Horses for courses or one hammer for every nail?


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2004
LA, California
Let me preface this by admitting I know some people who are enormously talented and ride one performance or hybrid board well in everything. And that would be a great advantage. I am not in their league.
I'm wondering how many of you look at it as I do, different boards for different types and sizes of waves, or one board that's used and capable of working in a variety of waves? Beach breaks and points, big and small, long period and windswell, I like having options for these. How about you?


Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2007
USA New Jersey
I like options based on swell height, wind, point, beach break etc. However I am reluctant to state the type of board in what type of conditions after I posed the question on another thread about size/design of boards.
I guess the most rudimentary way is to say
small wave= big board
bigger wave=medium size board
even bigger wave= smaller board.


Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2020
I think it’s user preference to be honest

I personally love surfing the same place and feeling the difference between boards, the variety there adds to the fun for me. This board has no rocker? Gotta adjust. that one can surf top to bottom better? How about a nice deep bottom turn

A friend surfs the same waves with me on the same board from shin high to overhead, he’s got it super dialed and knows exactly how the board is going to respond. He’ll grab another board when it starts pumping but 87% of the time is on one board

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong necessarily, just preference (and of course associated cost of having many boards)

Just my $0.02


Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2008
My thoughts have been evolving on this quite a lot. I have a big quiver that is getting smaller (and mostly shorter). 90% of my recent days are on one of two boards - 5'5 biscuit thruster or 5'9 twin pin. I'm talking three foot crappy beachbreak up to overhead and powerful reef waves. That doesn't mean there isn't a perfect day for the Liddle pointbreaker, but even those days the aforementioned boards could also be fun.

In contrast to makawao, my formula is now something more like (figure my scale is in increments of 2-3 feet):

Tiny waves=longboard
Small waves=sub 6' flatter, fatter board
Medium waves=sub 7' and often curvier board
Big waves=longer board high 6' and up to semigun

Point waves offer the most room for variety and deviation from the above. I can basically ride any board I own at Rincon and it feels like a fine choice other than the biggest days of the year. (Crowd fighting ability also aside.)


Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2020
Southern California
I like to think that my boards can handle a wide range of conditions, and for the most part they can. Nothing wrong with having specific boards to do specific tasks, or to surf special days, just nice to have boards that are reliable and have a wide range of capabilities.

Like Marc Andreini said, all you need is a longboard, a performance board, and a gun or a glider.


Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
West Cornwall, UK
I think that riding different boards frequently improves your surfing. It gives you the bigger picture of what’s really happening with that thing under your feet. I love swapping boards with pals in the line up too, just for a few waves, to mix things up.

I'm strictly longboard these days and keep a changing quiver of 4 or 5 boards.
Geographically I'm blessed being on a peninsular that sticks out into the Atlantic. There’s a wide variety of beaches and reefs (no true points to speak of though) facing in all directions. For three quarters of the year I can play the swell and wind direction to find something decent. Summer (and this year has been a classic drought) I'm feeding off of scraps.
There are only two things to consider when choosing a board for the day; Size and Condition. Currently I reckon my quiver covers all bases...

Small and Lumpy - 9'10 Terry Martin Hobie
Small and Clean - 9'8 Jim Phillips Bastard
Big and Lumpy - 9'8 Bruce Grant Con Pintail
Big and Clean - 10'6 Christenson ChrisCraft

I do have a favourite, quiet spot that picks up most of the swell heading our way, but the conditions do vary a lot, even from one tide to the next. It’s fun to surf the same spot consistently and just take what's on offer, then adjust your style, expectation and your chosen ride accordingly. A bit like @Skusty said above, but with more variables.


Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
The less i surf the more boards i want………

The more i surf the more i know i don’t need that many boards cause the waves make me humble again and make me realise i am just a below average surfer and i don’t need a quiver like Joel Tudor.

Just spend four weeks surfing on the Canary Islands with just one board (6’2 twin fin) and it worked just fine. In those 4 weeks i had two days without waves and i bought a 6’0 takayama scorpion……