18 Best Surfboard Brands 2022

Your definitive guide to the best surfboard brands in the world.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Surfing is hard enough at the best of times. From the ‘one last wave’ curse (which inevitably results in you not being able to catch a wave for at least half an hour) to broken bones, banged up boards and leaky wetsuits, there’s a lot you have to put up with to get those broad shoulders and beaming tan.

Surfing isn’t just about Eastern (suburbs) mysticism though. Sure: the old blokes may hark back to the days of uncrowded Bali sessions and the classic lines you can draw with a waterlogged single fin, but even the most stoic shred heads can’t deny there’s no better feeling than fresh fibreglass under your arm.

But where there is ecstasy there is also peril. And we’re not talking about threading the needle at low tide Cape Solander: if you buy the wrong board, not only will you be $800 in the hole, you’ll also face such problems as your friends mocking you for not being able to catch a wave, bogging every second rail, and cursing the thing every time you put it in the car.

Not to mention dealing with dickheads on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace to offload it.

In other words: picking the right surfboard is key to your performance, bank account, sanity and social status (among other, vital, things).

When buying a surfboard there are a number of crucial factors to consider: length, thickness, volume, and brand.

Ideal Surfboard Length

Depending on which way you glide, you’ll want a longboard, midlength, fish, or shortboard. For more information on which one to pick, we’ve got a specific guide on learning to surf (and picking the perfect beginner’s board) here. For everyone else: length is determined by your style (if you want longer, more drawn out turns, get something longer, if you want something more wiggly, go shorter), personal preference and weight. Generally speaking, you’ll be looking at 9-11ft for a longboard (or gun), 6’6″ to 7’10” for a mid-length, 6’2″ to 7’2″ for a step up, 5’5″ to 6’5″ for a shortboard and 5’0 to 6’0″ for a fish.

Surfboard Thickness

The oldest cheat code to short boarding better is to buy something thinner and wider. This is because it will be stabler, paddle better (or equally as well), and you will catch less rail when turning (i.e you won’t bog so much). Of course, you can’t take it too far, or you simply won’t float, but thickness is one of the first places you should look to sacrifice when you progress in ability and are looking to cut down the size of your board (or perform more advanced manoeuvres), especially in small to medium waves. On the flip side, if you’re ordering a step up or gun, and are looking for a board that can handle going very fast in a straight line, with lots of projection, then you will be looking at something narrower, thicker, and less forgiving.

Surfboard Width

Generally, all longboards and fish surfboards will be quite wide and forgiving, while shortboards, step-ups and guns will be relatively narrow. The wider the board the more forgiving it will be for marginal conditions and marginal riders.

Volume

Though this isn’t the silver bullet many believe it is, it’s bloody useful (to the point where if you had to pick just one aspect of a board to go off when ordering, you’d pick volume). The more volume your board has the more buoyant it will be, and the easier it will be to catch waves. The less volume your board has the more manoeuvrable it will be, but the more difficult it will be to catch waves. This means more advanced surfers should order boards with less volume, and more inexperienced surfers should order boards with more volume.

Surfboard Brands FAQ

What is the best surfboard brand?

The best surfboard brands right now, for top-level surfers, are Pyzel, followed by Al Merrick, JS, Mayhem, DHD, Pukas and T. Patterson.

Who makes the best fish surfboard?

Thanks to Asher Pacey's sublime antics on it, DHD is widely regarded as making the world's best fish surfboard.

What surfboard brands are Australian?

JS Industries, McTavish, Hayden Shapes, DHD, Dead Kooks.

Who makes the best longboard surfboard?

Bear Surfboards, Farrelly Surfboards, and Dead Kooks.

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