The Dimensions of a Surfboard19 comments
There are four main dimensions to a surfboard. The image below shows a shortboard and where the measurements are taken from. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, we've included a nice description for you. Nice, eh? It is worth noting that measurements of a surfboard are almost always quoted in feet and inches. (So much for the metric system...)
The length of a surfboard is the measurement from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Surfboards come in lengths from five feet to over twelve feet. The length of the board is determined by the type of and the size of the waves that a board will be used on. The ideal length for a surfer will depend on the surfers own height, weight, and surfing ability.
The width of a surfboard is the measurement from one rail to the other at the widest point of the board. The wider the board is, the more stable the board will be in the water. Learning to surf? Get a wide board!
The thickness of a surfboard is the measurement of a board from deck to bottom at its thickest point. The thickness of the board determines several factors. It will determine how buoyant the board is (the thicker the board the more buoyant), how easy the board is to paddle, and how maneuverable the board is in the water.
Just a quick note about foil, which you may have heard of when looking around at information about surfboard dimensions. Foil is defined as the rate of change of thickness of a surfboard from the nose to the tail. As you look at a side view of a surfboard you will see the foil, varying in thickness throughout the length of the board.
The rocker is the curve of the surfboard from nose to tail when viewed from the side. Notice how it has a banana shape? The less rocker a board has, the flatter it will be. A board with a flatter rocker will leave more surfboard in the water while on the wave and will give more stability and drive. It is less maneuverable than a board with more rocker.
A board with more rocker has a greater curve and gives the board more maneuverability. These boards are for the more experienced surfer and tend not to perform too well in poor to average surf.
Nose rocker refers specifically to the curve of the board at the nose section. The greater the curve of the nose rocker is, the less likely the nose of the board is to dig in to the face of the wave. Big wave boards tend to have more nose rocker than smaller wave boards.
As you've probably guessed, the tail rocker is the curve of the board at the tail. A more extreme tail rocker results in a more maneuverable board. You can almost compare it to the kick tail on a skateboard.
Next up: Find out about surfboard bottom shapes.
on Apr 25, 2011
|this is dumb.|
and you don't know what your talking about .
on Apr 26, 2011
|Not happy with the information here eh? Perhaps you would like to elaborate in order to help improve this article.|
on May 13, 2011
|Excellent info...currently I'm looking for a nose rider. Ideally I'd like to have a flat board with 19" nose width. Where exactly are the measurements of the nose width taken?|
on May 13, 2011
|Nose width is measured 12" from the tip of the board.|
on May 15, 2011
|Thanks! This site is full of useful gems for people like me who are new to the sport!|
on May 16, 2011
|your illustration of the measurement of rocker is misleading. Although you define rocker correctly, it is not measured along the length of the board from the tail to the nose as is shown in the above image on the right. It is measured as if you were to lay down a straight object, say a ruler, on the bottom of the board measuring the perpenduicular distance from the ruler to the tip of the nose and tail. If a beginner was to see this, they would measure the rocker to like 6'3 or whatever instead of a couple of inches. Hope it helps!|
on May 16, 2011
|Thanks for your comment, the image was created to highlight the curve due to the rocker, and not rocker measurement. I can see how this could be misleading, so I'll update the article to make this clear. Thanks for pointing this out.|
on Jun 6, 2011
|what are the actual measurements of a average surfboard then?|
on Jun 7, 2011
|There's not really an average. They come in a huge array of lengths, widths and thicknesses. A custom board can be made to a surfers exact specification.|
on Jun 15, 2011
|Ya, well, can you tell us what it would be if you were an average teen then adult? that would be helpful so then you'd know that if a board was, say, 4 feet high the width would correspond?|
on Jun 16, 2011
|Excellent site! Thank you! - helps explain things in a very good and easy way to understand. Awesome job!|
on Aug 4, 2011
|Does the use of a 7'6" sailboard make sense for standard surfing...Thin the board for weight?|
on Sep 15, 2011
|for length measurement, would you measure from tip of nose to the tail on the top of the board in a straight line or from the nose to the tail along the bottom curvature of the rocker? the top mearurement will be a little shorter than the bottom, because of the additional distance of the curvature of the rocker. i justhad aboard shaped by a very experienced shaper, and the measurement marked on the board for length was that of a the bottom measurement. differnce of over an inch. comment please?|
on Dec 21, 2011
|what is the thickness of a beginner board please .|
on Mar 18, 2012
|what size surfboard should i get if im just a beginner and learning to surf?|
on Apr 1, 2012
|how far from the tail do you measure tail width|
on Apr 10, 2012
|i need help 4 a school project what is th e size all together ??????|
on Apr 28, 2012
|i have a question about size of the board and wave sizes. how do i know what size my board should be compared to the waves im going to ride? is there a ratio for that?|
on Sep 16, 2012
|How do you determine how much rocker to nose/tail? From what I'm told it has a lot to do with where you surf, and what type of board. I surf SoCal/N.San Diego. I understand by moving the template forward or rearward on the blank to make adjustment, but I want to know how much is to much or to little on the nose and tail. The first board I shaped was a 9'7''x24x3.25 with 4.5'' of rocker in the front and 3.5 in the rear. I want to shape a 6'6''x23x? Stubby.|