How To: Sizing Surfboards for Women, Girls, and Smaller Surfers

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Wider, thicker, shorter. Can everyone and every board go this direction? With so many girls and smaller framed surfers getting into the water, we thought it would be a good idea to share the board choice knowledge that helps keep this group ripping on the water.

Typically, smaller framed surfers have shorter arms and narrower shoulders. This makes board width and thickness especially important. You don’t want a board that’s so wide you can’t carry it to and from the water. That may only seem like a convenience factor, but if you can’t carry it under your arm, you also typically will be uncomfortable sitting on it, as well as the board will be wider than your shoulders, meaning you will only have from your elbows down in the water paddling the board. Can’t carry it, uncomfortable to sit on, can’t paddle it. Sounds like fun? Not really.

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With the trend on modern boards going substantially wider and thicker, width is something you really need to keep an eye on. Weight of the board and overall “bulk” is also something worth considering. Lighter surfers are at a disadvantage maneuvering big, heavy boards. In fact most of them get maneuvered by the board rather than the other way around. Keeping it light, not only makes transport easier, it also makes the board easier to whip through turns or whip around to catch the next wave.

Today most people hyper analyze the volumes and ultra high performance level of each board. It’s refreshing to hear a straight up stoked women’s point of view courtesy of Adrienne Kina, one of our customer service specialists at REAL. She recently did her research and picked up a Vernor Egg that she nick-named “Aggy”. Here are her thoughts….

The Vernor Egg …aka AGGY.
“I’ve been surfing for a few months, so this is my first surfboard and I am stoked on AGGY. It’s nice and light, easy to carry (I bike with it under my arm) which means I can lady handle it while in the surf: grab it with one hand and pull through waves/ is easy to deflect on gnarly wipeouts/easy to spin around and a fast paddler. It feels like a small board when compared to the fat longboards I’ve been riding, but am happily surprised I am catching even more waves because I’m confident on it. When I pop up (even on slow popups) the board reacts quickly and I can turn late and get back riding down the wave in a cruiser riding style. Also I’ve noticed I can stay low on takeoffs, grabbing and riding the rail for sharp turns and even pumping the board. AGGY has been catching party waves with everyone and sharing the stoke…this is the start of a long beautiful friendship of sessioning on baby glassy waves to as big and disorganized as I can handle.” – Adrienne Kina

Photo: Adrienne Kina/ @yokeens
Photo: Adrienne Kina/ @yokeens

Adrienne points out a few key things we talked about above. The board is EASY for her to maneuver, both when she’s on the board, but also throwing it around to get back on it or catch a wave. She also points out the ease of carrying the board and that even though it’s smaller, it’s actually easier to surf on than larger boards.

YES, you can go too small and that’s something you want to avoid, but there is validity in the fact that the appropriate sized board can be both smaller and easier than what you’re trying to surf on now.

With the moderate width of the Vernor Egg, Adrienne is able to get the full length of her arm in the water for effective paddle strokes. This means every wave she paddles for, she has a chance of catching.

Key design elements to consider for smaller framed surfers:
• Moderate widths
• Moderate thickness
• Tapered rails
• Lighter weight

While the Vernor Egg is a great board for this group, other boards that also fit the bill include the Ricky Carroll TMM, Rusty Happy Shovel, smaller …Lost LayZboys and E-Z Ups (not any of the big ones though, these are too wide), and several others. All of these boards keep the above mentioned points within the moderate range, tailoring themselves to the ergonomic build of smaller framed surfers. Smaller surfers can also use these points when looking at longboards as well.

Just like every guy over 165lbs curses the fact that all shortboards are just too small, most girls do the same bumming over most boards being too big. Hopefully these points will help you pick the perfect shred sled (and nick-name) for your next glass slipper. Thanks for tuning in!

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