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While there are a lot of surfboards out there, they’re all designed for different purposes, styles and skill levels. From the iconic longboards to the contemporary paddle surfboards, there’s something for every surfer and even the waves they’ll ride. But how can you tell which is right for you?

Whether you’re looking for a new surfboard or simply want to learn more about surfboard shapes, we have it all sorted.

Here’s our guide to surfboard shapes,

Different Surfboard Shapes

1. Longboards


Photo credits goes to original owner

Longboards are your classical surfboards. They’re ideal for surfers who are just getting started since they’re easier to paddle, have more stability and are suitable for low tides. Aptly named longboards, these measure between 8 and 12 feet long and feature a large square tail, thick rails and a rounded nose.

Its wide round nose offers more buoyancy, added width and makes standing on the board easier. It also helps you paddle faster so that you can just glide through the waves. Apart from being an excellent beginner surfboard, longboards are useful for a wide range of surfers and will make wave surfing in Sri Lanka look effortless.

2. Shortboards


Photo credits goes to original owner

Shortboards are clearly the most popular surfboard shapes around the world today. So, if you visit a beach right now, chances are you’ll find over 95 per cent of surfers riding a shortboard. As the name suggests, shortboards are short and range anywhere between 5’5 to 6’5. They comprise of a pointed nose and narrow tail and can be somewhat harder to paddle. That said, they offer maximum maneuverability and respond quickly.

Shortboards are less beginner-friendly and are more suited for aggressive surfing. Hence, they’re commonly used for high performance and contest style surfing.

3. Stand up paddle boards


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Stand up paddle boards are the latest addition to the surfboard clan. It allows surfers to stand up on their boards and push themselves through the water with a paddle, hence the name. The length of a regular paddle board lies between 9 and 13 feet with a round nose and square tail.

While it’s commonly used for recreational surfing in Sri Lanka surf camps, they’re also a fantastic way to work out your entire body. Today, paddle boards are used for various activities, including fishing, Pilates, yoga and even swimming.

4. Fish surfboard


Photo credits goes to original owner

Fish surfboards, otherwise known as swallow tails, are synonymous to flow, speed and style. A fish surfboard stands out from the crowd thanks to its distinctive fish tail. Also, it comes with a large nose at the front and a broad frame that ends in a swallow tail.

The fish surfboard is a popular choice among intermediate and advanced surfers who want to enjoy small to medium waves. It has a pointy nose that allows you to make dramatic sharp turns, and the swallow tail generates speed while helping you ride the waves longer.

5. Fun Board surfboard


Photo credits goes to original owner

A fun board is a cross between a shortboard and a longboard. It’s the next level in a surfer’s learning process who has had enough practice on their longboard but isn’t ready to switch to a shortboard just yet. The length of a fun board typically ranges from around 6.5 to 8 feet long. 

Also, they have a round nose similar to the longboard, making it easier to catch waves, balance, and ride longer. However, they’re short enough to make quick turns in critical moments and stay afloat on small to medium-sized waves.


So, what surfboard shape is the best? Well – There is no such thing as a “best” surfboard. The type of surfboard that will work for you depends on a number of factors like your body weight, height, skill level, style and even the surf conditions.

We at The Surfer surf camp in Sri Lanka recommend you to play with various board shapes and lengths to find your ideal surfboard that suits your style and your pocket.

Dive right in!

We, the sun and the Indian Ocean are waiting for you!

+94 77 3 926 614
Weligama Sri Lanka. 81700
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