Thinking about buying a midlength surfboard? Here’s everything you need to know – inc why they’re so popular and some epic board options
The midlength surfboard has become increasingly popular in the last few years and if you look at most lineups these days and you’ll notice a lot of surfers on midlength surfboards.
This style of board has solidified a place in the quiver of every surfer from beginners right through to the most advance surfer – but what is a midlength surfboard, why are they so popular and which one should you buy?
This guide aims to cover everything you need to know and help you decide if ones right for you…but spoiler alert, it probably is!
Midlength Surfboards – Why Are They So Popular?
What Is A Midlength Surfboard?
When it comes to classifying a board as a midlength surfboard it generally has to sit in the 6’8 to 8’0 range, with a fuller shape than a shortboard, but more pulled in and performance orientated than a full blown mini mal.
Simply put – it’s the middle length between a shortboard and a longboard!
Why Do People Love Midlength Surfboards So Much?
So why do people froth on midlengths so much at the moment?
Heaps of Paddle Power = High Wave Count
With a plenty of length and foam underneath you, midlengths are super easy to paddle and more paddle power means more waves. And a high wave count is never a bad thing!
Lots Of Fun
And with that high wave count comes the fun factor too. 9 out of 10 times you know you’re going to have a super fun surf on a mid length and that’s what everyone is striving for afterall!
Suitable For All
Generally speaking midlength surfboards are suitable or 99% of surfers – no matter what your skill level. Longer models are great for beginners, or heavier surfers, whilst shorter or slimmer boards offer enough performance to keep even the most experienced surfer frothing.
Variety Of Boards For All Conditions
Whether you’re surfing small mushy waves or big, hollow point breaks there’s a huge range of midlength board options out there to suit every style and experience level. We’ll run through some of the most popular options later in the guide.
When it comes to fin setups there’s a huge array of options depending on the board, style and surf conditions – so you’re pretty spoilt for choice…
Retro vibes, ideal for cruisey waves and point breaks, the single fin setup is more mini longboard than anything else! A great option for surfers who want to slow things down and produce longer, drawn out carves.
Ah the good old twin fin midlength is always heaps of fun! A bit more drive and looser feel than the single fin, there’s some really popular twin fin options out there, perfect for intermediates and upwards looking for a different feel in their quiver.
If you’re unsure where to start on your midlength journey then the standard thruster setup is ideal. Reliable, solid under foot, but still with plenty of performance. For most people this is going to be the way to go.
Want to surf your midlength in bigger conditions or want plenty of speed and control? Well a quad fin midlength will tick the boxes.
What Size Midlength Should You Get?
So which size midlength should you get? Well there are a few things that will come into play:
- Surf experience
- Height & Weight
- Surf conditions
- Style of board
Generally speaking the 6’8 to 7’2 range is going to be the go for most everyday surfers, with the longer end of the range being good options for heavier or less experienced surfers.
If you want more performance, as a generalisation the shorter options will offer that, but it’s going to come down to the overall design of the board you’re looking at as well.
Are They Beginner Friendly?
For the most part – yes, midlength surfboards are beginner friendly. With plenty of paddle power and stability they’re a great stepping stone from a mini mal or softboard for those looking to progress, offer more manoeuvrability.
If you’re just graduating from a softboard and don’t mind a little more learning curve they’re also well worth considering.
Some Awesome Midlength Surfboard Options
Looking for some inspiration for a midlength to buy? Here are some tried and tested options to check out:
Cape Collective Midway
For those in Australia this is the one I’d most recommend. This Byron Bay brand have the Midway model absolutely dialed and it’s one of the most fun boards
I’ve ridden, great for all levels of surfer. Thruster setup and available in some awesome colour tints, they’re great value at AU$795.
Grab yours from Boards In the Bay – with free shipping across Australia.
Cape Collective Broken Arrow
Another epic mid length from Cape Collective, if you’re looking for a performance mid length that can handle some serious size and shaper, the Broken Arrow is the perfect fit.
The beautiful outline on this board, complete with flyers, swallow tail and beaked nose make it look as good as it surfs.
A twin fin setup (retro keels are my fin of choice in it) this is my go to board for bigger days at the points and you’ll have no worried pulling into some tubes on this thing.
It’s instantly become a staple of my personal quiver and acts like my step up for days where I need a bit of extra paddle power but still need plenty of performance underfoot.
Firewire Seaside & Beyond
Another one of my personal favourites, the Seaside & Beyond by Firewire is great for higher end intermediates and above. You can really throw this board about and it gets better the bigger the waves get.
Quad setup for heaps of control and speed, I have the 6’8 and love it.
The second of 3 Firewires on the list, the Firewire Sunday models in 6’8 and above are great mid-length options. Surf it as either a twin, single fin or 2+1 there’s a lot of variety in this midlength.
Certainly more cruisey and laid back than the Seaside & Beyond, being more suited to smaller clearner conditions.
Firewire Mid 6
The final Firewire on the list, the Harley Ingleby Mid 6 model comes in Thunderbolt technology and packs in heaps of performance for those looking to push the limits of the midlength surfboard.
Available in 7’0, 7’6 and 7’10 this 6 channel mid length is fast, fun and packs in plenty of performance and I loved surfing it a as quad fin setup.
Just check out some footage of Kevin Schultz busting airs on his!
One of – if not the – original mid lengths, the McTavish Rincon was first developed waaaaaay back in 1968 by surfing legend Bob McTavish. This super fun, single fin mid length packs in heaps of speed, glide and flow, making it an absolute dream to surf for almost any skill level.
The longer options handle almost like a compact longboard and you’ll find yourself drawing some beautiful lines on anything from waist to just overhead on this epic stick.
In fact it’s one of my favourite surfboards in my quiver!
Channel Islands CI Mid
The CI Mid by Channel Islands is a pretty popular mid length too and although I personally haven’t ridden one myself I know a few people who are frothing on theirs.
Lost Smooth Operator
With one of the more versatile fin setups out there, the Smooth Operator by Lost Surfboards can be ridden as either a quad fin setup, single fin, or single fin with side bites. This means you can easily mix it up to suit your style and wave conditions.
Haydenshapes Mid Length Glider
From the guys that brought you the Hypto Krypto, the Mid Length Glider by Hayden Shapes is certainly in the pricier end of the scale, but has quickly become a favourite of team rider Craig Anderson.
With a 2+1 setup ride it as a single fin or with sidebites depending on the conditions.
Mick Fanning Softboards Sugar Glider
Launching soon, the single fin, midlength Sugar Glider by Mick Fanning Softboards is certainly going to offer a great value bit of summer fun. The softboard construction also makes this a great option for less experienced surfers or groms too.
Will you be grabbing a midlength surfboard?
Any options you’d add to the list?