Parts of a surfboard

What are the parts of a surfboard and its importance when buying one

When you look at a surfboard it looks like very simple equipment, however, the moves you can make will depend on how the different parts of a surfboard are designed.

At the beginning, the so-called shapers were craftsmen/engineers who built surfboards based on three basic measurements: height, width and thickness, but as time went by they added other details and elements that allowed them to improve their surfing techniques.

That is why nowadays it is not enough to know those basic measurements to decide which board you need to buy, especially when you are just starting with this sport. It is important that you know the parts of a surfboard and that is why we explain them briefly below.

Out Line

When we refer to the term out line we are talking about the general form of the table.

For example, if you leave it lying on the ground you can notice how the lines from the tip to the tail are joined.

Depending on the out line you can perform different maneuvers.

For example, if the out line is parallel to the nose you can get out of turns faster, but if it is rounder and with a continuous curve you will be able to surf forward and more relaxed.

This happens because the curve that the board has from the tail or fins to the center of the board is the place where you exert almost all the pressure of your feet, this will also determine the turning angle.


You may also hear it called “Cola”.

The Tail is the back of the board and you should look at this when you buy it because narrower tails allow you more grip on the wave, while wide tails help you gain more thrust on the wave.

Edge or Rail

The so-called edge, rail or edge are the edges of the board that are in constant contact with the wave when you make a turn.

This part of the board will give you the grip you need to steer it in the water.

Its shape can be rounded, sharp, medium or rounded. If you buy a board with sharp edges it will be more complicated to maneuver it unless you have enough experience surfing.


The front of the table is called “Nose”

Sometimes you will hear this part of the board referred to as the “tip”, which can be pointed or rounded.

You can find different types of noses: Round, Hybrid, Pointed and some Non-Conventional.

Leash or Invention

The leash is a type of strap that works as a safety element that allows you to keep in touch with your board either to recover it after a roll or a fall.

The leash -also called an invention because of its translation from English to Spanish- also works to prevent you from hitting other surfers or bathers with your board if it ever gets too far away from your body.

The leash will reduce the need for you to swim frequently in search of your board every time it moves away from you after a maneuver.


This is the part under the board that is in contact with the water and helps you control stability, maneuverability and speed, so it also determines how your board will behave.

In addition, you can find different types of Bottom: flat, concave, double concave, V-shaped and with channels.

It is important that you research what type of Bottom you need, so check with your instructor, a friend or partner who has a lot of experience surfing.


These small plastic, resin or carbon fiber appendages are shaped like a dolphin’s fin.

The fins are located underneath your surfboard and help you have more directional stability in the wave when you ride its walls.

In addition, the fins give the board the necessary grip to prevent you from skidding in the wave and help you maneuver more easily.

In short, the fins do most of the work to keep you stable and on the water.

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