How Tall Should My Surfboard Be?  - Green Iguana Surf Camp

How Tall Should My Surfboard Be? 

Surfing has to be one of the coolest and most exciting hobbies out there. What could be better than spending all of your free time at the beach and testing out your skills in the water with friends? 

However, if you’re a beginner, it can be hard to know exactly what equipment you need. In particular, a surfboard that is suited to your needs is, without a doubt, the most important piece of kit, but fighting through the jargon to figure out what you need can be overwhelming. 

If this is the case, not to worry! Below, we’ve included all of the information you need to make the most informed choice possible. To learn how tall your surfboard should be, check out the information below! 

Surfboard Shapes 

Before we get into the specifics of how tall your board needs to be, it is first necessary that we outline the different surfboard shapes. If you’re already well-equipped with this surf jargon, feel free to skip this section! 

However, if you’re new to the surf scene, we recommend taking some time to learn about the different surfboards available to you. Check out the information below to make sure that you’re buying the right board for you!


Longboard surfboards tend to be between 9 and 10 feet long. Thanks to their extra length, paddling on longboards is significantly easier than on shorted boards, and they are great at enabling you to catch smaller waves. 

Longboards are a great learning tool for beginner and intermediate-level surfers. They increase your strength, improve your style, and make you an all-around better surfer. They also provide a much more laid-back feel than shorter boards. 


A funboard is a kind of hybrid surfboard. They tend to measure between 6 and 8 feet in length and are a nice middle ground between a shortboard and a longboard. They come in a range of styles, including those with soft tops and single fins. 

Funboards are more stable than shortboards. As such, they can help less experienced surfers to master pop-ups and board control. They are also a much better option if you’re going to be surfing small waves, as shortboards will struggle to catch these.


You’ve likely seen advanced surfers using shortboards. These tend to be under 7 feet in length, and are perfect if you’re hoping to tackle powerful waves. They are typically made from fiberglass and have a 2 fin design. 

However, shortboards are generally understood to be best suited to individuals with a fair amount of surfing experience. They are harder to paddle, more difficult to control, and are generally a bit of a pain to carry and transport. 


Fish surfboards are a very fun type of surfboard. They are shorter and wider than shortboards and have a fish-like notched tail. They tend to be easier to paddle and more stable than a shortboard, however, beginners should still steer clear of this style. 


If you’ve never heard of a gun board, it’s because you’re almost definitely not ready for one. This style of board is very hard to use and has been designed specifically for surfing massive, powerful waves. As such, these are built for advanced and expert surfers. 

How Tall Should My Surfboard Be?

Ok, now we can get into it! 

The necessary height of your surfboard will depend on a few different factors, including your height, weight, the style of board you want, and the size of the waves you plan on surfing. However, the most important one to consider is your skill level. 

Below, you will find all the information you need to figure out the perfect-sized board for you. To make things a little more simple, we’ve split it into three different sections depending on skillset – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.


If you’re a beginner, surfing can be quite an intimidating sport. In particular, it can be tricky to fight your way through the jargon to figure out exactly what you need from a surfboard. If this is the case, check out the information below! 

Style Of Board

If you’re a beginner, we always recommend starting with a longboard. This might be a little disappointing to read, especially if you’ve spent an extended amount of time watching expert surfers do their thing on ultra-cool shortboards. 

However, we promise you, if you try using a shortboard as a complete beginner, you will look ridiculous. It takes a lot of practice and time to be able to use a shortboard properly. Standing up and controlling the movement is very challenging as a beginner. 

Longboards, on the other hand, are great for beginners. They are easy to paddle, float very well, and are far more stable than their smaller counterparts. With a wide and stable outline, longboards are a great learning tool for budding surfers. 


Generally, you should purchase a longboard that is roughly 3ft taller than yourself. For instance, if you’re 6’0” tall, you should look for a board that is around 9’0” tall. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb. If you’re on the lighter or heavier side, it will be necessary to take weight into account as well. 


Weight is just as important as height when it comes to surfboards. Check out the table below to figure out which length longboard is best for your weight as a beginner. 

Weight Board Length 
45 to 63 kg 9’2” to 9’4” 
63 to 72 kg9’4” to 9’6” 
72 to 81 kg9’6” to 9’8”
81 to 90 kg 9’8” to 10’ 0”
Over 90 kgOver 10’0” 


So you’re an intermediate-level surfer – awesome! This means that you have a huge amount of choice concerning the surfboard you choose. As great as this is, we know it can be pretty overwhelming. Check out the information below to learn more about what’s available to you! 

Style Of Board

When it comes to intermediate-level surfing, you have a few different options when it comes to the style of board you opt for. You can opt for a longboard, a funboard, a fish, or a shortboard. However, this makes the decision a little more complicated, as each style of surfboard comes with its own set of rules. 


So, let’s break it down. 


Let’s start with the most simple one. As an intermediate-level surfer, if you opt for a longboard, you should still opt for one that is around 3 feet taller than yourself. 


Funboards can be anywhere from around 6 feet to 8 feet tall, potentially taller. Generally, people opt for a board that is between 12 and 24 inches taller than themselves.

However, this varies considerably depending on your weight, skill, what you’re trying to accomplish, and the specific shape of the board. 

As such, when it comes to funboards, we recommend going into a specialist store. This way, you can get a second opinion from an experienced sales advisor.

Such people are trained to give out quality advice that will ensure your board is perfect for you. This way, you can also get a real feel for the board. 


Generally speaking, we recommend opting for a shortboard that is between 2 and 6 inches taller than yourself. If you’re at the beginner end of intermediate, opt for one that is 6 inches taller than yourself. 

The size of the shortboard that best suits you also depends on the waves that you plan on surfing. If you plan on surfing some big waves, opt for a bigger board. That way, you’ll be able to catch waves sooner and paddle faster. 


A fish surfboard can be a really fun option for intermediate surfers. As a rule of thumb, we recommend getting a fish board that is 2 to 4 inches shorter than your shortboard. 


If you’re an intermediate surfer and want to know what height board will best suit your weight, check out these tables. However, it is only supposed to be used as a loose guideline! 

WeightBoard Length 
45 to 63 kg9’0” to 9’2”
63 to 72 kg9’0” to 9’2”
72 to 81 kg9’4” to 9’6”
81 to 90 kg9’4” to 9’6”
Over 90 kgOver 10’0”
WeightBoard Length 
45 to 63 kg7’0” to 7’2”
63 to 72 kg7’2” to 7’4”
72 to 81 kg7’6”
81 to 90 kg7’7”
Over 90 kg7’8”
WeightBoard Length 
45 to 63 kg6’0” to 6’4”
63 to 72 kg6’2” to 6’6”
72 to 81 kg6’4” to 6’8”
81 to 90 kg6’8” to 7’2”
Over 90 kgOver 7’2” 
WeightBoard Length 
45 to 63 kg5’10” to 6’2”
63 to 72 kg5’10” to 6’2”
72 to 81 kg6’4” to 6’7”
81 to 90 kg6’4” to 6’7”
Over 90 kg7’6” to 8’0”


Honestly, there isn’t really a huge amount to say here. We’re sure that you guys know exactly what you want and need! 

Saying that, all of the information above generally stands for advanced surfers. The only difference is that you also have access to boards specifically designed for surfing big and powerful waves, such as gun boards. If you fancy a challenge, why not give one a try? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a beginner ride a shortboard? 

Technically, yes. 

However, this can cost you a lot of extra time and can even result in the formation of bad habits. As such, we always recommend starting with a longboard. 

Can You Ride Small Waves With A Shortboard? 

Typically, shortboards are designed for use in larger waves. In fact, it can be quite tricky to catch smaller waves on shortboards. As such, if you plan on surfing small waves a lot, a longer board might be more appropriate. 

Can You Duck Size With A 7ft Board? 

It is absolutely possible to duck dive on a 7ft board. However, it can require a decent amount of strength and very good technique to do so. 


Surfing has to be one of the most fun and exciting hobbies to take up, but due to the nature of the sport, it can be tricky to understand exactly what you need from a surfboard. We hope this article has cleared things up for you, and has encouraged you to get out there!

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