Surf Board Shapes

Surfboards have changed dramatically thought the ages as surfboard makers constantly strive to design better boards. The first surfboards were made from wood. Surf boards to day are made from light-weight foam and fiberglass.

Surf boards come in all lengths and thicknesses. This is so that the appropriate surfboard can be chosen for:

  • Use in different surf conditions
  • The type of surf maneuvers required
  • The height and weight of the person riding the board

There are basically 4 types of surfboard shapes. These are:

  • Malibu board, Along, wide board with rounded nose. Length usually around 7 foot and over
  • Mini Mal Board, Same as Malibu with a length under 7 foot
  • Short Board, Lighter weight, thinner, not as wide as Malibu, more pointed nose, length under 7 foot
  • Gun , Short board shape, more tapered towards the nose and tail. Length above 7 to 9 foot or more. Guns are used for riding large waves.

Parts Of Surfboard
Once you have decided that the surfing condition are suitable, you then need to choose a surfboard. Even though the surfboard looks simple in design, each part of it is designed for a purpose.

Surfboard designers and shapers develop a reputation based on how well their surfboards perform in the waves. They usually will years of first hand experience of what makes aboard perform well and a good understanding of the physic involved in surfing.

For all their shapes and size, surfboards have come parts. These are:

Nose : front section of the surfboard
Deck : top of surfboard where you stand
Rails : the edge (side) of the surfboard between deck and bottom
Bottom : underneath part of surfboard
Tail : back section of surfboard
Stringer : the timber strip down the center of surfboard providing strength
Fins : guiding rudders of the surfboard
Leg-rope (leash) : specially designed cord that connects you and the surfboard. The leg-rope (leash) is attached to your ankle at one end at the board, into the plug, at the other end. There are different length boards and surf conditions.


The type of surfboard you chose depends on your height, weight and surfing ability.

A beginner is best to start on a longer, wider stable surfboard that gives a large area on which to make a mistake (area of forgiveness). The board will be slower to turn in water however it will catch waves more easily. Its also more stable allowing the beginner to paddle without tipping from one side to the other and to stand on a more stable platform with out falling off.

There are special boards for beginners. They are made in different lengths. They have an all over soft padded foam deck and rails with a smooth flat plastic sheen on the bottom. The fins are small and plastic. The overall result is that the beginner will be far less likely to hurt themselves or others.

When you first start out, you may prefer to rent a special beginner’s surfboard.

Using the special beginner’s surfboard allows you to more easily acquire the skills of surfing. You can also get fiberglass boards, with the same shape suitable for beginners.

Once you have mastered the beginner’s stage, you will have a greater understanding of what style of surfboard you may prefer to use as an intermediate or advance surfer.