Longboard Vs Shortboard

Longboard Vs Shortboard Surfing | What’s The Difference?

Surfing has been one of the most popular sports in water for a long. Many people love to take the risks of conquering the tricky waves of the ocean with grace and style while others take their delight from watching them.

Whether you are a beginner at surfing or an intermediate, it is essential that you know the surfboard you are choosing to take over the oceans. There are surfboards of different shapes and designs but it all goes back to only two names – longboard and shortboard.

While both of them are widely used by surfers, many do not tend to understand their distinctive features. So here is the complete description of the two types of surfboards for your convenience!

Longboard Vs Shortboard


A longboard is a mono-fin surfboard with a well-proportioned nose which is quite spacious-measured 270-360 cm in length, which is around 9-12 feet. There is a term called Noseriders (also Mals) which allows walking on the edge of the nose of the board. These Noseriders are a bit longer in length than the regular longboards, about 270-430 cm which is close to 9-14 feet.

Longboards are ideal for beginners for not only it is easier to ride but also the size of the board helps the surfer to easily catch waves.

There are different types of longboards available in the market; Modern Longboards, The Mini Tanker, Olo, The Malibu, The 2+1 longboard, Tandem, Alaia, and many more.


As you can tell by the name that Shortboards are not spacious enough in terms of length compared to longboards. They came into the market in the late 1960s, Gordon Clark was the inventor of these type of surfboards.

Shortboards are quick and they can be easily maneuvered but they are not beginner-friendly because it is hard to catch waves with these boards. These boards are multiple finned, generally, there are 3 fins in a shortboard but there are boards that can have 4-5 fins depending on the manufacturer.

The range of length of these boards is formed 180-210 cm which is around 6-7 feet. Like longboards, they also have a good variety including Fish, Hybrid, Gun, Funboard, and so on.

Longboards For Surfing (The Ultimate Guide)

In modern days longboards have some new features which make them befitting. In the early 1960s, longboards did not have such special features, they were just ordinary longboards with a single fin and it did not allow the rider to perform tricky maneuvers.

But now with the advancement of technology, longboards are much more optimized. As we mentioned earlier that longboards are around 9-12 feet, you have the idea of its size. Now you will know more about it.

Single fin longboard is the basic type of longboard. These boards are the easiest to surf with and it is also beginner-friendly.

Nowadays these boards also provide a redirected softer rail according to the surfer’s will who wants his surfboard to be a bit traditional. Generally, these boards are 9’11”-10’ in length.

The 2+1 or triplefin longboard is an exceptional one because of its number of fins. 8’6”-10’ long wide body makes it float and catch waves easily. A term called SIDE BITTERS is a concept of adding the ability of extra performance, which is included. 

The Malibu boards are typically from 7’-10’ in length. It is a famous summertime board. They are very popular among female surfers.

The Mid Length longboards are measured 7’6”-8’8” in length. It provides great service in terms of paddling but it is not that good in noseriding. 

Longboards give some advantages to the surfer. Its volume provides ultimate buoyancy and makes the surfing area stable enough for the surfer. While paddling the bigger length helps the board to glide through the water and it makes paddling very easy, especially for the beginners.

There are not such notable downsides of longboard surfing. But in terms of cost, it may be a problem. Longboards are costly no doubt. The other downside of it is its usability. They are a bit shabby in terms of catching broken waves.

Shortboards For Surfing (The Ultimate Guide)

Shortboards are ideal for professional surfers. They are a bit harder to control. Gordon Clark introduced the world with a formula of Urethane Foam in the late 1960s which is the base of the modern day short surfboards.

These boards are generally ranged from 6-7 feet in length but there are different types of shortboards with variation in size. The basic shortboard has 3 fins but some boards have 4-5 fins. Such as “Bonzer”, a model invented by Campbell Brothers which has 5 fins; a center fin, and 2-4 side fins which are smaller than the center large fin. There are different types of shortboards with unique features in each of them.

The Hybrid board measured 180-260 cm in length with a spherical shape and tail. These boards are perfect for freestylers.

Fish is another variation of a shortboard. They are generally 6 feet in length. Very quick and provides high performance in terms of catching small waves. These boards earned popularity after Tom Curren rode on it during a summer event in the 2000s.

Funboard, the name suggests that you will have fun while riding it. Yes indeed, funboards are made for those who are not willing to become a professional surfer but to enjoy the thrill. They are around 7-8 feet long. They are popular among beginners.

The Gun is a big wave shortboard. Measured 7-12 feet long, very thin, and very effective in catching bigger waves. It is a shortboard but longer in size which makes it different from others.

Shortboards also have some advantages and disadvantages. They are popular for high velocity and easily catching bigger waves. The small size makes it easier to carry in terms of portability. These boards sneak through waves effortlessly, ensuring pinpoint turning and perpendicular mobility.

Although they are very consummate, there are some minor disadvantages to shortboards. In terms of paddling, the lower amount of volume makes it a bit hard to gain speed. 

What’s The Difference?

By now you have already noticed the differences between long and shortboard. We are further adjusting the differences for your convenience.

The first difference is in their outlook and material. As you can tell by the name that longboards are longer than shortboards. Longboards are wider and more spherical than the shorter ones.

In terms of fins, shortboards have more fins than longboards. Generally, shortboards have 3-5 fins depending on the type. On the other hand, longboards have only one fin in general. 

There is a difference in their uses also. Longboards are traditional surfboards, they are beginner-friendly. They are stable and allows the surfer to perform “Noseriding”. But shortboards are not that spacious to perform such a stunt. They are quick, easily maneuverable, and ideal for professional purposes. 

Last but not the least; riding a shortboard requires experience and knowledge. It responses quicker which means that the rider has to be as quick as the surfboard is. One can gather experience by surfing on a longboard and then tryout shortboards. 

Final Words

Surfing is a sport for people of all classes. One will never feel bored while riding on a surfboard. It is our job to make sure that you get the right information about the equipment that you are using for your favorite sport.

This article gives you the correct and updated information about surfboards. One thing is to be mentioned and that is, there is nothing to prove here. We are not proving here which one is good and which one is bad. Rather we are proving you with the necessary facts which will help you to get what you are looking for. Thanks for being patient.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top