what size surfboard should i get

What Size Surfboard Should I Get?

When I started surfing, I foolishly thought any surfboard would do. I just randomly picked a surfboard to kick off my surfing lessons, but the instructor immediately stopped me, and chuckled to himself while saying, “That’s not the right one for you.” I felt a little embarrassed, but I figured I’d much rather be embarrassed now than when in the water.

Being on the heavier side, I have always been conscious of how I would look while surfing. Another thing I worry about is the kind of surfboard I have to use. I mean, I have never seen a surfer that is not skinny or toned! But, if there is one thing I learned in surfing, it is that the waves welcome everyone. To ease your worry and uncertainty whether you can surf or not, let me enlighten you and help you answer the question “what size surfboard should I get.”

Here are some of the things to consider.

  • First, you have to take a look at your surfing skill level. Are you a beginner, an intermediate surfer, an advanced surfer, or a professional surfer? Usually, a beginner surfer would want a soft top surfboard.
  • Second, your fitness level. There are some advanced surfers that cannot be extremely fit. In cases like this, a board with a little more volume is called for.
  • Third, you also have to consider the type of waves you want to catch. There is a reason most surfers own a quiver of surfboards - this is because no sole surfboard’s got it all. Each kind of surfboard is specifically good for a certain kind of wave.

Before we tackle the right surfboard size for you, let me enumerate the different designs you can choose from: longboards, shortboards, fish, hybrids, quads, retros, and single, twin, and tri-fin boards. Among all these shapes, another important thing you need to consider before deciding your surfboard size is design. No matter what your surfing skill level is the surfboard design. When you know the design, you will also know the performance qualities you want in your surfboard. Before you jump to the other nitty-gritty details of your surfboard, you have to know the design you want.


Next in line is the volumeVolume is the gauge how much flotation a surfboard has. It can be identified through the function of length, width, and thickness sans the surfboard weight. It is measured by CL or cubic liters. It is important to know your surfboard volume because this will dictate your surfboard choices going forward.

surfboard volume

Surfers with a smaller frame want less volume, while those on the heavier side need more. Usually, beginner to intermediate riders want more volume because it helps them with the speed and to catch waves. Advanced to professional surfers want less volume because it helps them maneuver the board more easily.

Lastly, let us talk about the dimensions. First up is the length. The length you choose relies on the surfboard design and your height. Taller surfers tend to have wider stances, so this calls for a longer board and the same rings true for the opposite. The second dimension component is the width.


The width gives more surface for the rider, making it more stable, thus providing more float. It also lets the board glide better over the waves. The third dimension that is often disregarded is the thickness. What buyers fail to realize is that thickness makes a big difference. There is a big difference in the power, flotation, feel, and drive when it comes to a little disparity in thickness. Rail thickness gives more push for larger riders.

These are the different components you need to consider when deciding on your surfboard size. It is not easy to come by the perfect surfboard for you, but what matters most is that you enjoy thoroughly. Hopefully, this guide was able to answer your “What size surfboard should I get?” query.

About the Author Thomas

I suppose you could say I came to surfing later than most. I didn't grow up by the water, but after years working the 9-5 grind I felt its draw and decided it was time to lead a slower life. These days I try and spend time in the water every day and consider the ocean as my living room: a place to relax, have fun, and just enjoy life.

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