Parts of a Surfboard

Woman with ipad pointing to part of surfboard to man.
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Your surfboard is made up of several parts. Each section or part of a surfboard has a specific purpose. Understanding these parts is important when buying a new or used surfboard.

Whether you are looking at a shortboard, longboard, fish, or funboard, all surfboards have the same basic characteristics.

The Surfboard Nose

This is the forward tip of your board. Shortboards and fish generally are characterized their pointed noses, while longboards and funboards have a more rounded nose. You can purchase a nose guard which will make your surfboard nose less dangerous.

The Surfboard Deck

This is the top section of your surfboard on which you apply wax and stand while surfing. You can also add a traction pad to ensure a grippy surface. Some companies are making decks with built-in traction. Decks can be slightly domed or flat.

The Surfboard Stringer

The stringer is normally made of balsa wood and most commonly runs through the center of the surfboard (and can be seen through the deck). However, many innovations such as epoxy boards and the parabolic stringer (which runs along the rails) have either eliminated the stringer altogether or placed it in a different location.

The Surfboard Rails

Speaking of rails. These are the outer edges (outline) of the surfboard. The thickness and curve of the rails are very important to the surfboard's performance.

The Surfboard Tail

This is the rear tip of your surfboard and it (like the rails) greatly affects the board's ride. The surfboard tail can be pointed (pin) or flat (squash) or even v-shaped (swallow-tail).

The Surfboard Bottom

The bottom is where the magic happens. It's probably the most important aspect of your surfboard. It all depends on how water flows over it and how much friction occurs between it and the water. Bottoms can have lots of curve (rocker) or very little. They can be concaved or channeled or even dimpled.