Surfing is characterized as a sport or hobby that involves riding a wave while standing or lying on a unique board. It is one of the most thrilling, adventurous, and enjoyable forms of sport. In this article, we’ve listed the various types of surfing you can do and the different types of surfboards you can choose from.
Different surfing types
- Surf: The most popular form of surfing involves laying on a board until a wave breaks, paddling to gain momentum, standing up, and surfing alongside the wave as it moves.
- Windsurfing: This activity takes place in lakes and the ocean and combines sailing with surfing.
- Sailing Kite Surfing: Wind-powered surfing is an extreme sport that combines wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, paragliding, skateboarding, and sailing.
- SUP: The concept of stand-up paddling originated in Hawaii, and what sets it apart is that the surfer waits for waves while seated on the board. In addition to using their boards and paddles, stand up paddle boarders also stand on their boards.
- Kneeboarding: It is also possible to surf at the beach using a surfboard with fin(s). When using a two-sport kneeboard, riders kneel on the board’s heels and anchor themselves to the deck with an adjustable Velcro strap over their thighs.
- Bodyboarding: Also known as “boogie boarding,” this water sport involves riding a bodyboard on the crest, face, and curl of a wave as it carries the surfer in the direction of the shore.
- Surf and Ski: Similar in length, width, and weight to a kayak, a surf ski is a long, narrow, and lightweight craft with an open “sit-on-top” (SOT) cockpit and a self-bailer to eliminate water in place of the enclosed cockpit of a kayak, which can be sealed off from the elements with a spray skirt or tuliq. Surf skis have a strong, pedal-operated rudder to control the boat while surfing on wavefronts. They are primarily designed for speed, including fast runs on open water.
- Bodysurfing: the practice and sport of surfing waves without the aid of a bodyboard or other buoyant device. Swim fins are a common accessory for bodysurfers because they help with propulsion and make it easier to catch, ride, and kick out of waves. Some bodysurfers will also use a “hand plane” to lift their chests above the water and lessen drag.
Picking your surfboard
The process of selecting the best board for you can be intimidating. Depending on your level of expertise, the types of waves you surf, and the regions you ride, there are numerous options. To help you choose the surfboard that is best for you, let’s break down the various types. Since there are various types of waves when surfing, there are also various types of surfboards on which to enjoy them. The right board selection is crucial to the experience. You’ll undoubtedly need some buying advice if this is your first time purchasing one.
If you don’t have a nearby surf shop to assist you, picking a good beginner surfboard can be difficult. Beginner surfers should keep in mind their body size and the area they will be surfing when choosing a surfboard. In general, long, thick boards with good flotation and stability make the best beginner surfboards. With less effort, you can catch more waves with these types of surfboards. Surfers in the intermediate and advanced levels experiment with a variety of boards, including a 10’6 longboard and a 5’4 fish surfboard. The stand-up paddle board is the newest addition to the surfboard lineup.
Considerations when choosing a surfboard
The performance of a surfboard or the surfer in the water is significantly influenced by its length, width, and depth.
The length of the surfboard is crucial. The longer the board, the easier it is to stand up and paddle because the board feels more stable under the surfer’s feet. Beginners typically started with a longer board because it provided them with more stability. However, this does not imply that more experienced surfers always move up to a shorter board. Longboard surfing is frequently linked to “soul surfing,” and it practically has its own subculture and professional surf scene. Due to their length, longer boards are less maneuverable. Shorter surfboards are typically preferred by surfers who want to execute faster, more forceful, and aerial maneuvers.
The width of the surfboard has an impact on how stable it feels underfoot and how buoyant it is in the water. Similar to length, the stability of the surfboard increases with board width.
The surfboard’s ability to float depends on its depth or thickness. The ride is smoother and paddling is simpler the more floatation there is. The surfboard should ideally be thicker for a heavier surfer.
The use of thicker surfboards is encouraged for beginners. These enable faster paddling, improved hovering ability over the water, and simpler wave catching. Additionally, thicker surfboards can maintain their speeds on softer waves. What works for intermediate and beginner surfers might not work for advanced surfers. Similar to running on rails, thinner surfboards can latch onto the water more effectively.
Each surfboard has a unique thickness profile, which can be seen if you look at it from the sides to check for thickness. The nose, middle, or tail of a surfboard may be thicker than the rest. The way your surfboard responds to the waves is directly impacted by its shape.
Due to the fact that surfboards’ original construction used redwood wood, which is not water-resistant, the surfboard naturally became heavier when submerged. Foam and fiberglass are used in the majority of surfboard construction methods today. The type and application of the foam used are the only differences between these surfboards’ construction materials, which typically include a variety of foam types.
Types of surfboards
This is the most typical surfboard for competition surfing. Speed, power, and control are sacrificed in favor of paddling comfort. The length of a shortboard can vary from 5′ to 7′. They have two to four fins that enable quick, radical turns and have nose rockers (an upturned nose) to prevent you from sinking the tip of your board under water (pearling). Since they are shorter and narrower than long boards, they are known as shortboards.
Big Wave Gun Surfboard (Big Wave Board)
The “big wave gun,” also referred to as the “elephant gun,” is for the truly large stuff and is not a good option for anyone besides the big wave surfer. Built for the speed and intensity of big surf, it is a longer (8’–9’) and higher volume board. They are made especially for riding bigger, steeper waves and for big wave surfing. Their shape makes them easier to paddle, faster, and more controllable on wave faces with greater steepness. The name comes from the phrase “elephant gun,” which refers to the surfboard as the surfer’s weapon for snatching up big waves.
Longboards are much more stable in the water, easier to paddle, and great for catching smaller waves, making them the ideal surfboard to learn on. They are ridden from the tail (back section of the board) all the way to the nose. To get “out the back” (to where the waves break, not after they have broken), however, it can sometimes be more difficult to get through the white water and incoming sets due to their size. Typically, they have just one large fin. The act of longboarding comes with a lot of style. Other maneuvers, such as hang fives or hang tens (also known as “toes on the nose”), drop-knee turns, cross-stepping along the surfboard’s deck, and even tandem surfing, can be done when the radical sharp turns and aerial maneuvers possible with a shortboard are not suitable for a longboard.
It looks a little stumpier because it is narrower and shorter than most short boards. Fish surfboards are incredibly maneuverable in small- to medium-sized surf and typically have two to three fins. They go quickly in slower-breaking waves and provide a different riding experience than a shortboard, which is why experienced to intermediate surfers adore them. The fish board’s large surface area makes it simple to paddle, catch waves, and surf faster in slower-breaking waves.
Foamboard or Softboard (Foamie)
This is especially made for newcomers and younger surfers. Since they are literally made of foam, they are significantly more buoyant in the water and safer (to the surfer and others in the water). Due to their durability and safety features, they are a natural choice for surf rentals as well as surf schools.
Funboard (fun shaped surfboard)
The practical surfboard lies somewhere between the shortboard and the longboard. All surfers can use the funboard in a variety of conditions. Its length varies from 7’0″ to 8’2″.
Stand-Up Paddle Board
A large, wide, buoyant board that is between 10′ and 12′ in length, the stand-up paddle board is made to enable the surfer to paddle while standing up in a variety of conditions.
Bodyboard or Boogie Board
Smaller, more rectangular boards that you lay on as opposed to standing on are called bodyboards. They are a common and safer option for families and kids playing in small waves or at busy beaches and are used by a range of age groups. made of fiberglass, foam, wood, or polystyrene. They are a lot of fun and can be very inexpensive.
What are the different parts of the surfboard?
- Tail: The surfboard’s backside Because of their performance in the water, tails come in a wide variety of shapes that are frequently tested in surfboard design. The terms “pin tail,” “round tail,” “swallow tail,” and “fish tail” are a few examples.
- Nose: the top of the surfboard. Like the tail, the nose can have a variety of shapes. Shorter boards typically have a more pointed nose to pierce the water for maximum speed, while longer boards typically have a rounder nose.
- Fin (or Skegs): The fin is the curved portion that hangs downward from the surfboard’s bottom near the tail. They provide the surfboard with the directional stability needed for turns and tricks on the wave face. Early Hawaiian Olo boards lacked a fin; it wasn’t until Tom Blake added one to a longboard in the 1930s that the concept gained popularity. Since then, twin-fins (two fins), tri-fins (three fins), and quad-fins have all been developed (four fins). Fins can be permanently glassed onto a surfboard or, more frequently, they are detachable and interchangeable, giving surfers the freedom to experiment with different types of fins to fit their own personal style.
- Rail: In order to perform certain maneuvers, the surfer must “grab the rail” and make sharp turns on the wave face. The surfboard’s left and right sides, or more precisely, the front and back sides of the surfer, are known as the rail.
- Rocker: The bottom curve of the surfboard is referred to as the rocker. In order to improve aspects like speed or maneuverability, the rocker is adjusted. Generally speaking, the more bottom curve a surfboard has, the looser it is in the water, allowing for more maneuverability, albeit at a slower speed. Additionally, a smaller bottom curve increases speed while reducing maneuverability. As a result, a surfboard with more bottom curve performs better in larger waves because it is slower and simpler to control on steeper, faster wave faces, giving the surfer greater maneuverability. In smaller waves where more speed is required, a flatter bottom curve would be preferable. A neutral rocker is probably preferred by most surfers as a good middle ground.
- Stringer: Along the vertical center of the board, there is a thin wooden or carbon fiber strip. The stringer lessens flexibility while increasing the surfboard’s rigidity.
- Leash and Leash Plug: leashes, also known as leg ropes, are used to fasten surfboards to surfers. Your leash’s point of attachment is the leash plug. Although it has no effect on the surfboard’s performance, you should still check its position because it might interfere with where you put your feet.
One of the most thrilling sports is surfing. Given that the sea is thought to have a healing effect, it is perfect for maintaining a strong but healthy mind and body. Using the proper equipment is essential for any water sport, including scuba diving, surfing, and boating. You are prepared to embark on the learning adventure of a lifetime if you have the appropriate surfboard and are well-versed in surfing waves. You should be able to choose the ideal surfboard now that you are fully informed about the available options.