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Nikki van Dijk riding a big surfboard in big waves

Size Matters, especially for a surfboard

It’s a common thing, you turn up to the beach, the surf is solid, there’s a lot of water moving.  Everyone asks the question to either themselves or out aloud…should I ride a big surfboard?

Whether there be a lot of swell, or some bumpy tricky conditions there are a lot of benefits from stepping it up and jumping on a bigger board in your quiver.

To get you thinking about how big your board should be, check at Surf Better Now head coach Adam Robertson in the recent swell that hit Victoria’s Surf Coast.

Whilst not everyone is up to surfing in these conditions, the following  concepts will help you in everything from head-high surf and above!

For reference – Robbo is riding a 7’0 Pat Rawson that in his words is “Really f*^king thick”

Paddle Power

Simple, as long as you still have some volume in your step ups that extra paddle power will be very helpful.

Whether it’s on a tricky paddle out, covering ground around the line up chasing the waves you want or just stroking into waves with a little more ease.  All these things will add to you confidence level in the larger or tricky surf.

This has been seen in some of the World Surf League Australian Leg events when the surf is large (Eg. Margaret River). Surfers will step up their equipment to gain an advantage in the water in terms of paddling around the line up and into waves

Level Three of Surf Better Now has the full breakdown on paddle technique and why its so important.

Nikki van Dijk riding a big surfboard in big waves

Photo: Cait Miers / WSL

Ethan Ewing riding a big surfboard in big waves

Photo: Matt Dunbar / WSL

Entry speed into waves

We’ve talked about it before,  entry speed is a valuable asset to your performance in all types of surf,  having that stability and smooth board speed as you are entering that wave means you are less likely to falter in that critical moment.

It also means you are prepared when the moment comes to seize your opportunity when that wave comes.

Stability and planing speed at high speeds

Stability and speed is something a longer board will give you every time.  In solid surf the waves are travelling so much faster towards shore than smaller waves,  meaning you are also travelling at a much faster speed.  The longer more stable equipment will be far less likely to spin out at those higher speeds, again making for a stable platform handles chance for error in those critical high speed moments.



Gives you the ability to drive and push hard

The longer equipment will allow you to harness your speed, harnessing the speed and power of the wave and allow you to have the ability to perform high speed maneuvers.

When you get that feeling of harnessing your speed and having the ability to safely turn through that speed,  you will be hooked.



All these things will add to you confidence level in the larger or tricky surf.  Which means that when the time comes to pull the trigger on that big set, you’re up for it.

Not sure how big to go? Submit video footage and our coaching team will be able to provide you with advice on board size based off your specs and surfing ability whilst also giving you some things to work on to make you surf better.

Want more information on specific surfing technique? View the following exclusive Surf Better Now member blog entries below.

What can skateboarding do to help your surfing?

Tightening the backhand at URBNSURF BLOG.

Critical Backside Surfing with Connor O’Leary VLOG.

Speed In Artificial Waves BLOG.

Loading Up the Backside Bottom Turn with Connor O’Leary VLOG.

Wave Entry at URBNSURF is everything BLOG.

Got a question for our coaching team? Throw it in the comments below!

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