Learning how to surf is difficult. That’s why it’s essential to start on a board that makes it easier to learn the fundamentals.
Egg surfboards are one of the best types of boards for beginners. They’re wide and have plenty of volume, making them easier to paddle, stand up, and balance while riding waves. They’re also lighter than a longboard, making them easier to control in the water and carry around.
If you want to have more fun, catch more waves, and give yourself the best chance to learn how to surf, you’ll need to pick the right board. In this article, we’re going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of egg boards and how they compare with other beginner-friendly board shapes.
What is an egg surfboard?
As the name implies, egg surfboards are egg-shaped. It helps to picture them as an upside-down egg–the bigger side is the nose; the smaller side is the tail.
The widest point of an egg board is towards the middle of the board.
The board’s outline from the center to the nose and the center to the tail is pretty symmetrical.
Though both sections are wide and round compared to other board shapes, the center-to-nose section tends to be wider and rounder than the center-to-tail section.
The tails of egg boards will vary slightly in width. The roundest, widest tails are known as rounded tails. Somewhat less round, narrower tails are called rounded pintails.
Egg boards have thick, round rails with their thickest point located around the middle. Thickness tends to decrease as you move away from the midpoint.
The curve of the board from nose to tail is known as the rocker.
Boards with more (higher) rocker have more curve. Boards with less (lower) rocker are flatter and have less curve.
Egg boards traditionally were made with less rocker, but modern egg shapes can have more rocker, typically curving closer to the nose and tail.
Egg boards come in many different sizes, usually between 6’4”-7’6”. The other dimensions (width, thickness, and volume) are relative to the board’s length.
It’s important to understand that there are no hard and firm rules regarding an egg board’s dimensions. Every surfboard shaper creates versions that vary in height, width, thickness, tail shape, and rocker.
Here are some examples of typical egg board dimensions:
|6’10||20 15/16″||2 13/16″||43 liters|
|7.0′||21″||2 13/16″||48 liters|
|7.2′||21 1/8″||2 7/8″||49 liters|
|7.4′||21 1/4″||2 7/8″||50 liters|
|7.6′||21 3/8″||2 15/16″||53 liters|
Egg shapes traditionally came with a single fin setup. Most egg shapes these days have a thruster (3 equally sized fins) or a 2 +1 setup (a large center single fin with two smaller side fins).
However, with the five fin design’s growing popularity that allows surfers to interchange between thruster, twin-fin, and quad fin setups, it’s becoming more common to see various fin setups used on egg boards.
Are egg boards good for a beginner?
The short answer is yes, egg boards are great for beginners. But choosing the right beginner board is not that simple.
There are a few surfboard shapes ideal for beginners each of which has its pros and cons. Let’s briefly look at the advantages of an egg board as well as factors to consider when deciding on dimensions as a beginner surfer.
The fundamental reason egg boards are suitable for beginner surfers is their substantial volume and full, wide outline.
A surfboard’s volume is measured in liters and determined by combining its other dimensions, including length, width, and thickness (L x W x T).
At the most basic understanding of volume, the more volume (liters) a surfboard has, the more float it will have.
Ideal board volume will vary based on the weight and skill of a surfer. The more you weigh, the more volume a board needs to float you properly.
The less skill you have, the more volume you’ll want your board to have.
The increased volume of an egg board typically provides three advantages for beginners:
- Easier/faster paddling – helps you catch waves
- More stability – helps you balance while sitting/standing on your board
- More natural board speed – the board glides faster across the water with less help from the surfer
It’s important to note, the outline of a board and its rocker will affect the degree to which these benefits are true for an individual egg board.
For example, even though a board may have a lot of volume, if it has more rocker, the board will have less natural speed and paddle power compared to a board with the same volume but with less rocker.
Also, a board may have a lot of volume, but if it’s narrower (less width) in relation to the board’s height, it won’t be as stable as a board with a wider, fuller outline.
The wide, full outline of standard egg boards, combined with its high volume, provides stability, paddling power/ease, and natural board speed.
When you lean too far to one side of a board, you’ll begin to lose balance. This is true whether you’re sitting on the board or riding a wave.
The wider a board is, the easier it is to stay in the board’s center and maintain balance.
Extra width throughout all sections of the egg board (nose, center, tail) also increases the board’s ability to float, making it easier to paddle and naturally faster while riding a wave.
If a board has less rocker, as is the case for most eggs, more of the board is in contact with the water while riding on the wave.
The abundance of foam touching the water relative to the size of the board creates extra float. The float allows the board to ride higher on the water’s surface, decreasing water resistance and increasing its natural speed.
This natural speed is excellent for beginner surfers because it’ll help keep you in front of the whitewater and moving down the clean face of the wave.
Lighter than a longboard
If you just read the previous advantages and thought, “well, since a longboard (8ft+) has more volume and more width, it must be more stable and easier to learn on”, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
Sure, the extra foam increases stability, making it easier to stand up on, but it also increases the board’s size and weight.
As a beginner, it’s not only difficult to handle a big, heavy board while being tossed around by waves–it can be straight-up dangerous.
The board is one of the most dangerous parts of surfing. The bigger the board, the harder to handle, and the more damage it will do if it hits you.
For this reason, the lighter weight egg board, or any other mid-sized (7’0”-7’6” ish) beginner board, is highly recommended.
As a bonus, their light weight makes them far more comfortable to carry around while out of the water.
Disadvantages of egg boards for beginners
Although eggs are generally great boards for beginners, there are some potential negative factors you’ll want to take into consideration.
Less stable than others
Egg boards are more stable than shortboards, fishes, and other hybrid designs. That said, they’re not as stable as some other beginner boards out there.
They’re a little quicker to turn than, say, a mini mal or standard longboard, which makes them great once you’ve progressed to the turning stage but more challenging to balance on when you’re just starting.
Even though less rocker typically means more natural speed, it increases the chance of nose-diving the board during a take-off. This is especially true in steeper waves.
One of the most common mistakes beginner surfers make when learning how to stand up on waves is standing too far forward on the board. More rocker is more forgiving when it comes to this mistake and generally makes it easier to drop down the face of a wave.
For this reason, the flat egg board design can make the beginning stage of learning how to drop into waves more difficult compared to some other beginner boards with more rocker.
Deciding dimensions for an egg surfboard
There’s no exact formula for choosing the dimensions that are right for each surfer. There are, however, some general guidelines you can use to determine the right size for your unique situation.
Choose a bigger board if:
- You’re relatively tall or heavy
- Less athletic (strength/balance/cardio)
- You don’t mind lugging around a bigger, heavier board
- You want to learn the fundamentals as fast and effortlessly as possible
Choose a smaller board if:
- You’re relatively short or light
- More athletic (strength/balance/cardio)
- You don’t want to carry around a big board
- You want a more maneuverable board for when you’ve progressed and are willing to make the learning curve more challenging in the beginning
As far as egg shapes for beginners go, we can say that 6’10” and 43 liters are on the small end of the scale while 7’8” and 57 liters are on the large end.
Depending on how you assessed your situation based on the general guidelines, you should have a rough idea of where you fall on the board size spectrum.
The only thing we’d caution is choosing to go too small for your egg board. There’s nothing worse when you’re starting than being frustrated every session because you can’t catch a wave or balance on the board.
Go bigger, learn the basics, and then scale down to a smaller board. Buying used when you’re starting is highly recommended for this reason.
All that said, you can’t go wrong with an egg around 7’2 and 49 liters—give or take an inch/liter or two.
We also highly recommend checking out a recommended volume calculator to determine the volume that’s right for you.
For years this was an overlooked dimension that surfboard shapers now emphasize as arguably the most critical measurement when it comes to deciding the right board for your weight/experience level.
Egg board vs. mini mal for a beginner?
If you’re thinking about an egg, you may also consider a mini mal shape. They’re essentially a shorter version of a typical malibu-style longboard.
You can usually find them in the 7-8 foot height range. Similar to the egg shape, they have a full, wide outline and a big nose.
They tend to have more rocker than the egg shapes, and instead of the egg’s rounded or rounded pintail shape, they usually have a squash (rounded square shape) tail.
Overall, they’re more stable, easier to paddle, but a bit slower than an egg shape.
Because mini mals have more rocker, they’re also less likely to nose dive than an egg.
They work well in all conditions and are a reliable option for beginners looking for a longboard’s stability and versatility without the extra size and weight.
Egg board vs. foamie for a beginner?
A foamie is a general term used for any board made out of soft foam instead of fiberglass or epoxy.
They’re available in almost every shape a fiberglass or epoxy board comes in, but for beginners, we’re typically talking about either a funboard, longboard, mini mal, or egg shape.
So the question of egg board vs. foamie comes down to construction material more than it does shape.
Egg boards are typically either epoxy or fiberglass, both of which are hard. These materials are much more vulnerable to dings and breaking.
It also means they hurt a lot more and can be dangerous if you get hit by one.
Foamies, on the other hand, are soft and pretty forgiving on the body. When you get hit by one, it hurts a lot less, and there’s less chance of serious injury.
They also don’t ding or break as easily. So you’ll save some money on repairs compared to an epoxy or fiberglass board.
A significant downside of a foamie is its maneuverability and the general feel of how it glides across the wave. It just isn’t the same as fiberglass or epoxy.
It’s not easy to notice this difference when you’re starting out, making foamies an excellent choice for beginners.
The most common reason people don’t progress past the beginner stage of surfing is that they become frustrated with missing waves and balancing while riding.
It takes dedication to develop these paddling and balance skills, but eventually, it gets easier.
Don’t make learning how to surf harder than it has to be. An egg board will make it easier to learn the fundamentals and set you up for a lifetime of fun in the water!