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Article: Surfboard Shapes

Surfboard Shapes

Surfboard Shapes

The shape of your board can make or break your experience. It is important to know the different types of surfboard shapes and their correct use cases. This way, you can choose the best board for your skill level and style, whether you are a beginner or someone who has been surfing for years. So, let's explore the fascinating world of surfboard shapes!

1. Foam boards

Foam surfboards, called soft tops, are made from lightweight and buoyant foam materials that do not soak up water. They are a great option for beginners and people who want a forgiving surfing experience. Foam surfboards are different from traditional fiberglass boards because they are not wrapped in fiberglass which is what gives them their “soft top” name. They offer more stability and are less likely to get damaged, making them great for beginners learning to surf. However, these boards limit your performance on the wave and because they are not wrapped in fiberglass, getting high quality performance shaped into the board is not an option. The fiberglass is what gives a board its strength and structure. 

Foam surfboards


If you are just starting out, and surfing foam surfboards, we suggest using a 10' Surfboard Bag to provide the best protection and convenience for your foam board. This bag is designed to provide your soft top with the care it needs, offering a good balance of space and a secure fit.

When preparing for your next surf trip, if you are thinking about traveling with a soft top, look into soft tops by Crime. These soft tops will help Improve your surfing experience with a combination of high performance and stylish design.


2. Longboards

The Longboard, this style of surfboard could have multiple blog posts written about it. Generally a “longboard” is a surfboard longer than  8 feet. And most longboards are usually in the 9 foot - 10 foot range. Longboards are different from shorter boards because they focus more on stability. This makes them a great option for riders of any skill level. But that doesn't mean that longboards are for beginners. Longboard surfing is for the experienced surfer as well - learning to maneuver a long heavy surfboard, nose riding, and keeping your board in the pocket is a skill that takes years to master.   Longboards have a variety of different  shapes within the sub section of “longboards.” A few of the most common longboard shapes are the classic single fin log, high performance longboards, and fun shapes (usually for beginners). If you are interested in getting deeper into longboarding we suggest hitting up a local shaper and getting them to shape you a longboard that will be right for your style of surfing and the waves you are surfing in!

Longboard surfboard

To protect and maintain your longboard in good condition when you're not using it, we suggest using our 10' Surfboard Bag. This size bag is designed to give your longboard enough space while providing the necessary protection during transportation.

The 10' surfboard bag is designed to smoothly accommodate the length and shape of longboards. The bag's tailored fit keeps your longboard secure and reduces the chance of damage while traveling.

3. Mid-Lengths

Mid-length boards are surfboards between longboards and shortboards in terms of length. These boards are about 6 to 8 feet long and offer a good balance of stability and maneuverability. Mid-length surfboards are known for their versatility. They are specifically designed to make surfing enjoyable in less challenging waves. These boards prioritize fun and style rather than focusing on technical maneuvers.

Mid Length


Mid-length boards have developed a distinct culture within the surfing community. Surfers who choose mid-length surfboards often prefer a more relaxed and casual surfing experience, allowing them to enjoy the waves fully. These boards perform well in easier conditions, but you can surf good waves with them as well. A lot of mid lengths will have the shape of a shortboard but with elongated rails and width which give it its “Mid length” shape. Most mid lengths will have a twin fin or 2 + 1 fin set up. 


Looking for a bag for you mid length? We suggest using the 7' Surfboard Bag from FARO to keep your mid-length board safe and prepared for your next adventure. Although the exact length of your board bag depends on the length of your surfboard. We suggest choosing a bag that is equal to or longer than your board length.

The 7' surfboard bag is crafted to accommodate mid-length boards' unique size and shape, ensuring a snug and secure fit. This helps to reduce the chance of any damage to the item during transportation by preventing unnecessary movement.


4. Shortboards

Shortboards, or thrusters, are typically shorter, usually between 5'6" and 7'. These boards are designed with a pointed nose and streamlined shape to enable you to perform high performance maneuvers, make quick turns, and achieve high speeds. Shortboards are preferred by experienced surfers looking for an exhilarating experience on difficult waves.

Short Board

Shortboards require advanced skill because they are very responsive and sensitive to the rider's movements. Shortboards are designed for surfers who want to perform difficult moves on the wave. They allow surfers to do things like sharp turns and aerial tricks, and easily tuck into barrels. 

To ensure your shortboard is protected during transportation and ready for your next session, we recommend the 6' Surfboard Bag. This size is designed to fit shortboards perfectly and provide the necessary protection for its delicate design.

5. Fish

Fish boards have a combination of mid-length and shortboard characteristics yet they were around before the traditional shortboard and the mid length.  These surfboards were created in San Diego and are known for their unique Fish Tail design and Keel Fin style which help them perform exceptionally well  in different types of waves. Fish boards are popular among surfers because they are versatile, easy to ride, and have a laid-back style. They are loved for their ability to provide enjoyment and good performance in the water.

Fish Surfboard

The swallow tail or fish tail that all of these boards have were inspired by actual fish! And on that note, the same goes for the surfboard fin. George Greenough Pulled his famous fin templates from a real-life tuna fin. 

Most Fish surfboards will also come with Keel style fins (not the same as George's tuna fin design) which are long  and shorter style fins that help with long drawn out turns.  Fish boards offer a special surfing experience combining speed, agility, and a relaxed style that brings joy to each session.

If you're planning on taking your fish board on a surfing trip, we highly recommend using the 6' Surfboard Bag to transport it safely. These  bags are specially tailored to fit fish boards, which have unique shapes and dimensions that require a specific size of bag to protect them during transportation.

Final Thoughts

In surfing, different types of boards are designed for specific wave conditions. Soft tops are great for beginners because they offer stability on gentle waves. Mid-length and longboards  are versatile and can be used in different conditions. On the other hand, shortboards require specific conditions and years of experience  to perform precise maneuvers. Fish boards are known for their stylish design and excellent performance in various wave conditions.

Selecting the right surfboard is similar to choosing the perfect instrument for a song. Each surfboard is designed to work well with certain types of waves. Different types of surfboards serve different purposes, and each board provides a unique surfing experience. If you want to have fun surfing, it's important to understand how the waves and your surfboard work in tandem. Each type of surfboard is designed to enhance your surfing experience by adapting to the specific conditions of the ocean. Therefore, you should choose your surfboard wisely based on the ocean's conditions and your ability level.  Knowing your equipment and your level of surfing will allow you to have the best time during every surf session!