Have a look at our handy guide to surfboard shapes

So you’ve visited us here at Outdoor Adventure, you loved all the outdoor activities you got to try, but in particular you were into surfing the most. The lessons were great, you were great, and you’re now keen to get yourself a board of your own. You need to bear in mind that you shouldn’t jump in to a purchase, maybe borrow, or buy second-hand first of all, in case things don’t work out. However, with surfing being so fun and addictive you’re probably never going to stop now that you’ve started! So with this in mind, if you fancy getting your hands on your very own surfboard then let our handy guide be your reference.

A surfer riding a barrel of a wave on a perfect day!

So that you don’t get overwhelmed when you’re looking for boards, do as much research as possible, but to get you started, surfboards fall into one of a few major categories. These groups will help you to distinguish the types of surfboards by their basic shape and how they are best ridden. The most common types of surfboards these days include the six following types: shortboard, longboard, funboard, fish, gun and the hybrid. Obviously you won’t want to get a super short board straight away as it’ll be too hard to ride, but after riding a mini mal for a while and finding your feet you’ll be able to choose the style of board for the ride you want to have!


Types of Surfboards



The shortboard surfboard design reinvented high performance surfing during the 1970s and these are the boards that you will see top surfers ride and push the boundaries of technical surfing. The shortboard is normally found at lengths under seven feet long. The shortboard will have a bigger degree of rocker which allows for the board to surf in critical sections of the wave. This type of board will most commonly be seen with sharp noses, thins rails, and either three or four fins.



The longboard lays claim to being the oldest and most traditional of modern surfboard designs around. Usually longboards will range from between 8 feet to 12 feet in length, at least 2.5 inches thick and then twenty inches wide. It’s the extra volume which allows them to paddle incredibly well and catch waves with great ease. If you’re a beginner then you should start on a longboard shape so that you can learn wave selection, improve your paddling technique, and master your turning skills on the wave. If you watch experienced longboarders you’ll notice fluid style, surfing in a very smooth and relaxed manner.


A funboard is a larger style of surfboard with a big amount of volume but not quite to the extent of a longboard. These boards usually come in from 6 to 8 feet in length. Funboards are great if you’re looking at surfing something a bit shorter and wanting to make the transition to a smaller board whilst still preserving that additional bit of paddling power and stability. The funboard can come in a variety of tail shapes, nose shapes, and foils.


The fish design grew in popularity during the 1970s and has origins in the knee-board. A fish is normally shorter and wider than shortboards so they are a popular choice for surfing on those days when you need something that works very well in small mushy surf. A fish is a relatively flat shaped board with only minimal rocker. The fact that the rocker is reduced allows for the fish style board to paddle really well and carry speed through flat sections of the wave.


A gun is a type of surfboard that the big boys and girls take out when those huge swells are rolling in. A characteristic gun ranges in length from 6 1/2feet to 12 feet in length. The board’s added length allows for the surfer riding it to pick up enough speed while paddling to catch the massive and fast paced waves. Guns are designed for the big drops and for handling real high volumes of speed while maintaining a good degree of control. A gun will have a super amount of rocker and most likely have three of four fins.


As the name suggests a hybrid designed board combines a few design elements from different board types. One common example mixes the features and performance of a shortboard with the stability and tail design of a fish. This is an ideal board for those medium size days or even for a heavier surfer who is after a smaller board to surf.