Posted on 5 January, 2014 · Posted in Activities

Surf School Las Palmas presents you our Surfboard compendium so you can take the most out of your time on THE board while surfing Gran Canaria

Surfing Gran Canaria: What the hell is a Fish? Why and when are people surfing short boards and anyway, what is a Gun? This Episode of the “Big Surfing 101” will introduce you to the four primary types of surfboard designs you will spot while doing a surf vacation in Surf School Las Palmas. Learn why a Fish is called Fish and how to differ between a Longboard and a Gun and much more

Surf School Las Palmas welcomes you to the 4th edition of our “Big Surfing 101”, the SURFLINGO dictionary explaining the unique jargon of the surfers. Be well equipped for surfing Gran Canaria and your next surf vacations. Setting of this week: Surf school, rental place, shaper, surf shop – or everywhere else you have to deal with the different surfboard types.

In the world of surfing, we´re blessed with a wide range of surfboards. Surfboards come in various shapes and sizes, making choosing a board very daunting to beginner as well as to experienced surfers.  Surfing Gran Canaria, without knowing which board is designed for which purpose can be confusing. In order to make you well prepared for your surf vacations in Surf School Las Palmas, the following section lays out some general guidelines, describing the different board types.

The most obvious distinction between surfboards is the length. Every surfboard you will ride during your surf vacations has a double digit code, printed on the bottom of the board. First figure stands for Foot (‘) = 33 cm and the second one for Inch(“) = 2,54cm. The total sum, is the length of your surfing Gran Canaria board from nose to tail. Here you have some current conversions:

Foot / Inch 6’4″ 6’8″ 7’2″ 7’6″ 7’10” 8’2″ 8’6″ 9’0″
cm 193 203 218 228 239 249 259 274

Now, let’s go ahead and break down the different types of surfboards. There are five main types of surfboard you can choose from in your surf vacations: Shortboard, Longboard, Funboard, Gun and a fish. These are the most traditional and common blanks available in the world and in Surf School Las Palmas.

1. The Shortboard/ Thruster

Most popular type of surfboard design is the shortboard, also known as a Thruster. When surfing Gran Canaria you will spot a lot of experienced surfer’s with these 5-7 foot feet boards. They are typically with thruster fins, slender pointy nose, rounded square tail and most commonly seen with thinner rails, and high rocker.

Surf School Las Palmas will not provide you with this board for your fist lessen because it requires more effort in paddling, less stability and less flotability so it’s not the right board for a beginner. Yes, you would look cool at the beach but pathetic whehn trying to catch a wave 😉 This board is highly maneuverable and suitable for fast, steep waves and aggressive surfing. Using a shortboard in your surf vacations, allow you excellent mobility for tricks and sharp cuts, but are harder to stabilize.

2. Longboard / Malibu

Longboard, also called ‘cruizer’ , ‘log’ or ‘Mailbu ‘ , is the most traditional surfboard shape you spot in your surf vacations. It is characterized by its rounded nose and long length (from 8’5” feet to 12’ feet). The predominantfin  configuration is either one or three fins. Surfers of all ages, shapes, and skill levels ride Longboards, so you will also find it in Surf School Las Palmas. 

Surfing Gran Canaria with a Longboards gives you stability and makes paddle easy. Malibus are great for catching waves of all sizes, but are generally slow and are not easy to maneuver.

3. Mini-Malibu/ Funboards:

The smaller version of the classic longboard/Malibu is called the Mini-Malibu or Funboard. Known to be the typical Surf School board you will definitely spot this board while surfing Gran Canaria. With a Size, ranging from 7’2” to 8’5” it lies between a short- and longboard. Funboards in Surf School Las Palmas have either a single fin (like most longboards) or three fins (thruster).

By using a Funboard in your surf vacation, you benefit from the paddling power of a longboard as well as the turning ability of a shortboard. However, they will sacrifice in stability and paddling ease and harder to take off.

4. Gun / Big Guys

Guns, also called Big Guys, and Retro Single Fin style surfboard blanks, ranging normally from 7’3″ to 8’5″ but can also reach over 12′. It’s a long, narrow designed board with pointy at the nose and tail (pin tail) for maximum rail contact- similar in shape to a shortboard but much bigger. Gun shapes are difficult to ride and require a lot of experience so you better do not start your surf vacation with this board in Surf School Las Palmas. Anyways, it’s better than the cool-trendy shortboard that we described before.

They are ideal for big wave surfing, or for powerful, steep waves. Surfing Gran Canaria with a Gun, allow you to paddle fast to catch big, fast waves and makes it easier for you to control it on the steeper waves. Good to catch waves on the island like El Confital, El Paso or El Lloret on the big days.


5. Fish

The fish is the last type of board that we’ll look at. It gets its name from its fish-like profile and it ranges from 4’8″ to 6’9. It is very similar to a shortboard but is smaller in length, wider and with a more rounded nose. Fish surfboards typically are equipped with a rounded swallow tail, and twin fins . The Little rocker of the fish makes it paddle very well. Furthermore, the broad and round shape makes the board go fast in slower-breaking waves. If you want to do radical tricks in small to medium sized waves in Surf School Las Palmas, then you are best equipped with a Fish board.


As you have seen, the possibilities of boards are many and the capacity to enjoy boundless.

Now, lets grab your Wetsuit, take your board and go catch a wave.


Live is a Beach, Hang loose and check out next edition “SURFING 101 Part 5”


Surf Camp Las Palmas, Kelly