How does a shortboard surfboard compare to a groveler? What kind of skill level do you need to ride these boards, what waves are they best suited for, and what benefits do they provide?
In this guide, we're comparing shortboards to grovelers and helping you choose between these two types of surfboard.
What is a Shortboard Surfboard?
A shortboard surfboard is typically less than 7 feet long, so it's not very easy to paddle and doesn't provide the sort of speed and ease of use that you'll get with a longboard.
Often favored by professional surfers, shortboard styles can vary considerably but generally, they are best suited for tackling big waves.
High Performance Shortboard
Shortboards come in several different styles. A standard shortboard is relatively short, narrow, and light. It offers a good degree of stability while also allowing lots of maneuverability.
A high-performance shortboard has a few minor tweaks that make the board harder to ride but more responsive underfoot. High-performance boards are made for high-performance surfing, and unless you're an expert looking to gain more of an edge, you likely won't derive any additional benefits from these boards.
There is also a surfboard design known as a fish, so-called because it has a fish-shaped tail. The fish surfboard is short, but it is also thicker and wider, creating more of a surface area and allowing for an easier ride. It's not quite suited to beginner surfers, but it's an ideal choice for intermediate surfers and can also be fun for experts.
You can expect to pay a little more for a high-performance shortboard, but if you can benefit from those finely tuned features, it'll all be worth it.
What is a Groveler Surfboard?
We mentioned fish surfboards above and the groveler is actually very similar. It's a shortboard with a wide tail and a thick and wide profile. It's made for small waves and allows surfers to generate speed and stay in control as they tackle those weak and rippable waves.
The ride is thoroughly enjoyable, which is why some experts have argued that every surfer needs a groveler board in their quiver.
Shortboard vs Groveler
As with any question about surfboard options, it's not about choosing one or the other but finding room in your quiver for both of them. Many experienced surfers have multiple shortboard surfboards in their quiver and these days they also have groveler surfboards, funboards, high-performance shortboards, and maybe even a longboard and a Mini Simmons.
If you're not quite at the skill level needed for a high-performance shortboard or even a traditional shortboard, and you just want a good all-round board, then the groveler is ideal. You should also look into fish surfboards and egg surfboards.
Is it Harder to Surf on a Shortboard Surfboard?
A shortboard is definitely harder to surf and requires a much higher skill level. It's narrow, short, light, and doesn't have the buoyancy or stability that you get from a longboard, funboard, or even a groveler.
What Surfboard is the Best for Small Waves?
The groveler surfboard is much better for small waves. You can get your wave count up during the summer months and keep your shortboard locked away for when the bigger waves hit.
The groveler surfboard design has a lot to offer regardless of your skill level. It is a small wave machine and shouldn't be shunned just because it's not as responsive as your traditional shortboard!