Surfboards Buying Guide


Surfing , also referred to as "the sport of kings", has been a timeless Hawaiian tradition for ages.  In the early 1960's surfing exploded into the mainstream and fast became a favourite beach activity for all.  Today, surfing is more popular than ever and is a legitimate competitive international sport.   Surfboards  come in many shapes and sizes and each surfboard is manufactured according to difficulty level and wave conditions. Choosing the correct board is critical to an enjoyable surfing experience, and this guide will walk you through picking a suitable surfboard so you can be out shredding the waves in no time!  Never surfed before and want to learn?  Get ahead of the learning curve by training your balance on an Indo Board . 

Types of Surfboards

Surfboards are generally placed into four categories:

Categories of Surfboards

Longboards  are usually longer than nine feet in length.

Ideal for Beginner or Intermediate Surfers


Longboards Feature:  

  • Thick and wide design
  • Smooth wide turning
  • A relaxed, more forgiving ride
  • Use in small to medium surf

Funboards  are usually between seven and eight feet in. length

Ideal for Intermediate Surfers

Funboards Feature:

  • Lightweight design for moderate performance
  • Responsive and stable turning
  • A quick, but forgiving ride
  • Use in medium surf

Shortboards  are usually shorter than seven feet in length.

Ideal for Experienced Surfers

 Shortboards Feature:

  • Lightweight design for high performance
  • Quick and responsive turning
  • A fast, less forgiving ride
  • Use in medium to large surf

Soft Top Surfboards  come in a variety of legnths and sizes.

Ideal for Beginner Surfers


Soft Top Surfboards Feature:

  • Hard foam/rubber core with softer foam top
  • Rubber fins
  • Shaped with the younger beginner in mind
  • Use in small to medium surf

Tail Shapes and Fin Layouts 

The shape of the tail and layout of the fins effect the overall ride and feel of the surfboard.  The fins can be rearranged or swapped out to allow faster turning or even add more speed to the board.  Most surfboards are sold with fins that have already been matched with the board according to its type.  While longboards traditionally have one tail shape, funboards and shortboards are available in numerous tail designs.

Not sure which tail style suits you? No worries! Picking a tail shape is easy when you know what level of performance each shape is intended to deliver. Use the simplified guide below:

Common Tail Shapes

Swallow Tails  (also called Fish Tails ) are one of the most common tail shapes for a good reason. Fish tails are great beginner surfers because they are not too responsive, or "loose" when turning. Fish tail surfboards can be easier to paddle and can have better drive on the smaller waves due to the greater area of volume in the tail.

Squash Tails  are generally considered to be the most popular tail shape for the modern surfboard. You will get a nice stable ride but will still be able to perform loose turns. This tail shape is suited to slightly more experienced surfers. Great for the small to the big wave. Highly recommended for the surfer who is looking to get more aggressive.

Surfing Essentials

Don't go in the water without picking up these essentials for every surf session.

 Surf Wax  is applied on the top of the surfboard (or the "deck") to keep your from slipping off and wiping out.

  • Quick Tip- Apply wax with a circular motion until a generous amount is on the board.  Three quarters of a bar is usually sufficient for any board.  You can also remove excess wax with a wax comb 

A leash  is mandatory at most beaches.  It attaches around your leg and keeps the board within reach when you fall off.  A must have!

  • Quick Tip-  Leashes are available in different lengths. Get a six foot leash if you are an experienced surfer. For longboarders and novices, an eight foot leash is recommended. 

Depending on where you live, the water temperature might require you to wear a wetsuit .  Wetsuits are a valuable asset to all surfers because many spend prolonged amounts of time in the water enjoying the waves.

  •  Quick Tip-  Properly fitting a wetsuit can be tricky!  Double check size-charts and try on if possible. Get assistance from an experienced surfer or even a surf shop employee when fitting a wetsuit. 


Surfing Etiquette

All surfers follow the same etiquette.  These are the need-to-know rules you should keep in mind every surf session:

  • If possible, always try to paddle out where the least amount of people surfing.
  • Never let go of your surfboard when paddling out if people are behind you. ( This is known as 'ditching' the surfboard and is hazardous to other surfers. )
  • When learning, give experienced surfers more room in the water.

Related Products

Rash Guard 

Board Shorts 

Surf Racks 

Fin Key