- Overall Design – All shortboards are designed for different uses. When choosing a surfboard it is important to consider factors such as ability, surfing style and type of waves surfed.
- Nose and Tail Designs – Short board noses are either pointed or rounded. A pointed nose will allow the surfer to drop in on steep waves and duck dive. A rounded nose provides more surface area making it easier to catch waves. Tails comes in a variety of different shapes including square, diamond, squash, pin, rounded pin, round, swallow and bat.
- Length and Width – The ideal length required depends on the surfer’s ability, size, surfing style, the type of waves surfed and board design. Wider boards generally require less length than narrower boards.
- Bottom Contour – The contour shape at the bottom of a surfboard will determine how well it will travels on water. The most common types of contour design include convex, flat, concave, vee and channel.
- Materials and Weight – Short boards can be manufactured from a variety of different materials; most common are foam, fiberglass, and epoxy and are built to be light and maneuverable but not long lasting.
- Rocker – Generally, shortboards designed for powerful waves have the most rocker, while those for smaller waves have less rocker.
- Rails – A softer edge and fuller rail will perform better in smaller waves, while a harder edge and low volume rails are better for bigger waves.
- Rail Outline – Generally, a rounder board will be better at turns, while a longer and straighter design will have more lift and be better for drawn out arcs.
- Flex – When new, foam boards are considered livelier than other materials, but tend to change with use. However, newer materials and construction methods may soon change this.
It’s difficult to find one surfboard that is perfect for all conditions and advanced shortboarders often own a collection of shortboards to cover different wave types and sizes.