Learning About Surfboards – Basic Surfboard Designs

Basic Surfboard DesignsWhat You Need To Know About SurfBoard Designs

There is so much lingo associated with surfing.  For someone just getting into surfing (and sometimes for those who have been at it a while), it can be maddening to try and figure out what the hell everyone is talking about!  Surfers pretty much have their own vocabulary when it comes to talking about the different parts of a surfboard, and today, I am going to give you a little bit of insight into some of the basic surfboard designs.

Basic Features of a SurfBoard

There are a few basic terms you need to know about surfboards.  Although surfboards can all be drastically different in design, they all actually have the same basic properties.  Every surfboard you will ever ride will have :

  • Deck
    • This is the top of the surfboard where you lie and paddle, as well as where your feet go.
  • Bottom
    • The underneath of the surfboard, or the part that is always touching the water.  The bottom of the board can make a huge difference in how a surfboard rides.  Some common terms you will see when referring to the bottom of a surfboard are:
      • Concave
      • Double Concave
      • Vee
  • Rails
    • These are the sides of the surfboard.  Rails can also be very different on surfboards.  Some common terms when referring to rails are:
      • Rounded
      • Sharp
      • 50-50
      • Pinched
  • Nose
    • The (sometimes) pointy end.  This is the front of the surfboard.
  • Tail
    • This is the back of the board.  Tail designs vary greatly, and can have a huge impact of how a surfboard performs.  Surfboard shapers will also commonly blend different tail designs together in order to create a desired performance of the surfboard.  Common tail designs are:
      • Squash
      • Pin
      • Round-Pin
      • Fish
      • Swallow
      • Diamond


  • Surfboard Rocker
    • The rocker is the curve of the surfboard.  This also can vary greatly from board to board, and has a huge impact on the performance of a surfboard.  The rocker can be more pronounced in different areas of a board; For example, a board can have a lot of entry rocker (this is in the nose), and little tail rocker.  Different rocker combinations throughout a board can change the feel of how it rides.
  • Surfboard Fins
    • Fins can also impact how a board rides.  Some of the common fin set ups are
      • Single fin – 1 fin in the middle
      • Twin fin – 1 fin on each side of the board
      • Thruster – 3 fins
      • Quad – 4 fins


  • Leash Plug
    • This is where you attach the leash to the surfboard.

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