboard purchase and makes it so that they can spend time understanding the personalities of a particular board, thus learning the beginnings of what they do and don't like in terms of surfboard design.
When it comes to the width, grom surfboards generally measure about 19-20" in. The key with width is making sure a surfboard is small enough so that the groms can reach their arms around the deck of the board to paddle.
Length is where you really need to plan ahead. We advise a grom surfboard to measure anywhere from 1-2'ft longer than the height of the grom. This additional length pumps up the volume a bit to help with easy paddling, but more importantly, makes it so that the surfboard can keep up with their growth spurts.
The younger the kid, the more they will grow, so look for a grom board 2'ft longer than their height for the pre-teens/early teens, and for those closing in on adulthood (or at least their driver's license), 1'ft longer will give them just a little extra room to finish growing into.
Although talented surfers, groms have yet to develop their muscles fully, so a little extra volume is always beneficial to help them paddle past the impact zone and into waves with ease.
Groms don't know what kind of shapes they do or don't like, and learning how different shapes perform in the water is an integrated aspect of learning how to surf.
Because of this, you don't have to spend too much time worrying about fancy tail designs or weird contours that aim to promote performance. Instead, sometimes it's best to keep it classic and simple!
Unless your grom is truly a prodigy, they probably won't surf massive waves, and will instead spend their time on fun, playful waves as they master the art of surfing. With this, a tail shape that is easy to control, turn, and paddle, all while promoting drive down the line, is best.
The best conditions for grom boards are often the adult version of waist to shoulder high. So unless your grom is an absolute charger, we can skip the pintail. Instead, your best option lies with a square tail, a squash tail, or for the advanced groms, a swallow tail. Grom surfboards don't need an overly aggressive rocker, and a standard single to double concave will do just fine.
Grom surfboards generally describe kid-sized shortboards, but that doesn't mean a funshape or a longboard is out of the picture.
Although shortboards are shaped more precisely to a kid's liking, there are still plenty of available options in funshapes and longboards to help your grom get the hang of surfing before advancing into a smaller board.
Do note that, because of the increased length, these surfboards will cater more to helping a kid achieve the basics of surfing, such as their pop up and balance, and less to advanced surfing.
Your grom can learn these basics on your funshape or longboard, but if the width is larger than their arms reach, they won't be able to paddle and control the board on their own, so this is best for those beginning days of being pushed into waves.
A grom longboard must be shaped with their smaller body size in mind for a young surfer who knows what they're doing and wants to spend some time on the nose. A balance of a small enough width to paddle (again, usually 19-20" in), and a length that allows for noserides and classic longboard surfing, must be achieved.
We suggest utilizing our Board Engine to determine the perfect surfboard dimensions, and keep in mind that a simple foamy is often the best choice in grom longboard. They are safe, non-intimidating, buoyant, and affordable; the perfect way to help establish a baseline understanding of surfing before advancing into a grom shortboard.
The best grom surfboards maintain a balance of high-performance while also catering to the needs of smaller, less powerful surfers.
A combination of their skill level, the size and power of the waves they ride, and their age/size must all be met to make for the perfect grom board.
But with a number of brands like Pyzel Surfboards, DHD Surfboards, Timmy Patterson Surfboards, Haydenshapes, and SUPERBrands making grom boards, there's no reason why smaller surfers can't find a perfect performance board to suit their abilities.
Pyzel's Grom range includes the Pyzel Super Grom and the Indie Grom. JS Industries has put out a junior version of the popular Monsta Box board called the Monsta Box Youth, available on Boardcave.com. Haydenshapes Surfboards are also Grom-Friendly with their Shred Sled Grom and Peanut Grom; both great options.
And finally, the SUPERBrand team has put out several smaller guy surfboards with their SuperVapors Grom and The Toy X Jr, all available to customize and buy online.
For your range of Custom Grom Surfboards, ensure you check out the Board Engine today to get the perfect fit for your surfing ability and size and enjoy the best grom surfboards shipped right to your door, ready to rip.
If surfing is your kid's passion, then a grom surfboard is genuinely the best investment that can be made.
Grom surfboards bring modern surfboard technology into the hands of the youth, allowing them to master surfing at extremely young ages so that the progression of surfing is never haltered. Some of the insane off the lip airs and wild turns you see today result from professionals honing in on these abilities before reaching the double digits and thanks to the performance benefits of a grom shortboard.
If you're working on determining if surfing is something that your kid wants to do, starting out on a foamy is the right way to go about it.
But once they dial down the basics and figure out that surfing is something they want to continue pursuing, then a grom surfboard is the key to unlocking their fullest wave-riding potential.