Shortboard Surfboards


Shortboard surfboards are usually shorter in length than 7' although some shortboards for larger guys can be larger than 7 feet. There are many different types of shortboards. These include the thruster, the quad, the retro fish, and the step up. Surfing a shortboard is characterized by more aggressive moves with big turns, cutbacks, and sometimes throwing airs. There are many differences between shortboarding and longboarding that can be called out. With a shortboard the surfer is gaining speed by working the wave from top to bottom to keep afloat, where a surfer on a longboard surfboard is trimming and attempting to match the speed of the wave. The shortboard surfer seeks more powerful moves working the wave for momentum.
It is important when riding a shortboard to stay in the curl of the wave and ride thee from up and down the face by turning over and over to generate speed on the wave as the shortboard surfboard does not have much float. As there is less float, paddling a shortboard surfboard is hard and demands more strength than a longboard surfboard does. Newbies typically learn to surf on a longboard as paddling and control are more difficult on a shortboard surfboard. When surfing a shortboard, the surfer keeps their rear foot over the tail of the surfboard and drives the shortboard from the front or back foot depending on their particular style. Many shortboards will also contain a kickpad which provides the back foot over the tail better power on the surfboard.
Shortboarder surfers typically like more powerful waves compared with the longboard surfer. The longboarder typically surfs a more evenly tapered, mellow wave. Beach breaks, reef breaks, and pointbreaks can all exhibit qualities good for shortboarding. Many shortboard surfers will be looking to surf the perfect tube. Riding a tube is where the surfer gets inside of the of the wave and makes it back out of this dry inner section of the curl without falling. Surfing tubes or barrels is best accomplished on a shortboard surfboard by a solid surfer.
There are many types of shortboards. The thruster is a surfboard with three fins and is what most shortboarders surf as it is the norm. The thruster has a fin in the center in back and fins on each side up the rails. The retro fish would be a twin fin surfboard with dimensions wider and shorter than a shortboard for the same surfer. Fish are really good in smaller conditions. The quad would be a 4 fin surfboard with 2 fins on each side of the board. The step-up is a surfboard that is usually surfed in bigger conditions when the waves have more power and the mini gun is for even bigger surf conditions. The step-up and mini gun are thruster style surfboards as well but are larger in length for better float and paddle power.
There are many great shapers of surfboards out there creating different shapes of shortboards for different styles of surfing. A few of the most common manufacturers and shapers include Dick Brewer, Lost, Kane Garden, JS Industries, and Channel Islands Surfboards. I personally ride JS Industries and Dick Brewer shortboard surfboards but have tried many other brands and there are many great ones to choose from.

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