It’s south-swell season. Make sure you have the right board.
Superbrand Siamese Twin ($705)
The modern fish isn’t new—credit the 1997 film 5'5" x 19¼" with reinvigorating the quick and stubby design. But it could be hard to surf if your name wasn’t Wardo, AI, or Corey Lopez. Enter the Superbrand Siamese Twin, which blends a fishy outline with high-performance rails and a four-channel bottom. The result catches waves easily and skips down the line, but won’t bog or slide out through bottom turns or mid-face wraps. It’s a playful small-wave board for the masses.
Slater Designs Gamma ($770)
When the surf picks up, you’ll want something more aggressive, like the Slater Designs Gamma. The Gamma is Kelly Slater’s go-to shortboard. But since none of us surf like Slater, it comes in two versions: high performance, and something mere mortals can appreciate. Whatever the specs, the board features a single concave into a slight V out the back, making for rapid transitions from rail to rail. Odds are you won’t be able to surf this board to its full potential. That’s OK. It’s still a hell of a lot of fun when the waves are head high.
Hobie Uncle Buck ($1,050)
If the Gamma is a Subaru WRX, the Hobie Uncle Buck is a 1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. The 9'6" is a classic, smooth-surfing log that’s perfect for mellow waves. The wide front makes for easy nose riding, while beginners get 23¼ inches through the middle, which provides lots of stability. It’s one of Hobie’s most popular boards for good reason.