Diversity makes life a bit more interesting. While having one or two surfboards in your quiver might be like having a tuna sandwich and a bag of chips, having a wide array of different shapes and designs is like a 5-course meal from the best steakhouse in town. This is no joke. From fish to soft-tops to grovelers, there are so many different boards out there to help balance and maximize your surfing abilities. Don’t be like the surfers of the 1990s who were solely repping the ever popular thrusters. We are in a new age of surfing where quivers are growing at an incredible pace. To help you catch up with the quiver kings and queens of our generation, we want to present to you our top 5 sticks that we believe your quiver may be missing out on.
Groveler surfboards have become more popular than they have ever been and we are constantly seeing them in modern lineups. Groveler are great for your quiver as they are defined as boards that give you the ability to ride in very small, non-aggressive conditions, without a fuss. There’s no shortage of these bean-shaped boards at popular breaks either. If you live anywhere near a break that has a constant influx of mush, or feel like you want a backup just in case you ever hit a day that isn’t optimal, we would highly recommend having a groveler in your quiver.
These boards typically come anywhere between 5’0” and 6’0”. The main difference between these and your standard shortboards are that they are much wider in the center and on the tail. If you look at the undersides of groveler boards, you’ll notice that they have more pronounced rockers to help you catch on to smaller waves better. While there are many great groveler boards out on the market, some of the best that we would recommend looking into include Catch Surf’s Beater, Disrupt’s Baked Bean, and The Lost RV.
Soft-top boards have essentially been around forever, though they were in the form of bodyboards and not full length sticks. As the population of surfers grew and beaches became more popular, it became necessary to have safer boards to ride and easier boards to learn on. While many will still pin soft-top boards as “kooky”, newer boards are become just as shred-able as your typical thruster. With polyethylene or polypropylene bottoms, hard strings, and strong foam designs, these boards are also strong enough to hold up in the toughest of surf.
Soft-tops are great for many reasons. First of all, they are much easier to learn on as a beginner surfer, as they are much more buoyant and easier to paddle. Secondly, they are usually cheaper than hard-top boards, meaning you can buy more of these to expand your quiver. Lastly, soft-top boards come in an array of shapes from longboards to grovelers, meaning you can have versatility while still keeping safe and shredding with purpose. Some of the most popular soft-top boards on the market today include Wavestorm, Catch Surf Odysea, and BZ.
- Fun Board
Fun boards are not only great for surfers who are getting into the sport, but also for people who have been riding forever. The reason fun boards are so great for beginners is that they are great for transitioning from longer boards to shorter boards, as they run in-between the two lengths at a bit over 7’0”. We would highly recommend riding fun boards on waves that are anywhere from small and mushy to waist-high. Anything else and you realize that they’re not as easy to maneuver. Beginner surfers will also love that they are far easier to paddle than shortboards, meaning they won’t tire you out after a half hour in the water.
Veteran surfers will love that they are very versatile boards. They give surfers the ability to catch waves earlier because of their size, meaning that you will spend less time waiting or missing waves and more time on the fly. Their ability to balance better in mushier conditions is because of their increased width. If you want to mix it up even more, you could get a fun board that is also a soft-top. Some of the best fun boards on the market that we can recommend for you include Big Sport’s Dura-Tec Fun Board, Raystreak’s Crocodile Groove Soft Fun Board, and NSP Element’s Hybrid Fun Board.
For almost five decades, fish boards have been filling the coastlines and swimming their way into quivers. Fish boards are excellent if you live in an area where the waves are much smaller and choppier, as you can still ride them with tons of speed. There are a few things that really separate a fish from other types of boards. The first thing you’ll notice when you see a fish board is the swallowtail. Swallowtails offer you tons of balance while making it possible to maneuver in tighter turns. They also have a much wider surface area when compared to shortboards, making it much easier to paddle, pop-up, and balance, in smaller conditions.
Fish boards are excellent for beginners who are trying to transition from shortboards to longboards. For intermediate or advanced surfers, you get the ability to ride in conditions that are typically unstable. Fish are truly the coolest boards that aren’t your hardcore thrusters and can really offer a great time. Some of the best fish on the market in our opinion include Gold Coast’s Hybrid Soft-Top Fish, JK Surfboards Big Boy Fish, and Liquid Shredder’s Foam Fish Surfboard.
- Mini Mal
The Mini Mal, short for Mini-Malibu, is an awesome, semi-unknown, style of surfboard that works in a wide array of conditions. While it is very easy to put Mini Mals in the same vein as hybrid boards or fun boards, they are truly their own unique sticks. They were born out of the Malibu, a popular board built a few decades ago that allowed to surfers to best hit the point breaks in Malibu. The boards were shaped like longboards, though were much narrower and had pulled tails and noses. This gave them the feel of gliding on a longboard with necessary maneuverability for cutting harder on breaks.
Not long ago, we found ourselves with the Mini Mal. By this point, you can probably gather that it is a smaller version of the popular Malibu. You’ll typically find that these boards are anywhere from 7’0” to 8’5” in length, come with wide noses and squash tails, and have shapes that are pretty similar to that of longboards. Some of the best Mini Mals on the market include Bic Sport’s Dura-Tec Mini Mal, Disrupt’s Mini Mal, and Sunshine Surfboards’ Mini Mal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some other boards I could add to my quiver?
If you’re a veteran surfer, you most likely have a shortboard or thruster in your quiver. These are best if you’re looking to get into competition-style surfing or want to bust out some aerials. If you’re into big wave surfing or have the urge to get into big wave surfing, we would highly recommend looking into getting a gun surfboard. If you have the guts to surf waves that are triple overhead, these long, thin boards will take you to the next level.
What is not a good quiver to have?
If you’re looking to build a legitimate quiver, your main focus should be acquiring boards that each has their own specialty. If you have a line of shortboards or longboards for example, you’re really limiting yourself to the types of waves you’ll be able to ride. A shortboard for solid days, a groveler for mushy days, and a gun for massive days, is an example of a very versatile quiver.