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Top 5 Boards To Add
To Your Arsenal

Carlos Muñoz and Jamie O'Brien Won The Heat in Pipeline

Written by Charlie Page,

Today's Date: 6/9/2018

Though there isn’t a specific set of guidelines for actually building a quiver or buying
new surfboards, there are certain tips you should know so that you don’t end up
needing to remortgage your home and sell your car after buying a ton of new
boards. This is why we wanted to let you in on some knowledge about what boards
are best to add to your arsenal. When you think about adding boards to your
arsenal, you want to make sure that you are covering as many different wave
conditions with the smallest number of boards possible. Begin by looking at the area
you are surfing at. If the waves are erratic, get a few boards to cover the dynamic
spectrum. If the waves are constantly small, you’ll most likely be looking at boards
that are built to stay afloat in the mini universe. All in all, you don’t want to buy two
boards that pretty much do the same things. This is why we’ve created a
comprehensive list of our 5 top boards to add to your arsenal.

1. Groveler

If you’re someone that lives near a beach where the waves are more foam than
wave, or just someone who likes having the option to surf even on days where the
surf isn’t in your favor, a groveler might just be your new best friend. The concept of
the groveler is becoming increasingly popular these days thanks to companies like
FireWire and Catch Surf. These boards were essentially created to allow surfers to
take advantage of small waves because of the way the boards are designed. Many of
you have probably already seen a lot of these little egg-shaped floaters at your local

As for their size, they typically lie anywhere between 5’0” and 6’0”, sometimes even
smaller. The biggest difference between these and your standard shortboard are
that grovelers have a wider surface area in the center and near the tail. You’ll
usually find that shapers will give grovelers more of a concave build. This greatly
improves your ability to catch mushy little waves when compared to a shortboard. If
you want to check out some awesome grovelers, we would highly recommend
looking at the Baked Bean Surfboard by Disrupt (similar to the FireWire Sweet
Potato) or the Average Joe by Channel Islands. Both of these boards are an excellent
place to start in terms of Grovelers.

2. Black Ball Foamie

We thought we would start off with one that may catch you off guard, though is a
board that seriously deserves some recognition, however playful and innocent it
may look. The California Board Company and Scott Burke designed one of our
favorite little foamies not too long ago, the Black Ball Soft Deck Surfboard. Because
there are many beaches here in California that have started to ban surfboards
altogether, the Black Ball Foamie was built to find the loophole as a “bodyboard”.
The beauty of this board is that it is so much more than that.

You’d be surprised how versatile this bad boy is. No matter how old or young you
are, or how experienced a surfer you are, we guarantee you’ll have a blast flying
through the water on this little thing. It’s designed with a high-density EPS foam
core, a high-density polyethylene slick bottom, and an incredibly durable IXPE/XPE
Deck with 3 laminated wooden stringers molded in. In all, it can take a beating.
Whether you want a board to learn to surf on as a beginner, a board for yourself to
cruise on during smaller days, or a board that you can also use to boogie when
nostalgia comes flying through. The Black Ball Foamie is a win.

3. Mini Malibu

The Mini Malibu, or Mini-Mal for short, gets grouped with hybrid and funboards a
lot of the time. Because it has some special qualities all its own, we find that its
important to give it the spotlight it deserves. Mini Malibu surfboards are actually
pretty versatile boards that can work well in a wide variety of conditions. The
history of the Mini Malibu starts with its older brother, the Malibu. The Malibu
surfboard was built years ago in correlation to the right hand point breaks out in
Malibu, CA. It had a narrow shape like a longboard with pulled tails and noses.

The Mini Malibu helped to bring back the classic Malibu with a shorter size,
ultimately making it a much more maneuverable board while retaining the smooth
feel of a longboard. You’ll typically find that the Mini Malibu runs between 7’0” and
8’5”. Some excellent Mini Malibu boards that we would recommend checking out
include the Disrupt Sports Mini Mal and the BIC Sports DURA-TEC Wahine Mini Mal.
These are great introductions to a wildly versatile board that will change your
outlook on good vs. bad surf.

4. Twin Fin

Having a board with a twin fin setup can help in increasing your speed and
maneuverability. Because you have the parallel fin setup, they are also much more
stable than a single fin. You’ll typically find this type of setup on fish surfboards or
modern shortboards. When compared to a thruster setup, they give you a much
looser ride, which can be tons of fun for some. It gives you the ability to respond
much better to waves while still maintaining balance. When looking for a twin fin
surfboard, try and look for one that has two fins fairly close to the rails, about a foot
away from the tail. There are some shapers that experiment with different
placements, though we believe the typical setup is best.

If you’re looking for a setup that can allow you to turn better, a twin setup is where
it’s at. Because you don’t have a center fin that is causing or drag or getting caught in
the waves, your turns also become much faster, allowing you to barrel down the line
quickly. Note, however, that twin fins aren’t the best for surfers who are still trying
to find their balance. They can be difficult to control, especially when the waves get

bigger. If you want something to give you the upper hand in speed and attack, get a
twin fin set up. It will change you.

5. Longboard

Ah the classic longboard. There’s nothing more nostalgic than the feeling of cruising
down the line on a nice log. There are many great reasons to have a longboard. For
starters, they allow you to ride in conditions where the waves are short and rolling.
Small waves and big boards are just good friends. The added flotation of a longboard
helps you to paddle faster in smaller waves and the momentum lets you pick up and
ride them with ease. You’ll find that longboarding, especially if you are beginner, will
allow you to heavily increase your wave count. This is why we always recommend
longboards to surfers who are just starting out. It gives you more surface area to get
it right.

Don’t be mistaken though, as longboards are just as much for expert surfers as they
are for newbies. What other board allow you to ride the nose or cross step along the
length of your board. It’s a truly freeing experience that you can only get with a
longboard. Longboards are certainly the most graceful of all different boards,
allowing for wide, sweeping turns, and more relaxed motions. If you’re looking for a
far more peaceful surfing experience, take our advice and add a longboard to your

Final Thoughts

When adding surfboards to your arsenal, you always want to make sure that the
board is a good fit for your skill level and can supply you with something that you
don’t already have. Some people enjoy the feeling of shredding a surfboard while
some enjoy pounding around on a little groveler. Criteria to consider include the
environment around you as well and pick a board that complements your local
breaks. We hope that our list can help you in making your next board purchase.
Have fun out there and keep shredding!










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