Board Design Question

I have been looking at the web sites of several differant surf board companies and I have a question that someone might be able to assist with. In addition to the length of the board the companies have the nose width, middle width, tail width and thickness.

I understand that the thickness of the board contributes to the floatation of the board; but, how much of a differance would 1/8 of an inch in thickness make in floation?

What I am trying to do is understand what each of the measurments do in relation to performance so that I can make a good decision when choosing a board.


One eighth more thickness adds volume, which will float a heavier weight, but doesn’t necessarily mean it will paddle or catch waves or ride any easier. The design takes over.

An eighth more width, which is not much, will give more planing area, more lift, and will help with the paddling, take-off, and ride. Again though, the design will dictate.

Too many factors for a simple answer, so hopefully others will shed more light.

Correct - +1/8 thickness foam increases total foam volume. More float (with all the good and bad associated with that).

But +1/8 wood makes a BIG difference. If you make your veneers 1/8 thicker you double their bend resistance! And wood twice as thick is 8 times more bend resistance (and has 8x the shape memory, etc).


Thanks. Cool. What I am trying to do is pick a board that will really be good to start with.

I have been looking at four differant surf tech models:

Takayama 9’8"

nose 18 1/8, middle 22 3/4, tail 15, thickness 3 1/8

Nuuhiwa 9’8"

nose 18 1/2, middle 23 1/8, tail 16 1/2, thickness 3 1/8

Infinity Rad Noserider 10’

nose 19 1/2, middle 23 1/2, tail 14, thickness 3 1/2

Gordon and Smith 10’

nose 18 5/8, middle 22 3/4, tail 16 1/8, thickness 3 1/4

Does anyone know anything about these boards (photos are on the surf tech website)? How much of a differance would these boards be when riding them?



These are all great boards but you need to consider your surfing experience, paddling ability weight, height and the types of waves you like to ride. You also need to consider the rocker line. The flatter the rocker, the easier to reach plan and paddle, tail kick rocker makes the board turn easier, more nose kick makes the board harder to plan and harder to paddle but more forgiving on steeper waves. The boards you identified should easily be handle by a surfer that is 185 to about 225lbs in Waikiki type waves. These would not be the best boards suited for the North Shore on a large day although there are surfers that can do it.

How much do you weigh, how well can you paddle; where do you surf, what type of break do you ride (point, shore reef, on-shore or off-shore wind), what size waves, etc.?

I know that the some of the local surf shops will rent different models out. The rent fees can be applied to the purchase of a new board. You can see if some of your buddies can let you try out their boards too.

But first things first… make sure that the board will float you and you can paddle it. Surfing is 90% paddling and if you can’t paddle, you can’t catch waves. Remember, as you get better you might grow out of your board. I go through about three boards a year. I keep the ones the I like and sell the ones that other people like better. That is one of the advantages of making your own boards too.


I am 6’2" and weigh 195. I generally surf beach breaks, there are no reef breaks in my area and the surf is generally 2 to 3 with some days (very few) where it will be up to head high. While we do have hurricane swells from time to time I have not tried them yet.

I would like to find something that would be a little maneuverable while at the same time allow me to learn to ride the nose really well.


I have been looking at four differant surf tech models:


They are all great boards. I have a friend that owns a Takayama and loves it. As far as Surftech is concerned, I only rode and owned the 10’4" Yater and the 11’ Munzo. I rode and owned the 10’2" Aipa by Boardworks. I am not a really true fan of the EPS epoxy board yet. I am use to a more heavier glass board. I did own a poly 10’ Takayama pintail and loved it. It was easy to catch waves and it nose ride really well. I rode a couple of the Infinity Cluster boards and loved how that board worked.

Choosing a board is such and individual thing. I would choose either the Takayama or the Infinity because I have history with those boards. I love riding the classic point break board in really specific conditions but I prefer a modern longboard in various conditions. Base on this, my choice would be to start off on the Infinity. Learn to surf well on it. You can also play with the fins to suit your style and waves. This should hold you for a few years. Keep the board in good shape, sell it when you are ready and try another one later. Nevertheless, the choice is yours and yours only.

Some of my best surfing happens after I broke a favorite board and was forced to get another one. After surfing for 38 years, I know what works for me. At age 50, the waves are getting smaller and my boards are getting longer… What the heck, that’s life!