Parts of a surfboard, basic knowledge

Dec 21st, 2015

Category: Learn to surf

Parts of a surfboard, basic knowledge

If you want to learn surfing or improve your skill’s it’s important to get to know your closest friend in the water: THE SURFBOARD

There are various types of surfboards around, but they all have the same parts or elements whose shape will determine how the board will react in the water. Entire books are written about surfboards, but for now we will try to give you an overview of the most essential parts. In future articles we’ll go deeper into each part and their effect on your surfing, but first we’ll describe the basics.

Outline
The outer shape of a surfboard.

Nose
The nose is the front section of a surfboard. It is curved (rocker) to make it easier to move/turn the board in the water.

Rocker
Refers to the bottom curve of a surfboard from the tail to the nose, more visible as the horizontal up-turn of the nose of the board. Flatter or more curved rockers give the boards different performance capabilities.

Leash
It’s the elastic cord that is attached with a small cord to a plug at the tail of the surfboard, and the other end is strapped round the surfer’s ankle.

The grip
A small foam pad, usually with some ribs or design in it, glued at the tail on the top deck of the surfboard to give more grip or traction to your back foot during surfing. It helps a lot during tricks for the more advanced, and helps the starting surfers to place the foot in the right spot. To avoid slipping of the front foot we use wax. Without wax or grip, the board would be too slippery to stand up.

Fins
The curved bits hanging down from the bottom of the surfboard near the tail (back of board). Helps the surfer in carving waves and executing tricks. It also adds stability to the board and avoids it from sliding sideways. There are countless types of fins and you can find boards with one, two, three or even more fins. Depending the style of surfing you are practicing you will use one type or the other. There are fixed fins or removable ones, and there are different systems to attach them to your board.

Tail
The rear end of the surfboard. There is a wide range of tail designs, depending on what you are looking for. Mainly, a wide tail is used in smaller waves and a slim tail is more for bigger waves. If the tail is rounded the board slides more, while with a straighter tail you can do more radical maneuvers. The shape of the tail can make a big difference, and because there are so many variations we recommend you to talk to an expert who can give you the right advice depending on your goals.

Rail
The edges of a surfboard that extend from the nose down to the tail. The rail begins where the deck transitions to the bottom of the surfboard. If the rails are rounded the board will be more stable, and in return, boards with sharper rails respond faster to turns.

Bottom
The bottom side of the board which is in contact to the water.
All these parts play a crucial role in the way the boards will behave in the water, and consequently how you are surfing. Though already uncountable combinations have been tried out in designing a board, the shaper are still inventing new shapes or new details that lift the surfing possibilities no new heights.

In future articles we’ll go deeper into each part to describe how it’s shape affects the board’s behaviour. As we know most of you are still learning and these details are not fully appreciated until you reach a certain level, but it is very good for the development of your surfing to know what your equipment can do for you, even if it is only a basic knowledge.

The most important is to progress in your surfing little by little without skipping essential steps on the way. Therefor the crew at our surf centre in Corralejo, specialized in technical surf gear, will help you with good advise according to your level of surfing. In the shop and rental centre you find almost all kind of board types, always welcome to check them out yourselves and have a chat with us about boards… we love it!

Good waves to everybody!
The Protest Surfcenter Crew

Protest Surfcenter Fuerteventura | Parts of a surfboard