Surfboard Guide - The Hybrid
The hybrid surfboard, as the name suggests, is a mix of two surfboard designs – a shortboard and a funboard. Characterised by a wider outline through the nose & deck of a funboard, this design has a shortboard tail, a 3 fin set-up, as well as performance orientated rails. Typically between 6’-7’6” feet in length, this board is the perfect stepping stone for beginners to progress on from a mini malibu. It’s also proven to be an extremely popular choice for many of today's shortboarders.
Ideal surf conditions?
The great thing about this shape is that it’ll get going in most conditions. Due to its wider deck and nose, much like a mini mal, it’ll plane relatively smoothly and pick-up waves far easier than you would on a smaller volume shortboard. Thanks to its performance rails, thruster set-up, swallow tail and overall curve, the board handles well when drops become steeper and turns become faster. Many hybrids have to have a swallow tail to give some extra traction, especially when leaning hard into a bottom turn.
Why you need a hybrid surfboard
There are many reasons to have a hybrid as your preferred choice of surfboard. Progressing beginners looking to step their game up from a mini mal will no doubt experience far more life in the boards overall responsiveness. Many more experienced surfers that used to have a shortboard as their weapon of choice have also moved onto the hybrid - primarily to catch more waves. This is a perfectly normal transition for those surfing less as they get older or for the bigger riders out there, who are willing to sacrifice a small slice of performance in the name of a higher wave count.
Note: When dropping down in board size (for example, from a mini mal) and opting for a hybrid, take note that your board won’t catch waves quite as easily, so never lose more than 6 inches at a time.
The standard shortboard has largely been replaced by the hybrid design
Thanks to its deck and full nose, the hybrid catches waves far easier than a traditional shortboard thanks to its increased buoyancy. Especially for beginners, keeping your wave count high is an extremely important part of your progression and should never be underestimated.
Great transitional board
The perfect stepping stone from a mini mal to a shortboard. What was once surfings hardest feat is now a matter of course. In fact far fewer surfers never make it onto a shortboard these days due to the hybrids exceptional characteristics.
Great alternative to a shortboard
The shortboard still to this day is a seriously hard board to master. Only a small percentage of dedicated surfers can really use it to its full potential. Hybrids have become many surfers replacement for a standard shortboard.
Ideal for larger or older surfers
If you’re not quite as fit as you used to be or you’re simply carrying a few extra pounds, then a hybrid will be a great match for you. It will give you the responsiveness of a shortboard as well as some additional bouyancy.
The "Hypto Krypto" (by Haden Shapes), is one of the most famous hybrid models in production (largely thanks to Craig Anderson!)
Performs in all conditions
If it’s small and onshore or absolutely firing, this versatile shape will rarely let you down no matter what the surf delivers.
Hard to duck dive (boards over 6'6")
Increased volume means that getting through the surf will be more challenging than on a low volume shortboard. It's a small sacrifice all things considered.
Not ideal for hollow surf
Although this versatile shape goes well in most conditions, when it gets super hollow it won’t hold up so well.
The modern day surfboard comes in many forms & incorporating the hybrids core principles has allowed mid level riders a new found freedom to surf the way they want to, without sacrificing the ability to catch waves. If you don't have one in your quiver, its probably about time you did!