Beginner | Surfboard Volume Explained

What's Surfboard Volume:

Volume is the amount of area (In litres) contained in a surfboard, calculated by its overall length, width, thickness & foil. Volume is a benefit of computer-assisted shaping.

Volume is the first measurement to look at when choosing what surfboard size to buy. It's the starting point once a surfboard type / model has been decided on. Arguably the most important measurement when choosing a surfboard size as it will eliminate the wrong size boards immediately. For more experienced surfers it is used in context with the other dimensions to create an accurate overall picture of the surfboard suitability. Volume is found in the dimensions options for each surfboard model i.e. 7'0" x 20" x 2 3/4" - 54.50 Vol.

Use volume in collaboration with the surfboard type, dimensions & features to give you a very accurate picture of the surfboards performance characteristics.

Low Volume Surfboards:

Meaning a lower volume than your ideal volume range, this is different for each surfer. Low volume is relative to each surfer's weight & surfing ability.

They're more sensitive to the rider's movements & requires an advanced surfer to master. These surfboards need extra effort to generate speed as they sink deeper into the wave face creating extra drag & increases the chance of catching a rail.

The positive trade-off is a highly sensitive rail with more power over the surfboard. Meaning the ability to hold turns in critical parts of the wave, more control in powerful waves.

There is a fine line between a low volume board & an under volume surfboard. The drawbacks of an under volume surfboard are; hard to paddle, unstable & sluggish board speed. It's better to have an over volume surfboard than an under volume surfboard. If unsure of the correct volume always go the bigger dimensions, as you can refine your volume on the next surfboard. It's better than the alternative, not catching waves & having to sell your board straight away or the worst crime of sticking to it, missing out on a lot of waves & fun

High Volume Surfboards:

Meaning a higher volume than your ideal volume range, this is different for each surfer. High volume is relative to each surfer's weight & surfing ability.

They're more relaxed performance & easier to surf. All surfing levels can master a high volume surfboard. They produce more speed without much effort & are more stable. The trade-off for these benefits is a decrease in top end performance (might not be an issue). You will know if the surfboard is holding you back, that comes with experience. High volume surfboard will still have more performance than what most surfers need if longboarders can do airs.

It's up to the surfer to decide what style of surfing they prefer & tailor their buying decision accordingly.

What is Beginner Volume:

Beginner volume is a figure generated by each surfer's individual weight, ability, fitness & personal preference. In my opinion Beginner Volume is the most important variable to consider when choosing a surfboard. 

Beginner Volume is calculated in litres (Vol) and can be easily applied when selecting a surfboard.

By creating your own beginner volume range & following this volume you will eliminate the most common mistake of buying a surfboard that is to small or big for you. 

How to use your Beginner Volume:

Once you have worked out your Beginner Volume range you can then use it as a reference when selecting a surfboard. Example: If your beginner Volume range is 54.40 to 64.40 litres you would then search for boards that are within that volume range.

Why is Beginner Volume Important:

Your Beginner Volume is a guide to buying the right size surfboard no matter if the board is 8'6'' or 7'0''. Knowing your Beginner Volume increases the chances of you buying a great surfboard, positively effecting the following performance characteristics to your needs:

  • Performance
  • Paddle Power
  • Stability
  • Control
  • Pivot
  • Speed, Drive & Glide

If your riding a surfboard that isn't in your ideal volume range than these important characteristics are negatively effected.

The next next step once your comfortable with Volume & Beginner Volume is calculating your Ideal Volume which is the same concept just more in-depth. As your performance level increase's so will your sensitivity to volume & surfboard selection will develop. 

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