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Surfboard parts

“The surf board, like everything in life, has two sides and various parts.” – surffanatic
Photo by Nick Sarvari on Unsplash

The surf board, like everything in life, has two sides and various parts.

The Deck

The part you stand on, the surface. Here you apply the wax and you’ll find the trackpad, the leash plug. Types of decks:

  • Flat – with more volume on the wide rails
  • Dome – with more volume on the center and less volume on the rails
  • Step deck – has a platform in the center and lower and thinner rails

The bottom

As the name says is the bottom of the board, the surface that contacts the water. You’ll find there the fins plugs, the fins. There are three main categories of bottoms and each one interacts differently with the water:

  • Concave bottom: provides lift and better glide, helps you snap the wave with the rail during the turns, and provide more control.
  • Convex bottom: it’s when a part of the bottom is dipping below the rail line as you look at the board from one side. They provide stability and smooth transitions from one rail to another.
  • Flat bottom: a flat-bottom surfboard is… well, flat. When you look at the board from the side you’ll see it stays at the same level as the rails. It’s more of a cruising bottom as it generates speed, but it decreases performance.


Is the tip of the board, the front part that’s arched. Sometimes the nose is pointed, usually on shortboards, and it helps to gain speed and maneuverability.  Other times the nose board is rounded, usually on longboards; that helps with catching waves easier.


They are the sides or the edges of your surfboard. They connect the nose and the tail and they determine the performance of the board. They can be:

  • Large and full that give more buoyancy
  • Sharper or narrower that sink and make it easier to lean on the edge.

They come on 3 types:

  • Soft rails – rounded and smooth, they provide stability and makes it easy to paddle.
  • Hard rails – more square and they require more skill as they provide speed and help with quick turning.
  • 50/50 – a mix in between the two.


The stringer is the line that divides the board in left and right and runs from nose to tail. It’s a wood or carbon fiber slat that’s embedded in the board. It has two purposes, to strengthen the board and to control flexibility. There are boards that don’t have a stringer.


The rocker is nothing more than the curve you can see on the board in between nose and tail. Depending on its shape overall boards’ speed and turns speed are determined.

  • Heavy rocker or steeply curved – increase board’s dragg and its good for fast turns
  • Relaxed rocker or less curved – good for flatter waves,


The tail is the back of the board. It comes in various shapes and it can be squared, rounded, pin, swallow (fish), diamond, and so on. Depending on the tail shape the board performs differently. Pin tails make the board move faster, hip tail gives more balance than speed.

Traction pad, fins plug and fins, leash plugs and leash

The traction pad, fins plug and fins, leash plugs and leash are parts of the surfboard that have an article on their own.