Funboard: a surfboard with the buoyancy of a longboard and the maneuverability of a shortboard | Photo: Shutterstock

If you could only get one type of surfboard or shape for your year-round sessions, which would you choose? The best answer is probably the funboard.

A funboard is an all-around type of surfboard that is typically suitable for small to medium waves.

It is considered a compromise between a full-length longboard and a high-performance shortboard or fish.

Furthermore, it features the ability to paddle and balance like a longboard and the easy maneuverability of shortboards.

It is often recommended for beginners looking to gain surfing skills and advance over time.

The funboard is also known as a mini-log, hybrid, mini-mal, Malibu, or mid-length surfboard.

Here's a breakdown of the average funboard's main characteristics:

  • Length: 6'5''-8'5'';
  • Width: 22 inches;
  • Thickness: 2.5 to 3 inches;
  • Core: Polyurethane/Foam;
  • Wide template;
  • Rounded nose;
  • Thick rails;
  • Thruster setup;
  • Rounded square tail;

Surfboards: the most common sizes and shapes from longboards to shortboard | Illustration: Shutterstock

Shape and Design

The history behind funboards is difficult to pin down, as their origins need to be clearly defined.

Some suggest that when boards started getting shorter, the first trials were chopped-up longboards, similar in shape to many funboards today.

Other sources suggest that with the surge of soft-top surfboard manufacturers, funboards have become more available to the masses.

One thing is sure - they have become one of the most successful and popular surfboard models of the 21st century.

A funboard features a wider outline, rounder nose, and thicker rails than a shortboard, resulting in more water buoyancy.

The materials used in construction are polyurethane (PU) or expanded polystyrene (EMS) foam with an outer layer of epoxy or polyester resin.

Its hybrid outline makes paddling and maneuvering in the water incredibly easy. And that's why they are so much fun.

Funboard: the ideal type of surfboard for older surfers with less arm paddling power | Photo: Shutterstock

Size and Volume

Funboards are usually 6'5''-8'5'' feet tall and 22 inches wide and may vary from 40 to 60 liters in volume.

The size of the funboard also depends on the surfer's weight.

For example, for a surfer weighing 145-165 pounds (65-75 kilograms), the ideal board length could be 8'2'' for beginners and 7'2'' for intermediate riders.

As a general rule of thumb, the funboard should be at least a foot taller than you.

The hybrid surfboard is shorter than traditional longboards but longer than shortboards and is designed for having fun in the water.

It is the perfect compromise of flotation and maneuverability thanks to its template and wider surface area.

Funboard: a mid-length surfboard with a round template | Photo: Shutterstock

Wave Conditions

Funboards are a step up from longboards for beginners who have spent enough time practicing but are not yet ready to move on to a fish or shortboard.

They are known for being highly versatile and easy to paddle and maneuver in almost all wave conditions.

Unlike longboards, you can even pivot and turn them effortlessly.

A funboard is considered the perfect stick for less-than-ideal days when waves have little power, for beginners looking to catch their first wave, and for older surfers with less arm paddling power.

They can be used in surf destinations where the surf can get too big for a longboard, like California and Hawaii, as they can still come in handy when there are lulls between swells.

They are also good for surf destinations that are more seasonal, like the East Coast, during the inconsistent summer months.

Funboards are recommended to be used only when a surfer can catch a wave, ride its shoulder on a longboard, and make some turns.

Most surf coaches suggest advancing from a beginner board to a hybrid once a surfer has reached that level of proficiency.

The funboard will always keep you entertained, whether it's mushy two-foot or rippable shoulder-to-head-high surf.

Performance and Maneuvers

The funboard is one of the templates every surfer should have in their quiver.

With the right pick, it could be the all-around equipment for nearly all seasons and almost all types of waves, from knee to head-high surf.

Combining the ease of paddling a longboard with the responsiveness of a shortboard makes it the go-to weapon of many average recreational surfers.

It's also great for teaching shortboard maneuvers like bottom turns and cutbacks.

In a way, the funboard reflects what surfing is all about - having a good time in the water.

This board often catches more and longer ripples on less-than-idyllic days when the waves are barely rideable.

The cost of a funboard can vary depending on the materials used in the construction, the tail shape, and the fin setup.

On average, they can cost around $500, but if you are looking to buy a used one, you can get one for under $200.

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