The design of a surfboard ultimately influences the performance of a surfer. Therefore, surfboards come in different shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of materials. While the design of a surfboard cannot guarantee your surfing performance, using the right board might make the difference in how successful you are.
If you are a beginner, then the larger the surfboard the better for learning how to surf: save the smaller more detailed surfboards for the experienced surfers. Consider durability and how porous the board is, and how often you plan to use the surfboard, as well as ensuring you can fit one into your car.
The length and width of surfboards vary: the longer the surfboard, the greater the paddling power and stability. A wider shape eliminates the need for length but will affect the riding style and turning radius. The tail of a surfboard comes in various shapes, which will affect the performance of the product, as will the rocker and fins.
Types of Surfboards
Certain geographical areas may lend themselves to the types of surfboards best used for a particular type of surf. Longboards are classic surfboards and are ideal for beginners to learn the basics of paddling technique, turning and wave selection. Great brands include Swell and Adler who offer a variety of designs to choose from. Shortboards are great for aggressive surfing in critical sections of the wave and are used a lot in competitions. Other styles include fish boards which are shorter, wider and flatter than shortboards and gun boards for the big wave spots. Some surfboards can also be hybrid designs.
Most surfboards are made with a polyurethane or polystyrene core, which is strengthened with fibreglass cloth. Epoxy or polyester resin is then used to bond the cloth to the shaped core of the surfboard. A surfboard stringer is a wooden structure that runs down the centre of the foam providing additional strength and enabling flexibility.