5 Timeless Surfboard Designs

Whether building out your quiver or looking for your very first surfboard, it is crucial to take the time checking various board types and assessing your skills. Here are five classic surfboard designs that stood the test of time, and have definitely earned their place in anyone’s quiver.

1. Channel Bottoms

Firewire’s Sci-Fi | Photo Credit: surfd.com

The channels are two to eight concave grooves, which are usually placed under the tail section. They are designed to make the board go faster and also act as long shallow fins giving you more hold and drive. Most shapers and glassers cringe at the thought of making them because they are tricky and time-consuming, hence they are not that common and usually fetch a hefty price tag.

With the proper channels and the perfect wave condition, these types of boards will likely be the fastest ride of your life.

2. Flat/Concave Decks

Channel Islands’ Black Flag Whip | Photo Credit: cisurfboards.com

This design was widely popular back in the 70’s and 80’s, and is making a comeback today. The feel of such a board is different from what a standard deck offers; it’s more like you’re standing on a skateboard deck rather than your feet wrapping around a gradual curve. The board also responds quicker when you transfer your weight to your toe or heel on a top or bottom turn.

3. Eggs and Mid-lengths

Hobie’s Retro Egg | Photo Credit: hobie.com

These are the boards that you can ride with practically any fin setup. These mid-range boards have the stability of a longboard and the performance of the shortboard. They are fuller with a sleek outline that can be surfed in shoulder-high to overhead waves.

4. Multi-fin Boards

Channel Islands’ Bonzer Shelter | Photo Credit: cisurfboards.com

The thruster or three-fin setup is perhaps the most popular fin setup because it offers stability and drive. Quads are faster, have better hold, and high maneuverability. And the five-fin gives you the freedom to choose because you can ride it as a twin fin, a thruster or a quad. These types of boards are harder to ride, and trickier to build. Shapers need to balance the key elements and think about the hydrodynamics of it all.

5. Twin Fins

The Campbell Brothers’ Alpha Omega | Photo Credit: bonzer5.com

A lot of shapers are coming out with their own interpretation of the twin fins, but rarely move away from the original concept and template. According to four-time world champion Mark Richards, the twin fin produces a faster and more responsive performance. He even directly credits it for his success in the world of competitive surfing.

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