Groveler Surfboards: Advice For Summer Surfing Fun

Do you have a groveler in your surfboard quiver? If not, you could be missing out on summer surfing fun.

They’re great fun and you can whip them out on those knee to thigh-high summer days and still feel like you are surfing a bigger wave.

What is a Groveler Surfboard?

A groveler surfboard is a small board with a lot of volume.

Grovelers are several inches shorter than your average shortboard and have a wider tail and nose with more volume than a typical shortboard or fish. Some grovelers look more like a rectangle shape compared to the typical shape of a shortboard.

Groveler surfboards are best suited for knee to waist-high waves and can help you rip in the tamest of conditions. Riding a groveler in surf that is chest-high and above can be pushing it. Once the waves get bigger, it’s time to reach for a shortboard, fish or a longboard.

It’s worth having a groveler shortboard in your quiver just to make sure you have something to reach for when the surf conditions are warm but there are weak and gutless waves and you want to have some summer surfing fun!

When Was the Groveler Invented?

Technically, groveler surfboards have been around since the 1940s, when designs like the Mini Simmons used a similar shape and served the same purpose.

However, the modern groveler can be traced back to the Sweet Potato from Firewire, which was created by the shaper Dan Mann around 2010.

What are the Best Groveler Surfboards?

Grovelers are affordable, fun, and there is a wide variety to choose from.

To help you find the right surfboard for you, we have highlighted some of the best groveler boards on the market today.

Firewire Greedy Beaver

The Greedy Beaver has been described as a longboard with the spirit and the style of a shortboard, which is pretty much what you are looking for in any groveler surfboard.

It has a single to double concave and comes in a variety of sizes, with the longer options better suited to inexperienced surfers.

​It has a lightweight EPS core and timber deck skins, creating a truly stylish board that offers great maneuverability.

Channel Islands Average Joe

The Average Joe is a classic groveler board that was designed by Al Merrick.

You can choose from several different sizes and should look for something that is anywhere from 2 to 8 inches less than your height to guarantee its best surf performance.

Lib Tech Lost Puddle Jumper

The Lost Puddle Jumper is a Matt Biolos board that was made from a nitrogen cell foam that features up to 40% recycled content.

This groveler is handcrafted in the United States by a company devoted to crafting the best high-performance boards for surfers of all skill levels.

The Lost Puddle Jumper has beautifully curved rails and a thick and wide design that offers maximum stability and acceleration.

Lost Bean Bag

The Bean Bag has a wide tail and offers great control from rail to rail.

It is a colorful, stylish, affordable, and easy-to-ride board that is great fun in smaller waves.

You’ll need to switch it out as soon as the waves go from knee high to head high, but you’ll have a lot of fun before that!

Your Groveler Surfboard Questions Answered

What waves are best for a groveler?

Most grovelers are designed to surf well in the 1 to 4 foot mushy summer wave range.

Grovelers have more volume shaped into them so they ride on top of the water more so than your typical shortboard. This means that grovelers will glide through flat spots and will float over broken sections of a wave very easily if you just point them in the right direction.

The benefit of the additional volume becomes a weakness for the groveler when the surf gets bigger and/or gets hollower as grovelers will lose their grip on the wave and have the tendency to slide out from underneath the surfer doing turns on bigger waves.

Should I get a groveler surfboard?

Shortboarders: If longboarding on small waves is not your thing and you want to rip on knee to waist-high waves like you do with your shortboard on bigger waves then you should get a groveler.

Longboarders: A groveler can be a great board for longboarders who want to transition to a smaller surfboard that has a lot of float and paddle power.

Are groveler surfboards good for beginners?

Grovelers are not the best choice for a beginner surfer. While grovelers have the volume a beginner surfer needs they do not have the stability that a bigger board with fuller rails provide.

Grovelers are small performance boards meant to be surfed on small waves. They are better suited for a surfer who is looking to maximize their fun in small summer surf than a beginner who wants to learn to surf.

How is a groveler different than a fish or a shortboard?

A groveler surfboard is largely defined as a surfboard that has more volume than your everyday shortboard and is easier and more fun to surf in smaller waves.

So, you may consider a thicker shortboard, a fish or a twinny foamie like the Softech Mason Twin FCS II Surfboard to be your groveler, but really the groveler has grown into a class all of its own with boards like the Puck from Bing and Twice Baked from Firewire.

It’s not just the volume that distinguishes a groveler from a shortboard or a fish, but it is also the shorter length they are ridden as well as the boxy, fuller shape of the board that allows grovelers to catch more waves and perform better in smaller surf.

Should I get an epoxy or polyurethane groveler surfboard?

Either an epoxy or polyurethane groveler will surf well. All things being equal an epoxy surfboard has a little more float and durability which might be what you are looking for in a groveler.