What board should I ride? Behold one of the age old questions that torments surfers worldwide. Whether it’s knee high peelers or overhead lips, you want to go out on the board that’s right for you, and right for the conditions at hand. Our dedicated research team at the Pacific Surf Company laboratory has concocted a 3 surfboard serum that will get you cruising no matter what the waves are doing.
The “Tofino” Shortboard (~ 6’)
Between the powerful winter storms and the clean, long interval south swells of summer, the shortboard is a good choice in Tofino year round. Where it struggles is in less powerful waves smaller than 2 or 3 feet. At this point you might look to the midlength or longboard for increased fun.
In general, the waves in Tofino are considered mellower than those in Hawaii or California, for example. For this reason, you want a shortboard that is lower rocker, wider and thicker than its warm water counterparts. This is why Twin-fin fishes and Mini-simmons shapes have become so popular in Tofino: they offer increased speed and fun in Tofino surf, whilst still allowing the maneuverability of a shortboard.
If you are still getting into surfing and mastering the basics, avoid the shortboard for a while until you are feeling confident on larger boards; work your way down to the shortboard gradually.
The Mid-length (~7’ - 8’)
The mid-length surfboard is versatile. Wave catching, paddle power and speed generation are much greater than on a shortboard. The best part is that a well designed mid-length is still maneuverable. Take this puppy out on days when the waves are looking more soft or even when it’s scary big and that extra volume will be an advantage.
Mid-length boards are a great transition away from longboards if you are progressing towards riding shorter boards. If you are confidently cruising on your 9’ longboard, maybe try to change it up by stepping down to a 7’10 mid-length.
The Longboard (~9’ - 10’)
The gently sloping waves that break on Tofino’s shores lend themselves to the longboarding style: Think long, smooth turns, playful footwork, and most importantly, LOTS of waves.
The longboard should be a part of your quiver no matter what ability level you are; too often it is slated as a ‘beginner’ board when actually it is an art form unto itself. It is a gateway to a smooth and relaxed style. Further , if you find yourself a trusty longboard, you will greatly broaden the horizon of days that you can surf and waves that you can ride anywhere in the world.
Did we miss anything? Is there a favourite Tofino board that you’d like to tell us about? Want to know more about the types of boards that we mentioned? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will be more than happy to help set you up for your next session!