What Size Surfboard Do I Need?

Are you a newbie surfer still trying to figure out what size surfboard to ride? Or are you a seasoned rider looking to upgrade your quiver but unsure what dimensions to go for? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Getting your surfboard dimensions right can make or break your surfing experience. Proper sizing can determine how well you catch and ride waves, how much control you have, and how much fun you get to have out there in the lineup. So, let’s

What Size Surfboard Do I Need?

The size of your surfboard depends on your height, weight, skill level, the type of waves you’ll be riding, and the style of surfing you want to do. A good rule of thumb is that the longer and wider the board, the more buoyancy and stability it will provide. This makes it easier to catch waves and get up to speed. However, longer and wider boards are also harder to maneuver and turn. On the other hand, shorter and narrower boards are more maneuverable, making them better for advanced surfers in more powerful waves. But they can be harder to ride and catch waves on. So, it’s crucial to strike a balance between size, shape, and your abilities to find a surfboard that suits you best.

What Size Surfboard Do I Need?

If you’re new to surfing, trying to find the right size surfboard can be a daunting task. With so many different surfboard sizes, shapes, and materials, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that suits your skills and surfing style. But fear not! In this post, we will help you choose the best surfboard size for you, so you can catch more waves, carve deeper turns, and become a better surfer.

Factors that Influence the Size of Your Surfboard

Choosing the right size of surfboard is not just about your height and weight. It’s a combination of several factors that can have significant impacts on your surfing experience. These factors include:

Your Skill Level

If you are a beginner, it’s best to start with a longer, wider, and thicker board. This will give you more stability and buoyancy, making it easier for you to catch waves and get up to speed. Conversely, if you’re a more advanced surfer, you’ll likely prefer a shorter and narrower board that’s more maneuverable in the water.

The Type of Waves You’ll Be Riding

The size of the waves you’ll encounter will also influence the size of the board you should use. If you’re surfing small waves, it’s better to use a shorter and narrower board. On the other hand, if you’re surfing bigger waves, it’s better to use a longer and wider board that can handle the power of the waves better.

The Style of Surfing You Want to Do

Are you into longboarding, shortboarding or something in between? The type of surfing you want to do will also affect the board you should use. For example, if you’re a longboard rider, you’ll likely prefer a longer board with a rounded nose that’s great for hanging ten or cruising on the waves. Conversely, if you’re a shortboarder, you’ll prefer a shorter and narrower board that’s more agile and perfect for quick turns, aerials and more progressive maneuvers.

What Board Sizes are Available?

Surfboards come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from five feet to twelve feet or more. Here are some general guidelines for the most common sizes:

Shortboards (5’5″ to 6’6″)

Shortboards are typically used by advanced surfers in high-performance waves. These boards are designed to be fast, maneuverable, and highly responsive. Shortboards often feature pointed noses, sharp rail profiles, and narrow tails. Their smaller size and lighter weight make them ideal for executing snappy turns, airs, and cutbacks. Shortboards are usually between 5’5″ and 6’6″ in length.

Hybrids (6’6″ to 7’6″)

Hybrid surfboards are a combination of a shortboard and a longboard. They typically have more volume than traditional shortboards, giving them additional buoyancy, stability and making them easier to paddle. Hybrid surfboards are great for intermediate surfers who want a little bit of everything in a surfboard, including speed, maneuverability, float, and wave-catching ability. Hybrid surfboards usually range from 6’6″ to 7’6″ in length.

Funboards (7’0″ to 8’0″)

Funboards are the longest of the shortboards and the shortest of the longboards. They offer more stability and buoyancy than a shortboard, making them an excellent choice for intermediate surfers looking to improve their skills. Funboards are easier to paddle and catch waves than a shortboard, making them ideal for smaller, weaker waves. Funboards usually range from 7’0″ to 8’0″ in length.

Longboards (8’0″ to 12’0″)

Longboards are usually 9 feet or longer and come in many different shapes and styles. They have rounder noses, wider tails, and more volume than other surfboards. Longboards are the go-to choice for beginners because of their stability and ease of use. They are also popular with intermediate and advanced longboard riders who want to style across the waves, hang ten, or nose ride. Longboards range in length from around 8’0″ to 12’0″.

Additional Factors to Consider

There are a few additional factors to consider when choosing the right size surfboard:

Your Height and Weight

Your height and weight are significant factors when choosing the right size surfboard. Taller and heavier surfers will need larger boards to provide the necessary float and stability, while shorter and lighter surfers will need smaller boards to increase maneuverability and control.

Board Thickness

Board thickness is the measurement of the surfboard from the deck to the bottom. A thicker board provides more float and stability and is better for beginners. Thinner boards are more maneuverable and better for advanced surfers.

Board Shape

The shape of the board will also play a part in its performance. The outline, rocker, and rails all play a role in how the board will handle in the water. For example, a board with a wider nose and tail will provide more stability, while a board with a narrower tail and a sharper rocker will be more agile and perform better in steep, hollow waves.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right size surfboard is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a surfer. Take your time, consider your skill level, the types of waves you’ll be riding, and the style of surfing you want to do. And don’t forget that you can find great deals on used surfboards for sale, making it easier to find the perfect board at the perfect price. Happy surfing!

Board Volume: A Key Metric to Consider

When it comes to finding the right surfboard size, board volume is a crucial metric to consider. Board volume refers to the amount of space inside the board, in liters. The more volume, the more buoyancy a board will have, making it easier to catch waves and stay afloat. Volume is calculated by taking into account the board’s length, width, and thickness. Most surfboard manufacturers provide volume information on their boards, making it easier for surfers to find the perfect board for their skill level and preferences.

Don’t Forget about Your Fitness Level

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a surfboard size is your fitness level. If you’re still not familiar with surfing, you might not know that paddling can be one of the most demanding parts of the sport. If you’re not physically fit, you’ll struggle to paddle longer boards or surf in larger, more powerful waves. So, before you choose your surfboard size, make sure you’re physically fit enough to handle it. Remember that regular exercise and conditioning can help you build the strength and endurance you need to become a better surfer.

Get Advice from a Pro

If you’re still unsure of what size surfboard to choose, don’t hesitate to ask for advice from a professional surfer or a knowledgeable salesperson at your local surf shop. They can help you choose the right board based on your skill level, fitness, wave type, and surfing style. They might even be able to recommend used surfboards for sale that could meet your requirements and budget.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right size surfboard can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Take the time to consider your skill level, the types of waves you’ll be riding, and the style of surfing you want to do. Don’t forget to factor in your height, weight, fitness level, board thickness, and volume. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from surfing pros or surf shop staff. With a little patience and some expert advice, you’ll soon find the perfect board that will take your surfing skills to the next level.


As you can see, choosing the right size surfboard requires some thought and consideration. But the good news is that if you do your research, choose wisely, and even opt for used surfboards for sale, you’ll find the perfect board that suits your style and abilities. Once you have the right board, hit the waves with confidence and enjoy the ride of your life. Happy surfing!

FAQ: Common Questions About Choosing the Right Surfboard Size

Still have questions about choosing the right size surfboard for your needs and skill level? Check out our frequently asked questions section below:

1. Can I Use a Shortboard as a Beginner?

Shortboards are suitable for advanced surfers who have experience in high-performance waves. They are not recommended for beginners who are still learning the ropes. Shortboards are faster, more maneuverable, and require more skill to surf compared to longer boards designed for beginners.

2. How Do I Know If a Board Has Enough Volume?

Board volume is an essential factor to consider when choosing the right surfboard size. A board with enough volume will provide enough buoyancy and float to make the board stable in the water. When choosing a surfboard, use the board’s volume measurement as a guide to determine whether or not it has enough volume for your weight, height, and skill level.

3. Can I Use a Longboard As an Intermediate Surfer?

Yes, you can use a longboard as an intermediate surfer, especially if you’re into trimming, cross-stepping, and other classic longboard maneuvers. Longboards are also great for catching smaller waves and are easier to learn on compared to shortboards.

4. What’s the Ideal Board Size for Small Waves?

The ideal board size for small waves is usually a board that’s between 6’0” to 8’0” in length. Your skill level and preference will also determine the ideal board size for small waves.

5. What’s the Ideal Board Size for Big Waves?

The ideal board size for big waves depends on your skill level and the type of big waves you’ll be surfing. For most surfers, a board that’s over 8’0” in length is ideal for big waves. However, advanced surfers who are experienced in large, powerful waves may opt for shorter boards that are more maneuverable and responsive.

6. Should I Choose a Wider Board or a Narrower Board?

The type of surfboard you choose will depend on your surfing style, skill level, and the type of waves you’ll be surfing. Wider boards offer more stability and float, making them easier to catch waves and ride. Narrower boards offer more maneuverability and are preferred for more advanced maneuvers in steep, powerful waves.

7. Do I Need a Thick Board?

The thickness of a surfboard will affect its buoyancy and stability in the water. Beginners will usually benefit from thicker boards that offer more float and stability. Intermediate and advanced surfers can opt for thinner boards that offer more maneuverability and responsiveness.

8. Can I Use a Surfboard that’s Too Big?

Using a surfboard that’s too big can make it challenging to maneuver and turn, especially in more challenging waves. It’s best to choose a surfboard that suits your skill level and style of surfing. This will make your surfing experience more enjoyable and will help you progress faster.

9. Can I Use a Surfboard that’s Too Small