Surfboard Size Chart & Guide
Surfboard Size Chart & Guide
Buying a new surfboard is a big investment. Not only are surfboards expensive, but buying the wrong one without using a surfboard size chart or a surfboard size guide can lead to a bad experience out on the waves. One general rule of thumb is, the longer and thicker the board, the easier it is to stand up and paddle. That means, one of the first things you need to do before you start shopping is to honestly access your skill level.
How Good Are You?
Pro surfers make surfing look easy on surfboards that are short and skinny but the fact is, a beginner should have no business trying to ride one. They are extremely unstable and hard to stand up on. You may think you look cooler as you stroll down the beach with a shortboard under your arm but you will not look cool as you try to catch a wave and constantly fail. In reality, your ability to maneuver on a wave is what makes you look cool. It’s imperative that you use a surfboard size guide to help you reach the goal of riding a wave and making some turns.
One thing to keep in mind is that every surfboard size chart is just a general guideline to point you in the right direction. All of our bodies are different when it comes to the ratios of our height and weight and the same can be said for a surfboard. They come in several different sizes, shapes, heights, widths, and thicknesses. While a surfboard size guide is a good place to start, it is best to head to a surf shop and ask an expert what is best for you.
Another huge factor when buying a surfboard is the volume of the board which will determine the buoyancy of the board. It is calculated by a simple formula using 3 dimensions of the board (length x width x thickness). The thickness can also be referred to as the ‘height’ of the board. It is easy to mistake the height and length of the board because we often tend to measure a board by standing next to it, using the height of our bodies as a guideline.
As you look below you’ll see that we have put together a quick surfboard size chart that shows the general height differences of the seven main types of surfboard shapes that are on the market today. As you scroll even further down, you’ll see our surfboard size guide which takes into account your weight as you search for a board that has an ideal height.
Types of Boards
For beginners, a few things to keep in mind when looking at the styles of surfboards on our surfboard size chart are that longboards are probably the easiest to ride and paddle. But they are heavy, bulky, and hard to fit into a vehicle.
A Mini Mal is considered a smaller type of longboard. It is often made of foam which makes it more forgiving and comfortable. A true foam board is shorter than a Mini Mal and is around the same size as a shortboard. It offers a much wider profile, more thickness, and a rounded nose. This makes a good option for a beginner who is transitioning to the intermediate stage.
A funboard is along those same lines but will feature a pointed nose and is not as wide on the bottom which makes it more maneuverable than a foam board. This is a great transitional board as you work your way up to a shortboard. Most pro surfers use shortboards made of fiberglass. They are skinnier and pointier which allows for quick, snappy turns. Shortboards are considered for experts only.
Finally, guns are for the bravest of expert surfers who need the maneuverability of a shortboard and the length of a longboard so they can paddle into waves 20 to 40 feet tall. It’s safe to say that someone who is shopping for a gun or a shortboard will probably not need to use your handy surfboard size chart and guide below.