What is a Step-Up Surfboard?

Hey there, fellow surfers! Are you tired of wiping out on those high waves or struggling to paddle back to the line-up after every ride? Introducing the Step-Up Surfboard! You must be wondering what this super cool board is all about. Well, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered!

A Step-Up Surfboard is an essential tool for seasoned surfers who want to tackle bigger, faster, and more challenging waves. As the name suggests,

What is a Step-Up Surfboard?

A step-up surfboard is a specialized type of surfboard that is designed to handle larger and more powerful waves than a typical shortboard. They are typically longer, wider, and thicker than a shortboard, but have a narrower tail and more rocker than a longboard. Step-up surfboards are typically used by experienced surfers who are looking to tackle more challenging waves and conditions.

What is a Step-Up Surfboard?

As mentioned in the introduction, a Step-Up Surfboard is a type of surfboard that is designed for experienced surfers who want to ride bigger, faster, and more challenging waves than they would on a standard shortboard. These boards are longer and wider than typical shortboards, with a more narrow tail, more rocker or curvature in the board’s shape, and often a pointed nose. The result is a board that is more maneuverable and responsive in larger waves, while still allowing the surfer to maintain control and speed on the face of the wave.

Who Should Use a Step-Up Surfboard?

A Step-Up Surfboard is not recommended for novice surfers or beginners. To use a Step-Up Surfboard safely, you should have extensive experience surfing on smaller boards and be comfortable riding larger, more powerful waves.

However, if you’ve been surfing for a while and are looking to take your skills to the next level, a Step-Up Surfboard may be just what you need. As you improve your ability to read and ride waves, you may find that standard shortboards don’t provide the performance you’re looking for in larger surf. This is where a Step-Up Surfboard comes in – it’s the next step in your surfing journey.

What Makes a Step-Up Surfboard Different?

There are several design features that make a Step-Up Surfboard unique from other types of surfboards. These include:

1. Length and Width

Step-Up Surfboards are typically longer and wider than standard shortboards, which makes them more stable and easier to paddle into waves. However, they are also narrower than a traditional longboard, which allows for more maneuverability and control.

2. More Rocker

The tail of a Step-Up Surfboard is often more narrow and curved than other boards, which improves its performance in steep, powerful waves. This curvature is known as “rocker.” The addition of more rocker in the tail allows the board to pivot smoothly and quickly when making sharp turns, helping surfers to navigate the wave face with precision.

3. Pointed Nose

Another key feature of a Step-Up Surfboard is its pointed nose. This design allows the board to cut through the water more efficiently, helping surfers to maintain speed and control while riding larger waves.

What Size Step-Up Surfboard Should I Get?

The size of a Step-Up Surfboard you should get largely depends on your skill level, body type, and the size of the waves you plan to ride. In general, most Step-Up Surfboards range from 6’6″ to 8’0″ in length, and are typically slightly wider and thicker than a standard shortboard.

However, the specific size of your board will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your height and weight
  • Your surfing ability and experience
  • The wave conditions at your local spot

If you’re not sure what size Step-Up Surfboard to get, consult with a knowledgeable surf shop employee or shaper. They can help you find the right board for your needs and skill level.

Where Can I Find Step-Up Surfboards?

If you’re in the market for a Step-Up Surfboard, there are several options available to you. Your local surf shop is a great place to start – they can offer advice on selecting the right board and may have a variety of new and used surfboards for sale.

Another option is to shop online, where you can browse a wide range of boards from different manufacturers and read reviews from other surfers. Just be aware that the cost of shipping a surfboard can be high, and you may not be able to inspect the board in person before making your purchase.


In conclusion, a Step-Up Surfboard is a specialized type of board that is designed for experienced surfers who want to ride larger and more challenging waves. These boards offer improved stability, maneuverability, and control, making them ideal for surfers who are ready to take their skills to the next level. If you’re thinking about buying a Step-Up Surfboard, be sure to consider your skill level, body type, and local wave conditions, and consult with a knowledgeable shaper or surf shop employee to help you find the perfect board for your needs. And if you’re looking for a deal, don’t forget to check out used surfboards for sale!

Step-Up Board versus Gun

Although the terms step-up board and gun are often used interchangeably, there are some slight differences between the two. A gun is a type of surfboard that is specifically designed for the biggest waves, while a step-up board is designed for waves that are slightly smaller but still challenging. Guns are typically longer and narrower than step-up boards, and have a more pointed nose and steeper rocker. If you’re an expert surfer who regularly rides waves over 15 feet, a gun may be a better option than a step-up board.

Step-Up Board Shapes

Step-up boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each tailored to the preferences and riding style of the surfer. Some popular shapes include:

Round Pin Tail

A round pin tail is a classic tail shape for step-up boards. It provides a good balance of stability and maneuverability, making it suitable for most wave conditions. The round pin tail is also versatile and can be used for a wide range of surfing styles, from carving big turns to riding barrels.

Squash Tail

A squash tail is a popular tail shape for step-up boards because it provides excellent control and maneuverability in smaller waves, while still being able to handle larger surf. The squash tail also allows for more speed at the bottom of the wave, making it easier to generate enough velocity to ride the wave face.

Swallow Tail

A swallow tail is a tail shape that is designed for performance in larger, hollower waves. It provides excellent stability and control while surfing in the barrel, but can be less maneuverable in smaller waves. If you’re planning on surfing in big, powerful waves, a swallow tail step-up board might be the perfect choice for you.

Board Construction

Step-up boards can be constructed from a variety of materials, including foam and fiberglass, but most are made from either polyurethane or epoxy resin. Polyurethane foam boards are typically heavier than epoxy boards, but they offer more durability and can handle more impact. Epoxy boards, on the other hand, are lighter and more maneuverable, but can be more susceptible to damage and dings.


Now that you know what a step-up surfboard is, why you might need one, and how to choose the right one, it’s time to start thinking about hitting the waves. Whether you’re looking to tackle bigger waves or just to improve your surfing skills, a step-up board can help you take your surfing to the next level. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and catch some waves!

FAQs about Step-Up Surfboards

Here are some frequently asked questions about Step-Up Surfboards:

1. Can I use a Step-Up Surfboard on smaller waves?

Yes, you can! While Step-Up Surfboards are designed for larger waves, they can still be used in smaller surf. However, keep in mind that they may not perform as well in these conditions as a standard shortboard.

2. How much do Step-Up Surfboards cost?

The cost of a Step-Up Surfboard can vary widely depending on the brand, size, and materials used. On average, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for a new Step-Up Surfboard.

3. How do I maintain my Step-Up Surfboard?

To keep your Step-Up Surfboard in good condition, you should rinse it with fresh water after each use and keep it out of direct sunlight when not in use. You should also get any dings or cracks repaired as soon as possible to prevent water damage and keep your board in top condition.

4. Can I ride a Step-Up Surfboard if I’m a beginner?

No, Step-Up Surfboards are not recommended for beginners. They are designed for experienced surfers who are comfortable riding larger waves.

5. What accessories do I need for my Step-Up Surfboard?

You’ll need a surfboard leash, wax, and possibly a set of fins depending on your board’s design. A board bag can also be helpful for transporting your board to and from the beach.

6. Can I buy used Step-Up Surfboards?

Yes, there are many used surfboards for sale that could be great options for a new surfer on a budget. Just be sure to inspect the board carefully before you buy it, and consider having a knowledgeable shaper or surf shop employee take a look at it as well.

7. How long does a Step-Up Surfboard last?

The lifespan of a Step-Up Surfboard depends on several factors, including how often it’s used, how well it’s cared for, and whether it sustains any damage or dings. With proper care and maintenance, a Step-Up Surfboard can last several years or more.

8. Can I take my Step-Up Surfboard on a plane?

Yes, you can take your Step-Up Surfboard on a plane, either as checked baggage or as a separate item. However, keep in mind that airlines often charge extra fees for surfboards, and you may need to purchase a special board bag for transport.

9. How long does it take to learn how to surf on a Step-Up Surfboard?

The amount of time it takes to learn how to surf on a Step-Up Surfboard depends on your level of experience and skill. If you’re already an experienced surfer, you may be able to start riding waves on a Step-Up Surfboard right away. However, if you’re new to surfing, it will likely take several months of practice before you feel comfortable on this type of board.