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How to Build Your Surfboard Quiver

November 22, 2010

A typical beginner’s quiver will look like this:

   A typical intermediate/advanced quiver looks like this:

If you really enjoy paddling or are just ill informed. There are really no set rules for constructing a quiver, but if you want to avoid spending thousands of extra dollars, there are a few guidelines you can follow:

Typically when building a quiver, you want to try and cover as many different scenarios, wave types, and weather conditions as possible. If you get crazy variation in your local waves, get a few specialist boards with a couple broad spectrum boards to cover the gaps.

If you have nothing but micro surf, invest in a few longboards and fish to keep it interesting.

Rules of thumb:

  • If a board is PERFECT for a certain very specific condition (say overhead, hollow, barrels), it will almost always be lousy almost everywhere else.
  • Your all-arounders can handle most conditions and perform decently...
  • But it is SUPER difficult to find a board that is great across conditions (so if you find your magic board, take extra precautions—it will be very hard to replace).
  • Your best all-rounders will either be performance longboards or well-constructed funboards
  • Your specialist boards tend to be the most ostentatious—fish, shortboards, big wave guns, SUPS

An advanced quiver will tell you a lot about how that surfer rides. The more you find your style, typically the less deviation in design you'll need/want in your boards. Not only will you be more choosy about the types of waves you paddle into, but you'll find you can coax your surfboard into working in new conditions.

If you're the soul surfers type, you've probably got a slim handful of handshaped custom longboards with maybe the odd retro twin fin fish for bigger days.

If you're the hardcore adrenaline junkie power surfer, you've probably got a rack full of wafer thin potato chips.

Friends don't ask you to borrow boards because your shortboards are like your children. Expensive, thin children. If you don’t know which way to go, make it a goal to experiment with shapes and try as many of each shape as you can before you make a purchase.

Or check out our board guide: What Size Surfboard Should I Get?

I’m still kind of a beginner surfer so my quiver is:

  1. A glass 9’2 Ladle
  2. Epoxy 6’8 Jack
  3. And a glass 9'0 Ultimate
Between the 2 longboards, I can catch pretty much anything shoulder high and smaller, while the Jack lets me ride bigger, more hollow waves. It’s definitely not the perfect quiver, but it performs on the waves I want to ride and helps me push my limits. What are YOU guys riding and why?


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