types of surfboard

Different Types of Surfboards

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There’s one point on which all surfers agree, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced. Regarding surf gear, the most important thing is having the right type of surfboard. It must be light enough to carry around. It must have maximum manoeuvrability for your skill level when you surf. There are all kinds of surfboards. We’ve made a list of as many as we can.

Here you’ll get some tips about the common types of surfboards and other types too. Remember that handcrafted surfboards are pricier than cheap polyurethane-and-fibreglass products. See our World Surfers guide below:

Surfboard Types

There are different kinds of beaches. There are different kinds of weather conditions. There are, of course, different kinds of surfing. So it’s hardly surprising that there are different kinds of surfboards. The type of surfboard you choose will depend on a few different factors. The main factor will probably be your level of surfing proficiency. rather The height of the waves on your beach may also be a factor. Surfboards have been evolving forever and are still doing so. But they all have a tail, a nose and fins. Almost every surfboard which exists is a variation of one of these seven styles:

  • Shortboards
  • Longboards
  • Fish boards
  • Funboards
  • Gun boards
  • Tow-in boards
  • Stand-Up Paddle (SUP

Check our list to find the ideal type for you.

types of surfboard (graphic)


This is one of the more common types of surfboards. it skims the surf of the fast steep wave with ease. This type is not great for paddling but perfect for competitive surfing. Skilled surfers can use them to make sharp turns. They’re usually between five and seven feet long. They’re also between sixteen and nineteen inches wide. You’ll notice a pointy nose and a rounded, square tail.


This was the first board of the modern surfing era. They’re usually eight or nine feet long and great for paddling and catching waves. The sharp moves of the shortboard are not possible with this surfboard, though. It’s often recommended as a beginner surfboard. It’s known for its blunt nose and wide tail. The surfer can walk up and down the board because of its length.

Fish Boards

A fish board is a form of the shortboard and called so because of its ‘fish shape’. They are generally between five and six feet long. In width, they are generally eighteen to twenty-two inches wide. As they have more volume they are considered better for beginners but they are actually ideal for beginners who have reached a stage where they are tired of the longboard and wish to switch to a shorter board. This board gained a lot of popularity in the 1970s.


The funboard or the Malibu is a type of transition board between the longboard and shortboard. They are between six and eight feet long and are a popular choice for surfers wishing to leave the longboard behind. Many experienced surfers like to have one of these in their gear for when less challenging surfing conditions are present. Like shallow water, for example. It has a variety of nose and tail shapes.


The gunboard is one of those types of surfboard which is not for the inexperienced. It’s especially built for big wave surfing and is not one of the most widely used. But for those who have the skill and experience to use this, it’s an amazing surfboard. As a safety precaution, don’t copy the experienced surfers until you’ve reached their level of skill. The gunboard has a narrow nose and tail and it’s extra-thick.

Tow-In Boards

The tow-in board was developed in the 1990s when jet-ski assisted surfing started to become popular. A different type of surfboard was required. It’s a shorter, narrower board, around six feet long. It has foot straps and fins. It’s thicker than the usual surfboards. A word of warning. Jet-ski assisted surfing is not safe for beginners. It should only be attempted by that elite group to which the most serious and experienced surfers belong.

Hybrid Board

This is a board which combines the characteristic of two types of board in one model. A popular type of hybrid would be a combination of the shortboard and the fish board. This would be great for experienced surfers who want the dexterity and manoeuvrability of the shortboard with the greater solidity of a fish board.

Stand-Up-Paddle-Boards (SUP)

The Stand-Up Paddleboard or SUP is like a longboard but propelled by a single paddle. It can be used for surfing small to medium waves. It also works well in shallow waters. It’s good for beginners.


You might find these smaller, more rectangular boads (also called Boogie Boards) on crowded beaches where families congregate. It’s a board to lie on, rather than stand. Fully synthetic and cheap, It works well in shallow waters.


Another recommended board for beginners. Light, durable and made of foam, it .
Is a very safe choice for learners. It’s found in surf schools and camps. If you rent a surfboard, you’ll probably get this model.


The foilboard consists of a board with a hydrofoil extending down into the water. This exerts a pressure which can lift the board into the air. It’s not for beginners, obviously.


The Alaia is a vintage surfboard originating from Hawaii. It’s made from wood and can be seven to twelve feet long, without any fins. It is still in use today.

fish board

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many types of surfing are there?

A: Surfing or riding the waves is a sport which originated with Pacific islanders. It’s now a popular international water sport. The surfer climbs into the wave with a surfboard and literally rides it, using balancing skills. Stand-Up-Paddling is another type of surfing. Using a longboard and a paddle, the aim is also to catch a wave and ride it. Other water sports incorporate elements of surfing. There’s windsurfing which is a type of surfing using sails. Kite surfing involves using a kite to harness the wind to the surfing experience.

Q: Which surfboard is best for beginners?

A: There are different opinions on the types of surfboard recommended for new surfers. Many recommend the bodyboard as it allows for full-body surfing and is recommended for family use. Others suggest the longboard, as it allows the surfer to paddle. For this reason, some recommend the foamboard too. Others suggest using a fish board as it has more volume and is easier to balance. Others recommend a board with surf wax applied to it for a better grip. The super-light foamboard is also a popular suggestion. There’s a general opinion that longer boards are better for beginners. Some surfing instructors suggest learning with the board you intend to continue surfing on. Take the advice of your instructors and use your own judgement too.

Q: What is a Funboard surfboard?

A: As mentioned above, a funboard is a long board which helps surfers to catch more waves because of the extra volume. Many new surfers select the funboard as their go-to board because it’s not as long as the longboard. It can be used successfully in shallow water, where waves maybe ankle-deep.

Q: What are long surfboards called?

A: This is a no-brainer. ‘Longboard’ is the name given to the longer surfboard. It is typically eight or nine feet long. It is one of the type of surfboards which is recommended for learners. That’s because it allows for easier paddling.

Q: What is a thruster surfboard?

A: The ‘Thruster’ is none other than the shortboard by another name. The most popular board worldwide at the moment, it helps you navigate the water with top speed and power. One of the most perfect type of surfboards for competitive surfing.

In Conclusion

Our mission here is to give the best possible list of surfboard types for the benefit of all surfers, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced. Beginners shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by all the types of surfboards there are. As your lessons progress, you’ll discover the type of surfboard that fits you best, the one that’s ideal for you. Learn to improve your surfing skills. In time those skills will come, with regular practise. Ride those waves with style. Most of all, enjoy.