Surf: 7 Types That You Must Experience

Paddle Surf

Surf is possibly one of the best-known water sports in the world. Not only for being surf an extremely old sport or for standing on the board -Which makes it striking to sight.

More likely, it is about knowing something as unpredictable as the waves, the wind, your balance or the board and dominating something as indomitable as the sea.

On the other hand, surfers have also made it more and more interesting with their maneuvers, tricks, twists and creative ways of practicing, which in addition to other aspects, has created subtypes of surfing according to the implements used to glide over the waves.

In this article we will talk about the 8 different types of surf that you can –and must- experience:

1 Traditional surfing

Traditional surfing is divided into three categories depending on the size of the board used, and its purpose is to maneuver, turn, jump, and stand on the waves using their own strength and speed in your favor:

Types of Surf - Traditional
Traditional Surfing in a Longboard

1.1 Shortboard

The Shortboard as its name indicates uses the smallest boards (from 5 to 7 feet) to perform rough maneuvers in different types and sizes of a wave that with another type of board would be really complicated.

1.2 Regular sized board surf

The boards of 7 to 9 feet are used to practice Funboard which is the ideal type for beginners because it represents an intermediate level between the handling of the Short and stability of the Long.

1.3 Longboard

A longboard is practiced with boards longer than 9 feet and is the most complex at the level of maneuverability. In addition, this variation of surfing is practiced in medium waves, long and not too vertical to be able to get creative in each wave.

Nevertheless, other types of surfing have been created by the inclusion of additional elements in their practice:

2 Paddle Surf

Paddle Surf or SUP is practiced on a longboard surfing standing, aided by a paddle to achieve greater speed and maneuver more easily using the paddle as a rudder.

Types of Surf - Paddle
Paddle Surf – Preferably done in small waves

3 Bodyboard

The Bodyboard, on the other hand, implements a board smaller than usual and of a material less resistant than wood (hard foam), is practiced with fins to reach May speed and can be practiced completely lying on the board (Prone), kneeling on one leg (Drop-knee) or standing (Stand Up) on small waves.

4 Bodysurf

Unlike the previous one, we remove the board when we do bodysurf.

It is known as the root sport of surfing and is used only fins and sometimes hand-boards to maneuver, but it is about looking for speed and perform turns, maneuvers and tricks only with the body and the momentum of the wave.

5 Kayaking Surf

Kayaking Surf is a mixture of both sports, taking the kayak and its oar to the ocean to maneuver with ease only that, instead of doing it in rapids, we do it in the waves.

Next, there are two types of surf implementing the wind as an extra accessory: Windsurf and the Kitesurf.

6 Windsurf & Kitesurf

Windsurf uses an articulated board as an individual sailboat that we can rotate around its axis to change the course of the board and take advantage of the wind speed in our favor.

Differently, Kitesurf is a bit more dangerous, as you will use a kite as a wind-driven directional and skis or a small board as a base.

Types of Surf - Kite Surf
Kitesurf, 30 seconds of flight

This way, both are used in places where the wind predominates and with low waves, or even without waves as only wind is needed to jump and maneuver the boards.

7 Skimboarding

Finally, we have the Skimboarding, which using skate notes shows acrobatics near the shore with fiberglass boards extremely light.

In this style, you will wait for the waves almost in the sand and throw yourself at them by getting up on the board with one hand.

In this regard, the Skimboarder is like a skater jumping onto the ramp with the difference that if you don’t take advantage of those seconds of wave you’ll have to wait for a new one.


There are a lot of styles to surf with. You can practice them on different types of beaches and all for different skills and tastes. And you, which one do you want to practice?

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