What is and can a shortboard do?
There is only one term for shortboards
absolute high performance. Shortboards are available for the most diverse areas of use. There are surfboards for small waves that can be surfed very radically, there are boards that are perfectly adapted to the wave height in order to get the maximum out of the respective area of use, there are shortboards for tuberiding and steep powerful waves and there are all-round shortboards. These are shortboards that are not specifically adapted to certain surf conditions, but cover a broad spectrum.
There are shortboards for:
- radical manoeuvres in small weak waves
- radical manoeuvres in small powerful waves
- radical manoeuvres in medium weak waves
- radical manoeuvres in medium sized powerful waves/tuberides
- for radical manoeuvres in large weak waves
- for radical manoeuvres/tuberides in large powerful waves
just to name the most important ones.
Shortboards are between 5 and 7 feet long and offer you high performance in the respective area. Here it is very important to choose the right surfboard, because who wants to surf a Ferrari in his waves, but can only get the performance of a tractor out, because the surfboard does not fit the wave and his surfing skills?
- Size: approx. 5" - 7 feet
- Waves: Small / Medium / Large / Powerful / Soft / Tubes.
- Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced !!! / pro
Shortboards are available with a wide variety of rocker, rail and tail contours. The volume of the board is usually very balanced and relatively low, so that the surfboard does not become unstable at high speed.
Tail shapes of a shortboard:
- Roundtail (in different widths)
- Swallowtail (in different designs, wing, double wing, deep flat)
- Roundpintail (combination of roundtail and pintail)
- Squaretail (normal, rounded square)
The tail shape has a serious impact on the surfing behaviour of a surfboard.
Rocker of a shortboard:
- flat rocker
- medium rocker
- curved rocker
- Tail Flip
- Nose Flip
- High Frontrocker
- High tail rocker
- Low Frontrocker
- Low Tailrocker
- Rails of a shortboard:
- 40/60 - very forgiving
- 50/50 - forgiving
- 60/40 - radical and less forgiving
- 70/30 - radical
- Mixed forms in the board
- Special features like underedged etc.
The boundaries between a shortboard and a hybrid surfboard are blurred and with most shapes it is not possible to determine exactly whether it is a shortboard or a hybrid surfboard.
Finding the right shortboard for your area of use is not that easy. Use our buying guide, we'll be happy to help you.
These are the advantages of a shortboard!
A shortboard offers you many advantages when surfing. We have listed them for you:
- radical manoeuvres
- special high performance shapes for every surf condition
- suitable for small waves
- suitable for medium height waves
- suitable for big waves
- cutbacks, hishspeed turns, very manoeuvrable, tuberides
- easy to transport
The narrow outline of a shortboard allows you to do power turns. The low volume gives you security at high speed and allows the surfboard to duck dive with ease.
Surfing on a shortboard is very different from surfing on any other shape. You get the waves very late and the take-offs take place at the steepest part of the wave. On the other hand, you can surf a shortboard super radically and vertically, turn much faster and it is easier to control at high speed.
A shortboard for the right conditions is unbeatable and you will feel the power of your surf Ferrari. Only choose a pure shortboard if you have a really high ski level. Otherwise, choose a performance-oriented hybrid surfboard.
These are the disadvantages of a shortboard.
Where there are advantages of a shortboard, there are of course also disadvantages. Here we have compiled these for you.
- not forgiving
- later take off is more difficult than with a hybrid surfboard
- poor planing behaviour
- poor wave yield
A shortboard is not as forgiving as a hybrid surfboard and does not glide as well, but it has other advantages.
Even if a shortboard is not as forgiving, you will be compensated with high-speed turns.
Shortboard and beginner - does it fit?
The answer to whether a shortboard is suitable for beginners is clearly NO. These high performance shapes are too manoeuvrable and too radical, and therefore definitely not an option for beginners. We at Surfganic.com recommend a minimalibu or funboard for beginners.
What you should pay attention to when buying a shortboard!
If you want to buy a shortboard, it should be very well considered! The workmanship of the surfboard is definitely important. You should not make any compromises here, because who wants a Porsche look with a Trabi engine? Cheap surfboards break much faster and the performance is not the best either. If you value environmentally friendly processing, check whether it is made with bio-based epoxy or at least with epoxy. Polyester resin is much more harmful to the environment.
Furthermore, you should be clear about what you want to use your shortboard for.
- radical manoeuvres which wave height
- the wave strength - soft to powerful tubes
- for pointbreaks
- reef breaks
- performance wall
Shortboards can be shaped better than all other surfboards. Each board shape has its own characteristics.
Your height and weight is another very important factor in finding the perfect shortboard for you. A shortboard should be adjusted to your height. We can't give you a concrete guideline here, as it depends on the respective shape and the area of use.
We would like to give you the most important points for choosing a shortboard:
- Which waves do you want to surf?
- How tall and how heavy are you?
- How is the shortboard made?
With a pure shortboard, you will tear up the waves and surf the most radical manoeuvres.
These different shapes are available for shortboards.
Shortboards also have different shapes for different conditions and different manoeuvres.
The infinite possibilities of shortboards make it impossible to list them here. Nevertheless, we would like to give you a rough idea of what is possible. In the high performance sector there is a surfboard for every wave. Round tail / round pintail boards are just right for fast powerful waves and give you stability at high speed. Surfboards with a square tail are perfect for waves that are not quite as powerful. The wider tail means that you lose control easily at high speed, but it is very manoeuvrable and aggressive.
A lot of shortboards are equipped with a 5 fin setup, which doesn't make much sense for a pure shortboard. The surfboard cannot be surfed at high performance level with both fin setups. Choose a tri fin or quad fin setup for a shortboard. A quad fin setup makes sense especially in ropey waves.
These are the most important shortboard shapes:
- with Roundtail (fast waves, good control in turns)
- with Round Pintail (fast waves, good control in turns)
- with Squaretail (small, medium, medium powerful, soft waves)
- Diamond Tail (slightly more powerful and bigger waves than a Squaretail)
- with different rocker lines
- with different rail contours
- with different volume distribution
- with Thruster System
- with Quad Fin System
- with 5 fin system (not recommended for high performance)
All these factors play a part in the surfing behaviour of the shortboard, therefore it is very difficult to describe and list all possibilities. Please consult our buying guide
Use our buying guide to find the right shortboard for you.
The length of a shortboard is very important when deciding what to buy.
When buying shortboards, you should definitely pay attention to the length.
There is no rule of thumb to determine the right size, because every shape is different.
If your shortboard is too short, you won't catch any waves.
If the board is too long, it will be harder to turn it and at higher speeds it will be very unstable on the water.
To find the right length for your shortboard, use our professional buying guide. We will be happy to help you.
Which fin setup should I choose for a shortboard?
There are shortboards with two main fin set ups. Which fin setup you should choose depends on what kind of waves you want to surf and which surf style you follow.
- Thruster: With this fin setup, your shortboard can be surfed very precisely and gives you the necessary drive during turns and super stability in the wave.
- Quad Fin: A shortboard with a quad fin setup is mostly used for tuberides and steep fast waves and gives your surfboard more drive, speed and at the same time control on the rail.
- 5 fin setup: Here you can change your fins to make your surfboard a thruster or quad. By changing the fins, you change the surfing behaviour of your board enormously. A shortboard should only have one fin option to get the maximum out of the surfboard. Compromises are never performance oriented.
To surf great tuberides, choose a surfboard with a quad fin setup and a round/round pintail. Contact us for advice on what to buy, we'll be happy to help.
A shortboard is suitable for these waves
You can surf a shortboard in the following surf conditions. You can get a shortboard for all surf conditions. You can surf it in small and weak waves just as performance-oriented as in strong and big waves or in soft mushy North Sea surf conditions. The surfboard does not generate speed on its own, you have to work for it and constantly generate it yourself.
Tuberides are also possible - but the shape has to be suitable. Most shortboards are designed for steep take-offs.
You can really have fun with a shortboard from 2-3 foot waves.
A hybrid board is suitable for:
- small waves
- medium waves
- soft waves
- point breaks
- reef breaks
- Norse waves
- mushy surf
- powerful waves
- soft waves
- radical turns
A shortboard for children? Does that make sense?
Whether a shortboard for children makes sense can only be answered with a very clear YES if the child already has good surfing skills and surfs safely on another surfboard. In this case, you should make sure that the surfboard is precisely tuned. Not suitable for beginners.
What does a shortboard cost?
Shortboards start at a price of €250. These surfboards are usually poorly made and their performance is also rather poor.
In the middle price segment of these shapes, around €400, you will find quite decent shortboards with good workmanship and solid performance.
Shortboards for over 500€ you get a very good quality with a good performance on the wave and guarantees you a lot of fun on the waves of this world.
- from 250 Euro - poor quality and average performance.
- around 400€ - solid quality and performance
- from 500€ Premium Fish Surfboards for real pleasure
If you love this sport, you should buy a shortboard in the highest price range, a Volkswagen is just not a Masarati - It's worth it!