What Board Should I Surf?
So, maybe by now you’ve had time to build your quiver up to an impressive assortment of boards. All you have to do is know when you can pull each one out and maximize it’s potential and expand your surfing horizon. First of all, let’s take a quick look at that quiver you’ve built. (fairy tale quiver):
Variety is the spice of life, try as many boards as you can.
Keep in mind, many of these can be surfed in a large variety of conditions. It is really up to you, your style or what “feel” you like when surfing on any given day to decide. However, we can break down each board to what conditions they thrive in and show you how your well-rounded quiver gives you more options than you think. So what board should you surf?
The Quantum Quad Fish
, is a board you want to take out if you feel fishy, but want a little more performance and maneuverability. With a quad style fish like this, your rails are usually a little thinner and the bottom contours are more high performance orientated. The quad fin set-up gives you that speed and drive you love, but with more control and maneuverability than the twin keel set up. Anything from knee high to over head is fair game with a board like this. This is a board that can dangerously become your go-to.
, and similar boards fit somewhere between a fish and a mini smmons style of board. You can find these boards coming as either a twin keel or quad fin setup. The wide, blunt nose and extra wide tail gives this board plenty of surface area under foot, adding to it’s ability to paddle in early and carry speed through slower sections. But due to the low rocker and a blunt nose, they are not the best in hollow waves as they can tend to pearl (nose dive) when coming out of turns if you are not careful. On a nice wall though, with a good slope to it these boards are insane. Anything from two foot to overhead on a wave like that and this board is unstoppable, allowing you to clear sections you would normally get outrun by, and carve hard and fast across the face. The quad setup gives you a little extra control when you want to push your turns a little harder.
The Disc, another board great for those medium sized days. A board like this has that nice full nose and round tail, giving you the ability to paddle into waves like a longboard, but with a little more maneuverability. Usually set up as a single fin, or commonly found as a 2+1, these boards demand more glide and flow to your surfing. You surf more with he wave instead of on the wave. Again, you can’t count this board out for smaller or larger days. Depending on the size of the board, they can fit into the mid-length category, or shorter stubby style category. Use either in waves anywhere from one foot or up to overhead for the right surfer. Super fun, more traditional feel to surfing where you become more one with the wave.
MF Sweet Spot 2.0, although similar to your standard shortboard, make for a great option if you are going to travel or surf new spots a lot. Most of the same attribute as your standard shortboard, but usually in a rounded or rounded-pin tail. This alone widens the versatility of the waves you can surf, while only slightly hindering the high performance snappy turns that a squash gives you. Beyond that small feature, you’ll love this style of shortboard as it’ll work in just about everything. They handles bigger size better while still floating you through smaller or flatter sections. They gives your more of a carving feel in your turns instead of snappy, and they love the barrel.
The Step Up, suitably named for the style of board it is, which is a step-up. A must have in the quiver of surfers getting into advanced levels and higher, they are used for those days where your standard shortboard is not enough to handle the size. A little longer, a touch thicker, wide point kept n the center and usually more volume equally displaced all around for paddling. They generally have medium to full rails for stability, and will feature a single to double concave for speed and control. Whether your local turns on or you are going on a trip to Indo, make sure to leave room for your step up.
The Lil Buddy, and similar hybrid boards are designed for those smaller days when you still want to rip around on a shortboard. Usually incorporating elements of a fish and a shortboard, giving you that wider nose and tail area, with more volume through the center, but with higher performance rails and bottom contours. This allows you to get into smaller waves earlier, yet still be able to shred like you would on your normal shortboard. Built for knee high to head high waves, these boards are versatile in the size and conditions you may encounter, but once again, don’t be afraid to take one out when it is a little bigger. They handle size surprising well once you get use to the low rocker and wider nose when coming out of turns.
The SUPER Head Shifter, and similar boards are starting to move into the realm of your standard shortboard. A more refined outline, pulled in versatile tail, high performance bottom contours and usually a medium low rail. These boards are the standard for a reason, they really do work in just about everything with the exception of really small or really big. You can surf these boards anywhere in the world and in waves ranging form knee high to a couple of feet over head, clean or junky conditions. A board that is a must in everyones quiver as they are so reliable and can be taken anywhere with you.
The Bliss Fish, a fun little twin keel fish is prefect for summer days when warm water and wind swell waves are a plenty. This style of board paddles extremely well for their size and are super fast and surprising nimble. Perfect for those small to medium size days and in either mushy or steep faced waves. Don’t count them out though when it is head high+ and barreling, they are fast and the fish tail (twin pin tails) and short size will hold you in a tight pocket in the waves face nicely. A fish surfboard is a board that everyone should have in the quiver. It’ll open up new lines in your surfing which translate well to when you hop back on your shorty.
The Tube Shooter, is a step-up style of board for those who love that old school single fin feel. In a board like this you will generally find the wide point forward a bit to help with paddling, and it’ll keep a nice pulled in pin tail to hold you tight in the face when in the barrel. More of a board designed to get you in to a wave and get you barrel, they are not the most maneuverable craft. They allow you to hold a nice line in steep waves and are an absolute blast on waves that don’t give you a chance for many turns anyways. Take this board out in hollow waves anywhere from head high+.
The Hot Doggin Loggin, or other Logs similar to this board, are going to love a softer, rolling wave. “Logs” as they are often referred to, have a low rocker and a long rail line that allow you to get softer, rolling waves earlier. The momentum generated from the length and weight of a board like this carries you through flat sections with ease. However, It doesn’t always have to be small and glassy for you to pull this board out of the racks though…under experienced feet, these boards can handle waves up-to head high or slightly bigger. Even waves with a little more vertical face to them can be a blast on a board like this.
So there you have it, one of the many dream quivers any of us can own. Please note though, this is not a “set in stone” description of these boards or the waves they are suited for. Your surfing style, creativity, and ability all come into play when surfing any type of board with any type of construction and in any type of condition. We’ve seen longboards in the barrel and standard shortboards in small sloppy waves. It’s surfing after-all, there are no rules. Try it all but remember to stay within your limits.
Make sure you check out the Board Engine
and play around with your preferred wave type and board type to find some more surfboard recommendations for your next trip. Alternatively, you can learn more in our article, What Size Surfboard Should I Buy?