Buying a surfboard without considering the waves you will be surfing most and for which the board is intended is a recipe for frustration. Get the best surfboard for your waves and situation. Different surfboard designs are suited to different wave types.
A small, albeit obvious, disclaimer: surfboard choice is highly personal. What works for one surfer may not work for another; one man/woman’s foam & resin poison is another man/woman’s prize. However, there are a few broadly accepted design principles that help to answer the eternal question:
Which surfboard will work best for a given wave type or location?
If you are unfamiliar with the three basic surf break types – point, beach and reef breaks – this article will help you with the basics.
However, not all point, beach and reef breaks are created equal – one point break may have smaller, flatter, mellower, rolling waves (e.g., Pottuvil Point, Sri Lanka) while another may be big, fast and hollow (e.g., Barra de La Cruz in Oaxaca, Mexico) – and boards are designed to suit the character of a wave (and, of course, riding style) so one board is not going to work, for example, at all point breaks.
At CompareSurfboards.com, we try hard to simplify the world of surfboard choice to make it easy for you to find the right surfboard. Here are the broad categories we use, loosely based on wave type:
Small Wave/Summer Lovin Surfboards: For most of us, the all rounders we use in most small to medium size waves with average to good conditions
Tiny Wave Grovelers: Surfboards intended for the tiniest, weakest conditions
Good Wave/High Performance Surfboards: Surfboards you reach for when it’s hollow, powerful or both
Longboards, Midlengths, Retro & More: Logs, stubbies, hulls, you name it…as long as it’s long & cruisy
Exquisite Surf Craft: Works of art: the craftsmanship infused into these fine specimens of resin and foam is a clear cut above the rest
Other Wave Sliding Apparatus: Hand planes, swim fins and more. Anything to expand your ocean existence
Hope this helps you to find the best surfboard for your situation!