How to choose the right surfboard for you [2021]

How to choose the right surfboard for you [2021]

Aug 11, 2021

Reading time: 5.5 mins   

On Nautical Channel we have a complete guide on how to choose a board depending on your level, preferences and style to improve your performance and overall fun with the waves. 

Let's start with volume and rocker

    Average surfboard litres by type 

    Why is the surfboard's volume so important?

    Surfboard volume according to weight, surfing level and conditions

    Calculating the right board volume for you

What is the surfboard's rocker and how does it affect you?

The different types of surfboards

    The longboard

    The funboard

    The fish

    The shortboard


Choosing a surfboard can be complicated, especially if you are getting started in the sport. As you progress in surfing, you realize how your equipment affects the overall performance and fun when practicing the sport. We will review four common surfboard types: longboards, funboards, shortboards and fishes. 

Let’s start with volume and rocker

For starters: What is a surfboard’s volume? 

Just like in a box, the volume of a surfboard depends on three elements: length, width and thickness. However, surfboards are harder to calculate as they have curves, concaves and convexes, meaning you cannot calculate the volume with the traditional length x width x height. 

Nowadays most surfboard shapers provide data on their surfboards volume as these are designed using a computer software. Before, you had to sink the surfboard in a bath to see how much water the surfboard displaces. 

Average surfboard litres by types

If you have a surfboard in front of you, you might see a number under the surfboard, close to the stringer (that middle line that crosses the board). 

  • Shortboards: 22L - 35L
  • Fishes: 25L - 45L
  • Funboards: 40L - 60L
  • Longboards: 60L - 100L

Why is the surfboard's volume so important?

The volume determines how buoyant the board is, meaning the floatation on the surfboard. This changes everything: how fast you paddle, the waves you will be able to catch and how the surfboard turns.

If you add more volume you will float more. This will make it easier to paddle fast, thus catching waves faster takes less effort. 

However, there needs to be a balance because if you add too much volume you will float a lot. These are harder to move around and it makes it difficult to dig a rail in the water when carving. On the opposite side, if you do not have enough volume, you will not float enough. This makes your paddling and surfing slower.