What Shape Surfboard Should I Get?

September 10, 2022

What Shape Surfboard Should I Get?

You may be asking yourself the question "What's the difference between all the surfboard shapes I see?"

The overall shape of your board, (taking into account nose & tail shape) will essentially determine how your board performs.

Most boards fit into a general category, in which the other boards in that category will also have similarly shaped noses and general outlines.

There are obviously exceptions to this rule when a custom board is created. In this case, the customer can literally pick what type of specifics they want for the board.

Here are the most common shapes of surfboards, and an explanation of who would most likely be surfing them. This will help you determine the best shape for you.


The longboard shape is ideal for any level of surfer especially for those small wave days. A longboard is what we recommend for all beginners and/ or larger surfers and is one of those boards that EVERY quiver should have.

Some of the typical highlights are:

  • Range in size from 9’ - 11’
  • Very buoyant due to its large volume (width, thickness and length)
  • Round nose and squash/square tail or rounded pin tail
  • Wide through entire board 23+” (provides stability)
  • About 2.5” - 3.5” thick (adds buoyancy making it easy to paddle)
  • This board style is for EVERYONE
  • Great on anything ankle to chest high

There are three different shapes of longboards we offer, the board you choose is determined by the type of surfing you are doing, your height, your weight as well as your experience level.  

The Classic Log is good for a beginner surfer or for very small waves.  Many very experienced surfers still love the Classic Log shape because they are so easy to surf and allow for very smooth and stylish surfing.

The Ultimate Performance longboard, is unique because it is considered a Performance shape but this board blends together the stability a new surfer needs to get to their feet fast and often with an elegant level of responsiveness that experienced riders demand.  This allows you to learn to surf and then have a board that you will be able to continue to progress on for many years.   Although it is called a performance shape, it is very user friendly and is our #1 selling board for both beginner and intermediate surfers alike.

The Wedge Noserider is really designed for an experienced long boarder who is already riding the nose proficiently and wants to go to the next level with responsiveness and speed when getting to the nose.  This board is for a very experienced surfer.

Go here to see our full line up of longboards


The mini long or mini-mal is primarily a slimmed down version of the longboard. It carries many of the same characteristics but in a smaller size. This shape is ideal for lighter weight or female beginners and/or intermediate surfers. Since the mini-longboard is really just a small longboard most of the time you will see them listed in the same section as longboards.

Some of the typical highlights are:

  • Size range from 8’ - 9”
  • Round nose and squash/square tail
  • Wide through entire board ~22” (provides stability)
  • About 2.5” - 3” inches thick (making it easy to paddle out)
  • Great for transitioning from beginner to intermediate longboarder
  • Ride in anything from ankle biters to chest high

The Ultimate longboard is an excellent choice if you are going for a mini longboard as we offer them in the smaller sizes to include 7’6”, 8’ and 8’6” which is on the smaller end for longboards.

The Over Easy Speed Egg is a great board for someone who wants to take a progression step down from the longboard and begin to progress into smaller boards.  The Over Easy allows you to take off on larger waves as well because it has more rocker than a longboard.  The board allows you to get used to a more advanced shape without losing all the paddling  you want to catch lots of waves.


This shape is ideal for light weight beginners (120lbs and under) or intermediate surfers looking to transition down in size from a longboard. Includes: egg shapes, fish, etc.

Some of the typical highlights are-

  • Size ranges from 6’6” – 7’6”, and anything that is 20” or wider
  • Can have a variety of nose & tail shapes
  • Overall outline makes it easy to paddle and versatile to surf
  • A great transitional board as you step down from a longboard
  • Surf this board in anything from knee to chest high

The Poacher is easiest transition board and is an ideal step when you are ready to progress off of the longboard.  The Poacher allows you to catch waves easily, maintain good stability and start learning to turn a surfboard.

The Easy Rider beginner fish is another great transition board.  This is a traditional fish shape only stretched out to a larger size with a swallow tail and five fin boxes.  When using a quad fin (four fin) setup the board allows you to have more paddling speed when taking off and added maneuverability over the Poacher fun shape. This board is another very popular board for surfers who are progressing.

Go here to see our full line up of funboards


This shape is ideal for intermediate surfers or surfers wanting to transition from a mini longboard or funshape down in size. The main thing to keep in mind is that a hybrid surfboard is a combo of varying elements. From nose shapes to tail shapes to fin setups. Different combos are going to give you a different ride and feel.

Some of the typical highlights are:

  • Size ranges vary greatly and can be anywhere from 5‘6” to 8’+
  • Longer boards can have pointed noses for tighter turns
  • Shorter boards will have a wider nose for easy wave catching
  • Greater width and thickness will provide stability and float
  • Great transition board for someone who wants to move faster
  • Can make a great first board for a youth or grom
  • Surf this board in anything from knee to head high

The Bullet is a groveler shape which is designed for intermediate to advanced surfers who value speed and paddle power in their performance surfing.  The wide and short outline allow you to paddle into weaker waves with ease and the flat rocker allows for tons of speed.  Because it has a five fin design the board allows you tons of turning ability.  This board is simply magic!

The Cloud isn’t like any other board you see at the surf shop.  It’s hybrid outline and packs in a lot of volume into a compact package.  The shorter outline allows you to make fast takeoffs where you have little time to make the drop (think beach break). With a pulled in tail and the five fin design, the board is really maneuverable.  It works well in small surf and can handle a larger wave if it is tasked to do so. 

Go here to see our full line up of hybrids


This shape is ideal for intermediate surfers. Looking to maximize turns and speed on small to medium sized waves.

Some of the typical highlights are:

  • Size range from 4’8” – 6’2”
  • Surf this 2-6” shorter than your shortboard
  • Wide, pointed nose (for carving turns)
  • Swallow tail (channels water to generate speed)
  • Width and thickness provides strong wave-catching ability
  • Great transition board for stepping down from a funboard
  • Great transition board for stepping down from your shortboard
  • Best in knee to head high waves


The Codfather fish is a modern version of the classic retro fish from the sixties.  This board has a full outline with lots of volume in the chest area which allows for easy wave catching.  Once you are up on the wave the flatter rock allows for lots of speed.  The quad or twin fin options makes the board either more maneuverable (quad) or more cruisy and controlled (twin fin).  This board is a customer favorite and has stood the test of time.  This is a board for an intermediate to advanced surfer only as it is too small for a beginner surfer.


This shape is ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers. Designed for maneuverability and aggressive moves, the shortboard has been a surfing staple since the 70‘s.

Some of the typical highlights are-

  • Size range from about 5’ – 6’10”
  • Ride this board as long as you are tall or longer
  • Pointed nose (for maneuverability and carving turns)
  • Square/Squash/Swallow/Round tail
  • Unless you have been surfing for a while... STAY AWAY!
  • Ride this board in waves waist high to overhead


The All Terrain Vehicle shortboard is a high performance shape designed for better waves.  This can be surfed in waves from knee high to several feet overhead.  When the waves are faster and steeper this is the board to take.  It is designed for a more experienced intermediate surfer on up to the pro level.  This board still has good volume through the chest area for easy paddling.


The Rocket Fish is another high performance shortboard that can be used as a daily board for a more advanced surfer.  This shape has lots of volume in the front for wave catching and some good nose and tail rocker to make a steeper drop. The single wing with swallow tail allows for high performance turns at high speed.  This board is a great board for average waves as well as the better days,

Go here to see our full line up of shortboards

There is a lot to consider when buying a board.  One of the things we do here at Degree 33 is help you to learn what is the right board for your surfing so you don’t end up with an expensive wall hanger for the garage :) As always we are are here to help you understand the fundamentals of surfing and help you to decide which board is best for you.  Give us a call (800) 920-2362, email or stop by the shop anytime to discuss your next board.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Degree 33 Surf Blog

Guide to Midlengths
Guide to Midlengths

July 04, 2024

Continue Reading

Fin Guide: How they work and which is the best for you
Fin Guide: How they work and which is the best for you

June 07, 2024

The fin is the most foundational element of your surfboard. Unless you are riding a finless board, the entire surfboard is shaped to work with the fin; design elements like concave and rocker mean little without a fin, and one couldn't imagine a fish without a twin or quad, or a high performance shortboard with a single fin.

Continue Reading

How to Barrel Ride
How to Barrel Ride

May 13, 2024

The tube ride is the pinnacle of surfing. It is, and forever will be, the best sensation a surfer can experience. This being said, tube rides are also very difficult to find, and they require a great level of wave knowledge and technique. This blog will focus on frontside barrel riding, and will touch on how to find a tube, and how to get tubed once you find one. 

Continue Reading