An Old School Surfing Guide for a Retro Surfboard

Call these surfboards strange, but every surfer during the 70s love to ride a surfboard that they call “retro.” Yes, retro surfboards left a great mark in the surfing industry when surfers enjoy surfing. (The surfing excitement hadn’t changed today.) Guess what, and other riders want to be old school when it comes to their surfboard preference.

Yes, you might use a longboard and shortboard, but it would be nice riding retro surfboards from the 70s and past decades. If your father was a surfer at that time, he would be glad seeing you can catch waves in retro style. Let’s go back to old school surfing by riding a retro surfboard.

If you’re not familiar with a retro board, let’s begin this guide by knowing what’s a retro board.

What’s a Retro Surfboard?

An Old School Surfing Guide for a Retro Surfboard 1

Retro surfboards are shortboards that come from the 70s surfboard design. Surfers can observe that a retro board has a strange shape. The surfboard is thick and has thick surfaces on the front. Retro style boards have a lesser curve and a little short.

Unlike other surfboard types, retro boards have a pin and tail swallow, and you can see three or four keels. Surfers need a medium level of skill to ride a retro board. A retro surfboard allows you to move in small or medium waves using little force. If you plan to catch hollow or big waves, the retro board isn’t the ideal surfing companion for you.

Retro Board History

The retro board is famous during the 70s, and some retro designs come from the previous decades. During that time, new and pro surfers not only want to surf and enjoy, they also aim to gain a little individuality on their surfing.

Retro boards give that individuality through its unique design and high level of performance. The smoothness and easy turns of the retro give an idea to the surfers “Yeah, this is the surfboard I want.” For the past century, strange surfboard types came to the surfing industry. No doubt, shapers are innovators (not only creators), but so many board designs also came forth.

The Fish Surfboard

From the many board designs came the fish board. The fish gains popularity as a retro board because of its buoyancy and stability. Fish boards have a thick depth, wider and shorter than other shortboards.

A classic fish board has dimensions from 5” up to 7ft in length. The retro board’s width is 18.5” to 21” and its thickness is between 2.25” to 3”. Hence, no doubt that you see a retro board because the fish is short and fat.

Perfect for Beginners and other Surfers

If you’re a beginner and want to try a different board, the fish board is an ideal choice. You see, fish boards allow you to catch a wave and offer stability due to its buoyant nature.

Are you familiar with the 70s surf champions Mark Richardson and Shaun Tomson? If yes, you would observe that they’re carving massive waves riding their fish style surfboards.

Old School Retro Boards and Modern Boards

You’re lucky if you have a retro board from the 70s. Keep and take care of it because it’s rare to find. Most surfers want to ride retro boards from the past decades, but there are only a few available in the market.


Other retro style boards are on sale on the market. But not similar to the original retros style. Some of these surfboards are hybrid of the modern board designs today. A good example is the fish board that has fiberglass materials and shape of the board from the previous decades. You can see twin fin swallow tail or four fin arrangement.

Let’s admit that design and material combination is awesome. With the fish board’s modern design concept, surfers gain excellent control over the surfboard.

Retro boards are all about the enjoyment of having fun catching waves. You can buy or borrow a retro surfboard today and have fun. Be inspired by professional surfers from the 1970s, and you would love it!

The Idea Behind the Retro Board

Admit it –noseriding isn’t easy as other surfers think. Well, you wouldn’t do paddling here. You also need to maintain your surfboard’s speed, balance, and position. Thanks to longboards those tasks become easy.

But most surfers want to jump to the next level. Here is where retro boards take over. The retro-style allows surfers to have more fun and enjoy surfing. Some retro boards measure 9’6” to 10’0” in length. With this length surfers experience an easy and smooth way of maneuvering the board.

So, next time, if your game to do noseriding with friends, why not give a retro surfboard a try? Get ready to experience great fun and excitement! It starts with a retro surfboard!

Retro Board Key Design Elements

Like other surfboard types, retro surfboards have key design properties that make it stand out from other boards. Well, in the retro board, we have the V-shaped hull on the surfboard’s bottom and has a concave.

The belly V and concave are essential because these let the surfer perform two things such as:

  • Riders wouldn’t experience hassles in making a directional change. (With other surfboards, surfers need to get back on the tail when noseriding.) You don’t need to do that using a retro surfboard.
  • With the concave, you don’t need to do exceptional lifts when you’re starting your first nose steps. The retro boards help you with it.

But during your first surfing sessions, it’s a little tough catching a wave. Don’t worry! You need a little practice for you to make fast turns. Once you do that, it’s would be simple for you to catch waves and step to the nose.

The retro board’s design offers a sturdy and wide platform that enables advanced surfers to surf successfully and doesn’t give hassle to beginners. You can achieve surfing to the next level because of the stable deck of the surfboard.

Retro Surfboard Advantages

Surfers (whether they’re pros or not) want to achieve satisfaction riding their surfboards. Yes, we can’t argue that many surfboard types have advantages. (Surfers love it when they get or experience something special in riding a surfboard.) Well, a retro board isn’t different. When it comes to advantages, retro surfboard gives you satisfaction.

Here are a few benefits of riding a retro-style board:

  • Superb Design Elements – Surfers like surfboards that have impressive design features. The retro board isn’t far from the list of surfboards having impressive design elements. A few of these design features are the V-shaped hull and the concave. Both offer good purposes when a surfer rides the board.
  • Stable and Wide Deck – Surfers often consider the stability of the surfboard’s deck before buying it. Good news because retro boards offer a stable and wide deck to ensure surfers wouldn’t face problems standing on the board. If you want to execute smooth turns, you can do that using a retro board. With a wide deck, you can push your surfing skills to a high level.
  • Versatile Surfboard – For advanced riders, a surfboard’s versatility is essential for them to catch waves, paddle, and enjoy. You feel relaxed once you step on the retro board and start catching waves. The retro-style offers convenience and satisfaction whether you’re new to the surfing world or pro who wants to enjoy the waves.
  • “Old School” Feeling – Have you wondered what the 1970s surfers are feeling each time they’re riding retro surfboards? Now, you would experience that feeling. In embracing the retro style, chances are you would gain a unique experience. The retro board’s design, shape, and features catch any surfer’s curiosity in giving the retro board a try.

But some surfers should practice getting on the board’s nose. (Relax because it isn’t a big issue) You can overcome that with days or even months of practicing. Some retro boards today offer a large fin box that allows surfers to make excellent surfboard positioning.

Take a chance riding the retro surfboard, and you wouldn’t regret it. Give yourself time to relax and experience a new level of excitement riding a retro board!

How to Choose the Right Retro Board?

Would you buy a retro board you see on the TV ads or on the internet? Perhaps, if you love the board’s color, design, and shape. Is this a wise choice?

No. Like choosing other boards, surfers need to consider essential factors before buying a board. If not, you would experience problems on the water if the retro surfboard is right for you. Ponder on the essential factors below before you start surfing a retro surfboard:

Skill Level

Not all surfers have the same skills when it comes to surfing. Before choosing your first retro board, determine first if you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced surfer. Retro boards are good surfboards for beginners and pro surfers.

Surfers want more volume and stability in a surfboard. Hence, most surfers prefer surfboards having 7 to 8ft and 22 to 23 inches wide. Retro boards are under these measurements. You wouldn’t face problems with your choice.

Retro boards such as the fish board offer beginners great paddling and catching small waves. The width and thickness of the board provide stability that any novice surfer would love. For the pros, retro boards give the same level of excitement and fun as it offers beginners. Hence, a beginner or pro would enjoy riding retro surfboards.

Height and Weight

Like other surfboards, retro boards have different volumes. Surfers don’t have the same height and weight, so It’s essential to determine the retro board’s volume. In doing so, you would achieve an enjoyable surfing experience.

If you check volume calculators, your height and weight are essential in choosing your retro board. Remember: small surfers need to choose small surfboards, and big riders should settle to large retro surfboards.

But besides the weight and height, you also need to consider additional factors such as age, ability and retro board performance. Don’t forget to determine your weight and height before you buy a retro board.

Fitness Level

Even pro surfers take note of their fitness level in shifting from a surfboard to another board. Your fitness level plays an important part in your success as a surfer. Besides, wave conditions are also different so make sure you’re fit to handle these conditions.

The fitness level reflects both surfers. For example, 25 and 45-year-old surfers are catching waves using a retro board. The younger surfer has the advantage because he or she wouldn’t t get tired quickly. Meanwhile, the older rider would get tired quickly.

But nothing says the same.

Why? If an older surfer chooses a wide and thick retro board, the old rider continues to paddle. Advanced surfers can face critical waves without any hassle. Hence, you pick a retro board that has a high volume so that you don’t face paddling problems.

Also, with a high-volume retro board, older surfers wouldn’t exert effort paddling. The retro board helps the surfer paddle and catch small waves.

Wave Type

As a surfer, you need to determine the wave types you would catch. Are you going for soft, slow, and crumbly waves?

Alright, there are different wave conditions on every beach, and each day. Sometimes you would catch small waves, and there are days when hollow waves are there. Think about the waves you would catch or rather determine what waves are good for retro surfboards?

If you aim to catch big or hollow waves, the retro surfboard isn’t the ideal surfboard for you. Retro boards are ideal in catching small waves. Hence, you buy a retro board if your aim to catch small or low waves.

Pay attention to the wave type before you go to the beach. Take note: a retro board that’s surfing in small waves offer satisfaction to the surfer.

Now, are you ready to level up your surfing skills? Then, let’s go back to the old days when retro boards are famous! Join other surfers on the beach who love the retro style. Give retro surfboards a try now and feel satisfied all the time!

Come and enjoy riding retro boards!



Written by BeachAhoi

All things about beach lovers. What’s your type? Surf,Sea & Sun? Dive,Drink & Drunk? We provide tips and information to inspire you a better beach moment.

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