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How to Build Your Surfboard Quiver

August 13, 2021

How to Build Your Surfboard Quiver

When building your surfboard quiver we should all start with your goals in mind.  Here at Degree 33 we are always talking to our customers about the progression ladder which means when you start out you go BIG and as you get better, you take another step on the ladder and gradually move to a smaller board with each step.  The idea is that you get to the level of proficiency on each shape before you go to the next one.  In case you did not know the term, a "quiver" is a term surfers use to describe the collection of boards that they surf.  This can be anywhere from two to eight boards (or more) depending on how serious you are.  A typical beginner and intermediate surfboard quiver may consist of a longboard a mid length and a fish shape.  It would look something like this:

As you progress in your surfing you will begin to seek out additional boards for a particular purpose.  For example, instead of just a regular longboard you may want to get one that is specifically designed for noseriding.  Instead of a regular fun shape midlength you may one that has a more pulled in nose and thinner rail for better surf conditions (think hollow and steep).  On the shortboard end you may want to put your fish away when the surf is up and get a high performance board with a thruster setup plus a few extra inches for larger surf.  An expanded intermediate/advanced quiver looks like this:

Longboards and surfboards for bgeinner and intermediate

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. Generally a three board quiver, like the one pictured above will be just about perfect for any surfer.  If you want to go all in with your equipment and surfing then the larger eight board quiver above is something to work towards.

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.

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 am a very experienced intermediate surfer so my basic go to quiver looks like this:

  1. Epoxy 8'6" Ultimate
  2. Epoxy 7'2" Poacher
  3. Poly 6' Weapon Shortboard
  4. Poly 5'8" Keelfather Fish

Between the longboard and midlength, I can catch pretty much anything shoulder high and smaller, while the Weapon and the Fish lets me ride bigger, more hollow waves. This quiver covers all the bases for me 95% of the time and it performs on the waves I want to ride and helps me push my limits. What are YOU guys riding and why?

The main thing is to get a good understanding of what you want to achieve and then do the research to make sure you are getting the right boards.  We often talk to people that bought the latest whatever and are not really happy with their new purchase.  We work hard to be sure you get the right board for the level of surfing that you are doing.  Like we often say here, don't buy a Ferrari when you need a Toyota Camry!

Beginner and intermediate surfboards

If you want to discuss what boards you need to progress or what the different models do, stop by our shop, shoot us an email at surf@degree33.com or call the shop at (800) 920-2363 and we can get you dialed in.  We have a crew of experienced board experts that are ready to help take you to the next level!




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