Here at Surfdome we stock a great selection of surfboards for all levels of riders — from the total novice to the seasoned pro.

We have put together a surfboard buying guide to help ensure you choose the right board for your next surf.

Please use the links on the right to access the information you are looking for.

Beginner Boards

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Most beginners start riding on a longer board as the larger surface area and buoyancy makes it both easier to catch waves and stand up on the board.

Large beginner boards can generally be ridden on smaller waves where a short board would not be propelled by the wave, so they are great for learning to surf on.

Many surfers continue to ride long boards because their local waves suit this type of board.

Typically a slower moving, smaller wave, is hard to catch on a short board so a long board or foam board would be preferential in these conditions.

Once you are comfortable with riding a long board you may want to ride a shorter board. Many surfers will then start to ride a Mini-Mal, which is a shorter version of the longer Malibu Surfboard, or move straight onto riding a Short Board.

Long Boards

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Also called a “Mal” (which is short for Malibu, one of the most popular long board waves in the USA).

Generally long boards are between 9ft and 10ft (although they can be as big as 12ft).

Typically long boards have one fin and a large round nose. Longboards are used by beginners because of there large surface area and higher buoyancy, which makes it easier for them to stand on when learning.

However, they are equally used by experienced surfers in wave conditions that suit long boarding. Surfers can “hang ten” on a long board, which literally means you can stand on the front of the surfboard and hang ten toes over the nose as you ride the wave. A “hang five” is similar but when you hang only 5 toes over the nose!

Mini Mals

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Mini Mals typically range from 7ft to 8ft.

The mini mal is just a shortened longboard shape that uses the same design features.

Mini mals are more manoeuvrable than a long board due to the shorter length.

Mini mals are usually ridden by women and children as they provide smaller and lighter individuals with the same experience as a longboard.

Foam Boards

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Great for learning on, the foam board is generally used by surf schools as they are hard wearing, safer to fall on and have a lot of buoyancy so easier to catch small waves on.

Generally they are a great way of getting an introduction to surfing at a lower cost before purchasing a more performance orientated longboard, mini-mal or short board.

Short Boards

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Short boards typically range from 5ft to 7ft and provide great manoeuvrability on the wave compared with the large mini-mals and long boards.

Due to the lower surface area and buoyancy they are typically harder to catch waves on and require larger, steeper and more powerful waves to surf on.

Typically short boards have a pointed nose and either round or square tail, although a number of tail-shape variations exist.

Short boards normally have 3 fins which can also be changed depending on your fin size and shape preference.

There are many different short board shapes which are ideal for different types of waves, such as slower peeling waves, beach breaks and fast barrelling waves. All our surfboards on the site explain which waves the board shape is ideal for.

Stand Up Paddle Boards

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Stand up paddle surfing is a fast growing board sport which utilises long boards, typically between 10ft and 12ft and a paddle.

Rather than lying down on the surfboard and paddling onto the wave with your arms, the rider stands on the long board and uses the paddle to propel themselves onto the wave - Great for fitness and when the waves are flat!

Body Boards

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Body Boards (sometimes called Boogie Boards) are smaller boards which you lie down on as opposed to stand up riding.

Typically the body boarder will have a leash attached to their arm to keep their board safe in the water and special body boarding fins on their feet to help propel themselves onto the wave.

Skim Boards

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When there's no surf (or even when there is), skim boarding is a lot of fun.

Skim boards are designed to be used over shallow water on the beach and into incoming shore-breaking waves where tricks can be performed.

Skim boards are made from a number of materials. Entry level skimboards are usually made from plywood with the more advanced boards utilising epoxy resin over a lightweight expanded polystyrene core.

Wax

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Wax is used for grip on the top of the surfboard to help ensure your feet don't slide off the board while surfing.

There are many types of wax used, which are mainly dependent on water temperature. Cold water wax, warm water wax, tropical water wax and base coat wax are all used by surfers.

Fins

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Fins are used on surfboards to help stabilise the board in the water and stop it from sliding sideways on the wave.

Longboards typically have 1 fin and short boards 3 but there are many variations. Removable fin systems are great for being able to change out fins depending on the ride characteristic you are trying to achieve from your board and also great for traveling to prevent them from breaking in transit.

Leashes

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The leash is used to attach the surfer to the surfboard so when you fall the board is easily recoverable and not swept away by the wave.

Typically the leash is a strong urethane cord which a padded ankle strap and Velcro fastening. They are also essential to prevent a board running into another surfer in the water.

The leash is easily fastened to the tail of the board in the leash cup.

Grip Pads

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Grip pads are used by many surfers for additional traction for their back foot on the board.

They are stuck on the board surface near the tail and deliver better grip and ensure the back foot is located correctly when on the wave.

Surfboard Bags

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Surfboard bags provide great protection for surfboards when traveling to the beach and especially when traveling on a plane.

Surfboards are easily “dinged” so having a good bag to protect and carry your surfboard is essential.

Wetsuits

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Wetsuits are worn by most surfers when the water temperature is too cold to just surf in a pair of boardshorts or swimsuit.

Wetsuits are made of a foamed neoprene, which provide thermal insulation when in the water. The neoprene fills up with a small amount of water which the body then heats. This layer of warm water is then trapped around the body in the wetsuit keeping you warm.

Wetsuit technology is now so advanced that the best wetsuits are made of a super-stretchy neoprene. This makes it easy to paddle whilst also retaining the heat qualities allowing you to
surf all year round.