“…foam is your friend…don’t be scared of it. A little bit of extra foam here and there is good for the soul… and your surfing.” Rob Machado
Two surfers with the same weight, but differing experience levels, will paddle for a wave differently, so it makes sense that the flotation comes in to consideration.
The intermediate/advanced surfer on a shortboard will require between 33-35% of his body weight in board volume. So for example, if you’re clocking the scales at 70 kilograms, you should be looking for a 24-liter surfboard.
If you’re a beginner you’ll be looking to up that ratio a fair bit – cos extra buoyancy means easier paddling and get-ups thanks to the additional flotation. Jordy ain't no beginner, but he's not afraid of volume...
This surfing scale allows surfers to pick the right surfboard for their skill levels; and accounts for wave conditions.
The formula looks like this:
Surfer's Weight in Kilograms (Kg) X Guild Factor (GF) for Skill Level = Litres of Surfboard Volume
- Advanced/Pro Surfers: 0.34-0.36 (GF)
- Intermediate/Advanced Surfers: 0.36-0.38 (GF)
- Intermediate/Older Surfers: 0.38-0.42 (GF)
- Weekend Warriors/Casual Surfers: 0.43-0.49+ (GF)
- Beginner Surfers: 0.50+ (GF)
*If you’re surfing in warm water and good waves, the lower end of your ratio range is recommended. If you’re surfing in poor conditions, looking for paddle power in crowded situations, or wearing thick wetsuits, lean towards the higher end of the range that you fall into
FIND YOUR VOLUME:
On the Guild Factor graph below, slide the left hand bar to your body weight.
Decide what ratio best describes you and your abilities on the GF Shortboard Ratios above. Slide the right hand bar so that the Dot is on your preferred / estimated GF Ratio on the line running vertically down the middle of the graph.
Inside the box on the lower right hand corner of the graph is your estimated volume. Ideal volume has a range of +/- 0.5 Liters, so it is not an exact number but it is the best place to start when accounting for your ability, fitness, age and wave type.