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How to Choose your first Fish Surfboard or Longboard

Updated on February 4, 2012

Surfboard Designs

Before choosing your first surfboard, Its a good idea to learn a little about the basic surfboard shapes or surfboard designs. Surfboard design is important ask the surfers in your area what shape they recommend for the type of wave you will be surfing. There is really no set rules as to what shape to start surfing on. Many surfers say they started surfing on Egg shapes, long boards or fish surfboards that were easy to paddle and catch waves with. Some basic surfboard shapes are the Fun shape, Fish, Short board, Long-board and Mini-Long board .

Surfers will say the larger the surfboard the easier to catch a wave and stand up. not always true, I tried to learn on a 12 ft long board it was to big OK it was easy to stand up on but don't get hit by it! How thick the board is will determine how well the board will float. The more it floats the easier it is to paddle and catch waves. The wider it is, the more stable it can be when you try to stand up . Bigger is not always better if you want something easier to handle shorter boards with more flotation will work for beginners. It worked for me! Once you learn how to ride a wave . It's all a done deal!. If you still are not sure what you need, ask other surfers in your area or If they are no help, Send me an email and I may be able to help you choose a board.

Fun shaped Surfboards

Some surfers call them egg or fun boards. These surfboards can have the maneuverability of a short board and the wave caching advantages of a long board. Fun Boards can work well for beginners. I have owned plenty of fun shaped surfboards that were easy to catch waves and were very maneuverable. If fact Robert August surfboards shaped one for me in the 80s that I rode through out the Great Lakes and Florida for several years. The shape lived up to its name,it was a fun board that lasted a long time.

A great alternative to the high performance short board. Thought up in the 70s, the fish is shorter and fatter than a short board and comes with a swallow tail and a larger twin fin,thruster or quad set up. Its innovative shape allows for a looser, faster surfboard for smaller days. Retrofish surfboards are good transition boards for someone who wants to try surfing on a short board that may have learned on a longboard. Or maybe your area has sloppy wind blown surf? Retrofish Surfboards work well. In fact the surfers call my retrofish surfboard, The magic board because it catches so many waves !


The shortboard is considered by many the most high performance of all the surfboards. Its narrow and thin design give the experienced surfer the speed needed for fast, gouging turns and the performance level to surf a wave how ever they want.These boards are commonly Thrusters. But single fins and twin fins are seen also. As in all the shapes you will find 100s of variations in the designs of these boards. That can and will effect your surfing ability!

Mini Long boards

You might have seen these boards on the beach. They are shaped like long boards but they area bit smaller. Some what easier to manage for women and kids. Easier to carry and a bit lighter than a conventional longboard but with a similar feel to it.

Classic Longboard

Some what of a replica of the original surfboards. Longboards catch almost any wave all the way to the beach. The most popular board in the water and for good reason, Longboards can be easy to start on and alot of fun.

Ricky Carroll


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  • salt profile image

    salt 7 years ago from australia

    Umm, not bad. Im looking for a board right now.

  • profile image

    kristi 8 years ago

    hi, I am looking to buy a board because it is cheaper than renting. I am able to stand up on a 7'4" board but feel it is too long for me when trying to catch bigger waves. I am 5;2" and weigh about 115llbs. I want to invest wisely so that I can advance also but I am getting frustrated because I tried a friends 6'4" with a pointed front (sorry don't know surf terminology) and it is fast and I can stand up but not all of the time and getting a little frustrated. Do you think a funshape like 7' or 6'8" would be good for me to enjoy and get better and become advanced and still enjoy without having to buy another soon? Also how thick and wide do I want? thicker better or harder to paddle? I do need to work on my paddling a little more. so I would need something to help me catch waves faster but not too fast and something I can learn to turn also on. Thanks , I look forward to hearing from you. Kristi Riley at

  • profile image

    Kellie  8 years ago the web site. Got a question, I've got a friend is who wants to start surfing and is a way beginner. He is a big guy, 6'4 and 300 pounds. Been to many surf shops in my area and being a surfer myself, been told to get a 10'0 board. What do you think? I know he needs a thick board and one where the rail stays wide and doesn't point. Thanks!

  • coolbreeze profile image

    Rik Rodriguez 10 years ago from Hawaii

    You are so funny Mark Yes we can be as crazy as bikers. Although when you guys fall normally you get hurt. Probably Sea of Cortez for that wacker wave. I dont consider myself a big wave surfer any more. But I have surfed all the Hurricane swells for the last 5 years in Florida.

  • Mark Knowles profile image

    Mark Knowles 10 years ago

    Yes, I meant the surfing - OK that makes you as insane as me. I love bikes. That wave in the video is incredible - I assume it was out at sea?

  • coolbreeze profile image

    Rik Rodriguez 10 years ago from Hawaii

    Surfing Sure ;-) I am still a kid Mr Knowles I just turned 50. The board design and stuff is better left to the shaping experts

    Thanx again you taught me how to make a hub like this.

  • Mark Knowles profile image

    Mark Knowles 10 years ago

    Looking good. Nice hub. Do you do that stuff yourself?