Surfboard Styles


Also known as a ‘Thruster’, the shortboard is the most common style when it comes to contest surfing and shredding the waves. This board is designed for the more advanced surfers, sacrificing paddling ease in favour of control, power and speed, allowing for an intense ride on the waves with an excellent capability for tricks and stunts. These boards usually measure between 5’6” and 6’4” long and 16” to 19” wide.


The longboard is (surprise, surprise) longer, usually measuring over 8’ or 9’ long with a well-rounded nose to it. Because of this, these boards are far more stable and much easier to paddle. In fact, these are great boards to learn on, though that doesn’t mean you can’t perform some impressive manoeuvres, hang fives, tens, cross-stepping and drop-knee turns are all possible on a longboard.


The name “gun” comes from the whopping elephant gun; this surfboard is the weapon you use to hunt down the greatest of surf. It’s narrow, long and pointed at both the nose and the tail, designed to reach maximum rail contact. In length they come in around 6’ and 10’, sometimes larger. Again, thanks to that length these boards are easy to paddle and better for controlling on larger waves.


Here we have another form of shortboard, the fish board will usually measure between 5’2” and 6’4” in length and between 18” and 22” in width with rounder and wider nose than the thruster, as well as a wider midsection and swallow tail. This kind of board is perfect for catching medium and smaller waves, its design allows the rider to keep up speed and maximise manoeuvrability whilst catching these waves.


This board is very similar to the longboard, essentially the main difference is that it’s slightly smaller in its measurements. This allows for sharper turns when out surfing the big blue. There is also a smaller version of this board referred to as the ‘mini-mal’ (short for mini Malibu). These boards will usually be equipped with one or three fins to aid those turns.


The funboard is an excellent shortboard for beginners, here we have a combination of the superior paddle power of a longboard combined with the precise turning capabilities of a shortboard. What’s even better is that these perform well in all conditions ensuring that no matter the location you will (as the name suggests) have fun out there. These boards normally measure somewhere between 6’6” and 8’ long and at around 20” to 22” wide.


Foamboards are surf school favourite and perfect for new comers taking their first steps into learning how to surf the waves. Their foam build means they are much easier to use, helping with catching waves, standing up on and general water stability. Their soft material also means that the user is less likely to get hurt, another great factor when learning the basics. So take a look at our suggestions and pick something to accompany you on your next trip to the beach.