Need ideas I'm overpowering shortboards

After 1 year straight of riding 9’ + longboards mostly with big single fins and riding my fish when the pointbreaks suitable… I cant ride any shortboard!

I over power every turn and cant get any length out of anything apart from my fish.

Which suits me fine I like surfing on only my mals and fishes but seeming I surf everyday and often twice or more I’d like to get a shortboard that works for me in my quiver to.

because fishes in choppy beachbreak is not fun and sometimes i want to hop of my logs.

so suggest a board .



yes i even over power 70s single fins!.

some background info. 16 aproaching 6’ getting fatter (nearly 70 i think) .

i’m thinking 6’8 to 6’11" by 21 1/4" wide round tail or swallow

I’d be stoked with some extra ideas.


ps…sorry my grammer / spelling is crap but I like to do massive drop knee cutties

After having ridden my 6’2"x22" fish and a big old log i got back on my 7’0 x 20.5 'short’board (I’m 6’6 so for me it is…) and I found it so easy to surf, just so much drive from the longer rails and the thruster fins. i felt like i could crank it around the corner way harder than my 6’2, which i have to ‘rollercoaster’ a bit more, if i plant a rail on that one there;s just not enough rail and it turns on the dime, so more need to surf it like a snowboard, more forefoot pressure to project it forwards.

i want to force myself to surf different boards, so i stay attentive to what’s happening under my feet and be more adaptive. i reckon give it some time, use a shortboard in the right conditions, like waves with a bit of punch and size. Keep mixing it up, you’ll get the hang of how to dose the power on the different craft. Cheers, Pim

You might consider trying a 5 fin bonzer, whatever shape you want. An Octafish maybe 5’10 X 20.5 X 2.5

Don’t take this wrong Josh,

I’m assuming that since you are 16, you have been surfing well for about 2 years or so max? And of that 2 years you have spent most of it on a long board.

We haven’t had any real consistent waves in So.CA since the Winter of 2005. Well maybe a day here and there…So your exposure to real waves is still very limited.

Get out on a good solid overhead day, and go over power that short board. I’m thinking that you be singing a different tune when you got that board 1/2 buried in a bottom turn.

Use the long board for those days like you have in the punk grom post you did a few days back. Those are perfect weak waves for a long board.

Get on a plane and go to Hawaii, surf the North Shore for a few days and then come back and explain to us how you are over powering you short board? I’m not buying it yet, keep at it.

Learn to surf waves instead of riding boards.

G’day Josh,

Just to give you a bit of perspective, one of the best young groms in the world at the moment from around here is just a year or two older than you and about the same height and weight. the dims on his standard shooter are 6’1" x 18 1/4" x 2 1/4". No problem with over powering such a small board.

Learning to use the board how it should be used, and riding the wave in the places that a shortboard should be ridden is the key to performance surfing.

For a good to above average surfer of your age, height and weight for standard East Coast waves, I’m thinking someting along the lines of 6’1-6’3 x 18 1/2 x 2 3/8 max thickness.

There is no way you would over power a board of these dims.

Of course I am assuming that by overpowering you mean that you bust the fins on every turn or the arse end skips and slides on even the slightest bottom turn.

Get a board with a tight tucked pin tail and some raked back fins and the harder you push that backfoot the more vertical that board wants to go and no way she’ll let go.

Getting off a LB and onto a standard thruster and the other way around, can do wonders for your surfing if you take the time to adjust to the way a thruster should be ridden.

Ride heaps of your mates boards to get a feel of what you like.

Good Luck


Cheers for the feedback guys. just as a little extra info. i’ve been surfing about 5 years, Learnt to surf on a 5’10. rode standard thrusters for a year or to then spend 1 year riding nothing but small single fins. rode fish’s exclusivly before spending a lot of time on a log. I surf everyday if not twice in mostly quality surf.


You might consider trying a 5 fin bonzer, whatever shape you want. An Octafish maybe 5’10 X 20.5 X 2.5

thanks !! good help

i agree with the bonzer idea the waves around here copa/avoca/forries vary rarely warrant the standard shortboard and if you spend the majority of your time on a fish and logg the turns you favor could be more drawn out and with a bonzer you can extend your lines or go hard of the bottom. give me a hola if your interested in surfing kaynes bonzer.

you don’t drop knee turn shortboards. watch taylor knox or other surfers mentioned in the power surfer thread. they are pushing their boards really hard but they are not over powering them. It is all about technique.

Sorry Josh,

I thought Avoco bech was in CA?, and since you have been surfing heavy since you were 11 years old, I didn’t know you have experience. Surf whatever makes you feel good, that’s about all it’s worth in surfing.

Hi there Josh,

To be honest, I don’t think we can buy into your opinion that you are overpowering shortboards as opposed to your fish as we don’t really know what sort of wave, style etc. that you surf, but my thoughts on this are:

On the right board, unless you are a very powerful surfer, you should find it very hard to overpower a shortboard (I’m talking a thruster here).

For your age and maturity I’m finding it hard to imagine that you would be overpowering the right board for you.

My opinion on your problem:

  • Rather than overpowering, I’m guessing you’re having trouble getting the performance you want from the shortboards you have ridden

  • I’m guessing you’re having issues such as burying rails, doing bottom turns and having the nose not coming around in the way you want it to, generally not having the board do what you want it to do.

  • I call shortboards “Supermodel Shortboards” as they work fine in the right conditions and the right dims for the person, but get the formula wrong and they are a fickle Supermodel dog.

  • I’m guessing you have ridden boards that are either Micro grom short boards (as you are 16 a lot of your friends probably have grom boards) or too big (big boy shortboards around the 6’8" to 7’0" mark)

  • For your height weight (You said nearly 6’ and 70kg), I see a micro-grom board would be a real struggle to surf as you just wouldn’t have the surface area on the wave face to displace your size… it’d just suck and would easily feel like you are overpowering the board. (Just the wrong board)

  • Big boy boards onthe other hand can just be really sluggish. I have a 6’8" that I used to love but when I ride it now, it just feels slugish and as it doesn’t perform the way my other boards do, I often end up pushing it into a bottom turn too hard and just eating shit. It may feel like overpowering the board, but it is just the board not doing what I want it to.

  • From reading into the types of boards you ride, I expect this is mostly due to the fact that you have primarily ridden long boards and fishes

  • The difference is that Longboards and fishes generally tend to have a lot of volume through the length of the board

  • By volume through the length of the board, this equates to a fair amount of volume in the nose

  • Volume in the nose means, you get used to surfing a lot further forward and with a different style

  • Surfing further forward means that you develop a style where you rely on your rails a lot more.

  • Difference being that nearly every shortboard made these days has very little volume in the first third of the board (from the nose)

  • This makes for a very different style of surfing where your power needs to be focus on the back third of the board

  • If the power in your rear foot is focused around the area of the fin cluster in a thruster, you are going to struggle to overpower a thruster. (With the right fins)

So my suggestions:

  1. The right board:
  • Now for the right board for you - you didn’t say what dims you have ridden.

  • For your size, I’d recommend something in the realms of:

Length: 6’2" to 6’ 4" (6’8" to 6’11" you mentioned in your post is in my opinion too long for you)

Width: 18.5" to 19.5"

Thickness: 2.25" to 2.5" (Some may say less but in my opinion for a more all round board it’s better to have a little more volume)

Shape: A rounded square would be the best allround shape, but it depends on the types of waves you ride

Fins: For you, I’d try to go with a standard thruster setup (i.e. Not a micro grom fin setup like the FCS 3 series and not a bigger fin setup like the FCS 7 series). You’d be well served by a straight up FCS M5 setup or equivalent template from other manufacturers.

  • I’d suggest you drop in on a local shaper and have a chat about the right board for you - a shaper won’t do you wrong in this area (unless you’ve dropped in on him on a wave one too many times :slight_smile:
  1. Style:
  • I’d suggest going out and having a surf on a shortboard thruster and try to analyse is you are trying to surf it like a longboard or a fish (I hate saying this as I usually just like to surf for the enjoyment and not self analysis)

  • Try to deliberately put your rear foot as far back as you can (A tail pad can help guide you to get your back foot in the right place)

  • Once your rear foot in in the right place, try working out the right stance (i.e. Move the front foot back also so you getting a good flow in your turns)

  • I’ve seen many surfers in my time struggle between mals and shortboards - but it can be worked out.

Hope this doesn’t come across as telling you how to suck eggs, but I say this from personal experience as over 20 years, I’ve gone from shortboards, to longboards, then hybrids, then back to a combination of fishes and shortboards. I personally find longboards a little too boring at this stage, but this will change as I get older and slower :slight_smile:


"Sorry Josh,

I thought Avoco bech was in CA?, and since you have been surfing heavy since you were 11 years old, I didn’t know you have experience. Surf whatever makes you feel good, that’s about all it’s worth in surfing."

no worries! dont be sorry. thanks for your help.


thanks tfe!

i guess i should have typed the question differently.

by overpowering. i mean i cant draw a long line that i want to. the boards just skip or do tiny radius turns.

I love my fish but want to also add a board for doing backhand reo’s and long turns.


for whats its worth… i have a 17 board quiver and a fair few 6’2 + to ride.

  1. 6’2" 18 3/4" 2 5/16" Standard thruster. goes crap but could be the plastic g3s.

  2. 6’2" 19 1/4" 2 3/8" MR supertwin. used to rip on this but cant draw out a turn on it these days.

  3. 6’3" 19 3/8" 2 3/8" Sunova compsand. I surfed okay on it in west aus but pretty shit on it at home. havent rode it in 4 months but i’d imagine i’d still suck on it. i love it though.

Hey Josh , any chance you could post a pic of your Sunova. I love the sound of those dims and am thinking of getting one. Cheers, Steve

by overpowering. i mean i cant draw a long line that i want to. the boards just skip or do tiny radius turns.

ok then, youre first suggestion (below) is your answer, but reduce the width, relaxed rocker. use a removable fin system so that you can tune the board to your liking and get lots of fins. try a larger center fin and medium rail fins first. dont use too whimpy plastic fins; stiff to medium stiff works good; fiberglass is better.

i’m thinking 6’8 to 6’11" by 21 1/4" wide round tail or swallow

I know what you mean,I took a year off of riding short boards.

When I first rode one again at a nice reef break my friend had to set me strait.

Don’t throw your weight around.Just turn your head the way you want to go.Be soft in the first part of a turn and then finish it off with some umph.

Go look at some vids of the pros and see some new lines.

S turns, floaters,rebound, wank,shred,ect.

I still have to be in the right mood to short board proper.

hey there josh

i used to have to baby thrusters through turns on overhead surf

they slid out on bottom turn and yeah they kinda had to be tentative turns

but it was mainly shitty plastic fins that were the problem

now i ride stiffer fins and reduce the hard edge on the rail

no problems

thanks for all the positive and helpfull responses.

Hi Lennox. Search for Josh West Oz or My time in west oz or somthing similar and there is a whole big thread of photo’s with my sunova and chippy.

Hi Silly, yeah I think your right on the crap fins

Hi, Crafty! cheers for the suggestion yesterday i rode a narrow but nice templated 6’8 single fin which i actaully surfed pretty good on and will probably one day make a 20 - 21" wide version.

Lavarat i’m glad i’m not the only one ! haha

cheers guys