The Longboard. As the name would suggest, this is a surfboard that can be anywhere in length from about 8′ to 10′ 6″, but many lie in the 9′ range. The longboard is the closest surfboard design available today to the original wooden surfboards ridden by the Hawaiians. Longboards are a popular choice as they are ideal surfboards for beginners, and favorites with many veteran surfers as well. Longboards are a great selection for beginners as they are long and wide, making them easy to paddle, easy to float, and very stable. This makes them easy for the less experienced to catch a wave and stay on. Longboards can also be a very forgiving surfboard for the surfer who has gained a few pounds and no longer has the physique of Kelly Slater. Longboards can come with several different fin setups including a single fin, thruster, or 2 +1.
The Shortboard is pretty much the opposite of a longboard in most ways. First up, the length is a lot shorter, hence the name. Secondly, due to the fact that they are thinner they are not as forgiving as a longboard and are best appreciated by experienced surfers on quality waves. Most shortboards will have a thruster fin setup. To pick up speed, shortboards require constant turning, allowing for great maneuvering. A shortboard will be a frustrating experience for the beginner surfer as there will not be enough stability or flotation to successfully catch a wave.
The Fish Surfboard is a newer surfboard design. Fish surfboard designs feature a board that is wider and shorter, with a flatter rocker, than a traditional surfboard. Fish surfboards also have a distinctive swallow tail. Fish surfboards are an excellent choice for surfers looking for fun on soft mushy waves. Fish surfboards will make a slow wave seem much faster, but their design can make them a little too loose for some surfer’s liking. Fish surfboards have great flotation and are easy to paddle and catch waves, making them a great choice for a surfer with a little experience.
The Funboard is a blend in surfboard design between a longboard and a shortboard. These surfboards are longer than a shortboard, allowing for easier paddling and catching of waves. However they are not so long that they can’t be turned easily. This surfboard design is great for small to medium waves, but not ideal for big waves. Funboards are well suited to the surfer looking to have some fun out in the water, and can be a great selection for beginner and intermediate surfers. Funboards usually have a standard rail shape, moderate rocker, and a thruster fin setup. This surfboard design is a great all round surfboard.