Beach break design considerations

What at some primary considerations you would take when shaping a board specifically for beach break? I want to make a board that can fit into my car (9’2" max) that will still catch waves easy (I’m 175lbs). I’d like to keep the board a single fin.

The spot I’m shaping the board for has decent shape and ride length for beach break, but is generally pretty mushy (Southern California BB)…9 days out of 10 the crew are riding longboards. Wave height rarely rises over 6ft (head high), and is generally in the 2-3 ft range.

If you just want a cruiser that catches waves then take a look at the single fins from the 60’s. Lot’s of volume, practically no rocker, lot’s of weight and fun to cruise on. 

I would ask what beach and how they want to surf that beach. - What beach are you talking about - do you want to surf really relaxed and cruise or a little bit more progressively - pump down the line, turns, cutbacks?

You can go pretty small ( 5’8" range)  to your max (9’2") and catch waves no problem - to me the bigger question is what you want to do once you catch them.

What kind of board are you thinking of?


Beach break single fins SO many options.

8’ “Other one” soft rails slight roll in in bottom to some other stuff. Work great when you need to connect the dots

7’11" “Odd one” I make these down to under 6’  Harder rails with edge for when its pumping

All “beach break” tested.

These will work as a single fin too

Or you can always just make a nice longboard with one fin that works…

So many options with just one fin

I really like the outlines on the first two, ace.

What brand is that finbox with the rounded ends? I don’t think I’ve seen one before.


The first board, Other one, has become one of my favorite shapes for “small” waves. The waves do not have to be “perfect” for it to work but it sure does step it up when they are.

**Niiiiice stuff! What is that fin box??? Love the "Tunnel bottom" 72/73 w/ Cere Muscarella. see pix ! Aloha!**


My small wave/ point surf board is also 8’. It’s a noserider, but still plenty loose and versatile.

Hey thanks for the replies!

A friend of mine moved to the Balboa Peninsula in Newport recently. I’d most likely be surfing Blackies and a couple jetties north.

I’m thinking 8’6" and 23" wide. Flat through the midsection and tail, with a harder tucked-under rail until about a foot before the fin. I’m wondering about tail shape though…should I keep it wider like Ace’s board?

@Ace: Nice shapes man. How does the “Other One” ride?

Here is a ride report on the “Other one”

Hi Ace,

Well, I have taken 8’ “gringo peligroso” (aka ‘other one’) out in all sorts of conditions, from wind blown chop with a little size to nice clean reef at about 3 to 4 ft and I have had absolutely nothing but FUN! I have to say you have brought a new enthusiasm into my surfing, which had definitely been waning. I will not get into all the fun nuance I have been discovering and enjoying in this board as I could go on for a good long while. And that is what makes it soooo much fun! There are so many little adjustments that one makes which make such noticeable changes (as subtle or significant as they may be) in the ride. I have found a fun little spot where my back foot is just in front (or slightly on) the beginning of the tail concave and my leading foot just in the middle of the board. Here with slight to significant alterations of pressure on the back foot and side to side pressure with the front foot (or vice versa) I am able to create a Distinct control of speed and maneuverability on the face of the wave which is a ton of fun (fine tuning this is going to be even more fun). Also backside is easier that ever! Why? Something to figure out along the way. But now I have no real preferred approach.

But ultimately, the best thing about this board is that every wave, regardless of size shape etc. is fun to ride. I head to the beach knowing I am going to have a great time, not just being hopeful for fun depending on the conditions. And this is the big difference from those oh so many boards that get advertised as “will catch anything” (I hate this statement because it usually translates to will catch anything, but that is the best of what it does, the rest is kindah uh). In this case, by being able to paddle into SO many waves (had paddle battles with paddle boarders on the way outside…and won) and having a good time on all of them, one does not have to wait so much on the set waves to have a good time. You can now let some (even most) of those pass to those battling on the inside and you are now the cool magnanimous guy in the line-up spreading good Energy and restoring manners to the line-up! I can hope…

Finally, the fin is perfect!!! I tried using this wilderness fin I love yet have never found it to be the glass slipper for any of my boards with the hope that the GP would be the one. Well, it worked just fine but when I put the FU fin back on the GP was magic again. BTW, let me know if you ever want to try that fin.


A board for everyday blackies and the jetties are 2 completely different boards.

your 8’6" x 23" will work at blackies (while not really some thing I would choose to ride there) but will not be very comforting at any other spot in newport.

how long have you been surfing?  and what kind of surfing do you want to do there? - on a typical day at blackies that 8’6" will get you into a wave with ease but you probably wont be doing much else.

Ideally I’d like something I could surf in both places–something that can compete with the logs at Blackies, but still hang in chunkier beach break, if it’s possible.

I’m not a performance surfer. I like to trim and pump, maybe a slow cutback every so often.