What is a Gun Surfboard?

Aloha, fellow wave riders! Today, we’re going to talk about a surfboard that’s making big waves in the surfing world – the gun surfboard. So, what exactly is a gun surfboard? Well, it’s not a real gun, although it can help you take down some serious waves. To put it simply, a gun surfboard is a long, narrow, and pointy board that’s designed for riding big, powerful waves. When you’re ready to take

What is a Gun Surfboard?

A gun surfboard is a specialized type of surfboard that is designed for riding big, powerful waves. These boards are typically longer, narrower, and have a pointy shape that allows them to smoothly drop into and carve across steep faces.

What is a Gun Surfboard?

Surfing is all about riding the waves and feeling the thrill and excitement that comes with it. But to do it well, you need to have the right tools, and that’s where the gun surfboard comes into play. A gun surfboard is a specialized type of board that is designed to help you ride big, powerful waves. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at what a gun surfboard is, how it works, and why you might want to consider getting one.

The Origins of the Gun Surfboard

The gun surfboard gets its name from the classic big-wave spot in Hawaii, Guns, where they were first used in the 1960s. These boards were longer and narrower than traditional surfboards, and they had a more pointed nose and tail that allowed surfers to paddle into bigger waves and maneuver through them more easily. The guns were a game-changer for surfers looking to push the limits and ride bigger waves, and they quickly became a popular choice for pros and experienced surfers alike.

Features of a Gun Surfboard

So what sets a gun surfboard apart from a traditional board? Here are some of the key features:

  • Length – Guns are typically longer than other boards, ranging from 7’6″ to 10′ or more. This extra length gives them stability and helps them paddle faster.
  • Nose Shape – The nose of a gun is more pointed than a traditional board, which helps it slice through the water and drop into steep waves more easily.
  • Tail Shape – The tail is also more pointed than a traditional board, which allows for more precise turns and better control in big waves.
  • Thickness – Guns are usually thinner than other boards, which helps them cut through the water and maintain speed.
  • Fin Setup – Most guns have a 3-fin thruster setup, although some surfers may opt for a quad or twin-fin setup depending on the conditions.

When to Use a Gun Surfboard

A gun surfboard is designed to be used in big, powerful waves that require a lot of speed, control, and maneuverability. If you’re an experienced surfer looking to take on big waves, a gun is definitely worth considering. However, it’s important to note that guns are not meant for beginners, and they can be dangerous if not used correctly.

So, when should you break out your gun? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including the size and shape of the waves, the wind and weather conditions, and your own skill level and experience. Generally speaking, guns are best suited for waves that are head-high or bigger, and they perform best in clean, offshore conditions. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to ride a gun, it’s always a good idea to talk to a local surf shop or experienced surfer to get their advice and guidance.

Buying a Gun Surfboard

If you’re ready to take on big waves and you think a gun surfboard is the right tool for the job, the next step is to buy one. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a gun, including:

  • Size – Choosing the right size gun is crucial for getting the best performance. Make sure to consider your own size and weight, as well as the size of the waves you plan to ride.
  • Shape – Look for a gun with a pointed nose and tail, and a thinner profile. Pay attention to the rocker and concave, as these can impact how the board performs in different conditions.
  • Brand – There are plenty of reputable surfboard brands out there that make quality guns. Research different brands and read reviews to find the right one for you.

You can find guns at most surf shops, although they may be harder to come by in areas where big waves are less common. It’s also worth checking online for used surfboards for sale, as you may be able to find a good deal on a pre-owned gun that’s still in great condition.

Caring for Your Gun Surfboard

Once you’ve got your gun, it’s important to take good care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are a few tips for keeping your gun in top condition:

  • Rinse it off with fresh water after every use to remove sand and salt buildup.
  • Store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Avoid stacking other boards on top of it.
  • Repair any dings or cracks as soon as they happen to prevent water damage.


So there you have it – everything you need to know about gun surfboards! Remember, guns are a specialized type of board that are designed for experienced surfers looking to ride big, powerful waves. They’re not for beginners or casual surfers, and they require a certain level of skill and experience to use safely and effectively. If you’re already an experienced surfer and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, a gun surfboard might be just what you need to take on the biggest and best waves out there.

Tips for Riding a Gun Surfboard

Riding a gun surfboard requires a different approach than riding a traditional board. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Paddle hard – To catch big waves, you’ll need to paddle harder and faster than you would on a smaller board. Use a strong, efficient paddle stroke to build up speed before you pop up.
  • Stay centered – The longer length of a gun can make it feel a bit unwieldy at first. Make sure to stay centered on the board and keep your weight balanced over the middle to maintain stability.
  • Take off at an angle – Dropping into a big wave straight-on can be scary and dangerous. Instead, try angling your takeoff slightly to the side to help you generate speed and get ahead of the wave.
  • Keep your eyes up – As you drop down the face of the wave, keep your eyes focused on where you want to go. Look ahead, not down, and trust your instincts to help guide your movements.
  • Stay loose – Riding a gun can be intense, but it’s important to stay relaxed and loose. Avoid tensing up or holding your breath, and remember to breathe deeply and evenly to stay calm and focused.

Alternatives to a Gun Surfboard

If you’re not quite ready for a gun or if you’re looking for something with a bit more versatility, there are a few alternative options to consider:

  • Step-up board – A step-up board is similar to a gun in that it’s designed for riding bigger waves, but it’s a bit more versatile and can handle a wider range of conditions.
  • Big wave tow board – If you’ve got access to a boat or jetski, a tow board can be a great way to ride really big waves. These boards are shorter and more maneuverable than guns, and they’re towed into waves by a partner on a boat or jetski.
  • Mid-length board – If you’re looking for something that can handle a variety of conditions, a mid-length board might be a good choice. These boards are more versatile than guns and step-ups, and they can be a great option for surfers who want a board that performs well in everything from waist-high to overhead waves.

Conclusion: Take the Leap and Ride the Big Waves

So, what is a gun surfboard? It’s a specialized tool that can help experienced surfers take on big, powerful waves and experience the thrill of riding the biggest swells. While they’re not for everyone, guns can be a great option for surfers who are ready to take the leap and push their skills to the next level. Just remember to always stay safe, stay focused, and enjoy every moment of the ride.

FAQs About Gun Surfboards

If you’re thinking about adding a gun surfboard to your quiver, you probably have a few questions. Here are some of the most common questions surfers ask about guns:

1. What size gun surfboard should I get?

The size of your gun will depend on your weight, height, and skill level, as well as the size and shape of the waves you plan to ride. A general rule of thumb is to choose a board that is between 6″ and 12″ longer than your height.

2. Are gun surfboards dangerous?

Like any surfboard, guns can be dangerous if not used correctly. They are designed for experienced surfers who know how to read and ride big waves safely. Always respect the ocean and never take unnecessary risks.

3. Can I use a gun surfboard for small waves?

While it’s technically possible to ride a gun in smaller waves, it’s not recommended. Guns are designed for big, powerful surf, and they may be harder to maneuver in smaller waves. If you’re looking for a board for small waves, consider a traditional shortboard or mid-length board instead.

4. What’s the difference between a gun surfboard and a step-up board?

While they are similar in some ways, step-up boards are typically a bit more versatile than guns. They can handle a wider range of conditions and tend to have a more rounded, fuller shape. If you’re not sure if you need a gun or a step-up, talk to an experienced shaper or surf shop for guidance.

5. How do I take care of my gun surfboard?

To keep your gun in top condition, rinse it off with fresh water after every use, store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, and repair any dings or cracks as soon as they happen to prevent water damage.

6. Can I find used surfboards for sale?

Yes, there are plenty of places to find used surfboards for sale, including online classifieds, surf shops, and local buy/sell/trade groups. Just make sure to inspect any used board carefully and look for any signs of damage or wear.

7. Do I need a special leash for my gun surfboard?

No, you don’t need a special leash specifically for a gun surfboard. A standard surf leash should work just fine, but make sure to choose one that is long enough to accommodate the length of your board.

8. Can I surf a gun board with a quad fin setup?

While most guns come with a 3-fin thruster setup, some surfers prefer to ride them with a quad fin setup. This can provide a bit more speed and stability, but it can also impact the board’s turning ability.

9. How do I get comfortable with riding a gun surfboard?

Riding a gun can take some getting used to, especially if you’re used to riding shorter boards. Start by practicing in smaller waves and gradually work your way up to bigger