Guide to Midlengths

July 04, 2024

Guide to Midlengths

The midlength is a type of board that has had remarkable success in recent years. Ranging from about 6'6 to 7'6, the midlength is both user friendly and high performance; a balance that is difficult to achieve in many other types of boards.

This guide will explore some of the elements of a midlengths to show you why the midlength might be a gamechanger for your surfing. 

1) What is the purpose of a midlength? 

Many surfers find themselves stuck between two extremes; on one hand, especially among younger crowds, there is a cultural push toward high performance, shortboard surfing, while on the other hand, there are longboard only purists who wouldn't touch a board under 8ft. When it comes to everyday surfing, most people actually need something in between. They want to be able to turn well without being restricted by the length of a longboard, but they also don't want to exert all of their energy trying to paddle into a 3ft mush-burger on a chippy shortboard that amounts to a quick ride. Hence, the midlength is the perfect bridge for most surfers. 

The goal of a midlength, therefore, is to offer the highest level of performance with the least effort possible.  Depending on what size and style of midlength, the spectrum of performance and user friendliness will move in one direction or the other. 

2) What are types of midlengths? 

  • Standard (classic) midlength 

What comes to mind when considering a classic midlength is an egg shape board, with a slight point in the nose and a 2 plus one or single fin set up. This type of board is like our Matrix, which is a modern update on a board designed by a shaper Bill Minard in the 70's. These boards are still user friendly because of their volume, and increased thickness, however, they required a certain style of surfing to be done on them in order to truly appreciate them. Rather than pumping down the line, turning hard on rail, or going for snaps, these board should be ridden with a certain level of finesse. Instead of pumping, try high and low lines for speed; instead of sharp, shortboard-esque, turns, draw out the turn in a smooth fashion. Matching this type of surfing with a classic midlength is undeniably pleasant to both perform and watch. 

So if you consider yourself a surfer who likes to style through your maneuvers, trim, and operate at a bit of a slower pace to enjoy the ride, this is definitely the board type for you. 

The egg shape is a board that is nearly impossible to have a bad session on. Hence the name, the board is literally shaped like an egg, featuring a wide round nose and a narrower round tail. Check out the Poacher for reference on this shape. 

The benefit of riding an egg style board is that they are incredibly diverse. In mushy, small surf, the wide nose allows the rider to move through slow sections with ease. Then once the wave gets steep again, the narrower tail offers a great amount of hold on the wave face when being pushed hard through turns. For this reason we've have a blast riding the Poacher in any waves 2 to 7ft plus. 

Multiple different surf styles are well suited for the egg. High performance surfers can get to the tail and surf the board like a shortboard, while the cruisy surfers can still draw out turns and surf with flow. Furthermore, because of its width, beginner intermediate surfers find this shape to be an excellent transition board as they progress to smaller boards. 

If you are someone looking for an all around midlength to progress your surfing on, grab the Poacher! 

The fishy midlength has grown in popularity because of all the midlengths on the market, these are perhaps the most unique, while still being very easy to ride for the everyday surfer. To understand how these boards operate, it is best to consider the elements of a normal fish. Like any fish surfboard, these boards carry tremendous speed down the line and are very loose. Unlike a normal fish, a long fish allows for a lot more hold on the wave face (more rail line=more hold on the wave face). This makes these boards very ideal for longer, down the line waves like point breaks or very makeable beach breaks. 

A great fish midlength is our Easy Rider. These boards come in a bunch of different sizes, each of which offers five fin boxes so they can be ridden as either a quad to bring out fish elements, or as a thruster to feel a bit slower but more controlled. 

So if you find fish boards appealing, but difficult to ride, the fish midlength is a great route for you. 

Performance midlengths, like our Over Easy or Speed Egg is an amazing blend of a shortboard and midlength. When you want to surf with progression and speed, but you don't want the difficulty of riding a much smaller board.  

If you have more questions on these designs or need help deciding on the right board, email us at surf@degree33.com or give us a call at (800) 920-2363.

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