Having a surfboard to call your own opens a wave of possibilities. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the sport, you’d know that your safety and comfort ride on the surfing equipment you invest in. Getting a surfboard that complements your surfing style requires attention to detail, but your set-up does not end with a surfboard purchase. Accessories like surfboard fins, leashes, and traction pads could also make a big difference in your game.
Surfers today, serious or novice alike, benefit from the long list of makers of surfboards and surfboard fins that are out to impress the discerning buyer. With the annual sales of surfing equipment valued at 2.7USD billion even amid the 2020 pandemic (and projected to swell to 3.1USD billion P/A by 2026), there’s bound to be plenty of options to go around for those looking. Dive first into the list of top surf brands to get to know what they have to offer.
Since the US market has consistently accounted for more than half of the global consumption of surfboards, it’s not surprising that leading surf brands have set up camp in the US. One such brand is Catch Surf. Rookies should keep this brand in mind as it exclusively makes foam surfboards which are ideal for those learning to surf because their buoyancy makes them easier to paddle in.
Best Time to Visit California | Photo credits | Rove.me
Pyzel is a California-born backyard business that has flourished into an international brand—with licensees building their boards outside the US shores, in Australia, Europe, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, and South America. Aside from its wide distribution, Pyzel’s also known for its broad range of high-performance boards that should fit every surfing experience.
Pyzel - Alana Blanchard | Photo credits | Pyzelsurfboards.com
A shortlist of American surf brands would not be complete without Channel Island Surfboards, a company that has contributed much to the technology behind the board-making industry for more than 50 years. It’s co-founded by Al Merrick, a living legend when it comes to designing surfboards. Merrick is recognized as “one of the best shapers of all time” and has been inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame at Huntington Beach in 2007.
Channel Islands Surfboard Iconoflage | Photo credits | Portfolio.scotthofford.com
With roots in the US and Australia, Firewire is making waves by producing innovative and sustainable products (their “waste-per-board-built” has been reduced by 95%!). Firewire’s hype is helped by 11-time surfing world champ, Kelly Slater, who owns a majority of the brand. Apart from “Slater designs”, Firewire carries every kind of board—from grom (for younger, smaller surfers) to shortboards (for the skilled, experienced set).
Firewire - Kelly Slater | Photo credits | Hawaiiansouthshorte.com
Going into a surfboard purchase would do well if paired with the right fin set-up. The introduction of fins revolutionized surfing by controlling the direction and stabilizing the trajectory of a ride. FCS Fins is both a brand and a fin box set-up. To take full advantage of the benefits of an FCS Fins set-up, take note of your weight, and the construction and materials of the fins.
With your handpicked board and fins secured, you’re all geared up for a stoked ride!