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A Quick Guide To Mid Length Surfboards

A Quick Guide To Mid Length Surfboards

Mid length surfboards have been described by some as the surfcraft equivalent of a Volvo station wagon and while this term is often used disparagingly, it’s somewhat accurate as mid lengths are incredibly versatile, reliable and even seen as a great one board quiver. Their popularity has snowballed over recent summers, with recreational surfers inspired by professional mid length aficionados including Joel Tutor, Torren Marten, Alex Knost and Devon Howard.

Who ever said you can't put bigger boards on rail???

What Is A Mid Length Surfboard?

Mid lengths are designed to fit between the log and the shorter, more performance oriented boards in your quiver. They are traditionally described as being somewhat elliptical in shape with rounded tails and noses, relatively mellow rocker profiles and generally fall between 6’6” to 8’6” in length, although between 7’ to 8’ is considered the sweet spot. Most will be set up as a single fin or a single with two side byte fins, however you can find mid lengths with almost any fin set up from thrusters, quads, twins and even bonzers.

When it comes to the bottom contours of mid lengths they are generally split into two different camps, hull bottoms and concave bottoms. Hull bottom mid lengths are best suited to point breaks or longer waves and are a great choice for surfers who want to fit in with the wave, trim, glide and make smooth, drawn-out turns back into the pocket. Hull bottom boards aren’t made to be pumped down the line, they like you to take a high line and then let the wave dictate speed. Concave bottom mid lengths are closer to today’s modern surfboards and generally use the tried and true single to double concave with vee out the tail to aid with turning. While they will still trim if you want them too, they’ll really take off once you give them a pump or two. They are much more manoeuvrable than hull bottoms, allowing the rider to perform a much wider variety of turns both in the pocket and out on the face. If you mostly surf waves which are shorter and punchy, you’ll have more fun on a mid length with a concave bottom.

Mid Lengths are great tube riders

Why Choose To Ride A Mid Length Surfboard?

As mentioned earlier, they are incredibly versatile surfboards and are often referred to as the perfect one board quiver. They borrow some of the best traits from both longboards and shortboards and are very user friendly for surfers of all abilities. In smaller or weaker waves mid lengths can trim, providing a similar sense of glide that you would feel on a much larger log. Once the surf picks up they can really come into their own and enable the rider to do big swooping turns at speed. Some more modern mid lengths can even be surfed from top to bottom in the pocket like a fish or shortboard once the surf is head high and over. Even in hollow waves mid lengths are a great option as most have round tails that provide a lot of hold in the tube. Once you’ve set your line in the barrel you can relax and just enjoy the vison! Plus they are excellent paddlers when it comes to both patrolling the line-up and getting into waves nice and early.


We’ve got a great variety of mid lengths both in-store and online. Here are some of our current favourites:


The CI Mid from Channel Islands Surfboards:

Like all surfboards designed by Channel Islands, the CI Mid is made with performance in mind. They have utilized all of their 50 years of board design to find the right balance between a classic egg shape that paddles, trims and flows with ease, and modern performance bottom contours and rails that generate speed and turn on a dime! The CI Mid also loves waves with a bit of size and power, letting you really throw down some meaty turns with confidence and control. If you’re coming from a modern shortboard background, the CI Mid will be your best fit.

Shop The CI Mid Here

Watch the world famous Channel Island surf team having a blast on the CI Mid


The Mid Tide from Salt Gypsy Surfboards:

With its generous outline, medium to full rails and rolled vee to vee double concave, the Mid Tide is an all-round cruiser that will adapt to the riders ability and the waves in which they ride. Super easy to paddle and very stable, the Mid Tide is an unintimidating and user friendly board for surfers of all abilities. While it loves to glide, it can still be taken out of cruise control and bank nice turns on the open face. All of these boards are built and finished incredibly well, with eye catching resin tins to boot. The Salt Gypsy Mid Tide is as beautiful to ride as it looks.

Shop The Mid Tide Here

Watch the Salt Gypsy Mid Tide being surfed in some classic NZ summer conditions 


The Wild Cat from Elemnt Surfboards:

The Wild Cat is the swiss army knife of the mid length world with its five fin plugs giving you every possible fin combination under the sun. Perfect for those who want it all or can never decide what they want! Combine this with its single to double concave and you’ve got a board that can do it all. It has quite a wide outline and a heap of foam throughout, especially under the chest, making it a dream to paddle. Although it has quite a high volume compared to other mid lengths, the wild cat’s pulled in tail and lightweight epoxy construction allows it to perform like a board with lower volume.

Shop The Wild Cat Here

Take a closer look at the Wild Cat by Elemnt Surfboards from Byron Bay


The Mod Fun from Torq Surfboards:

Made from Torq’s super tough TET construction, The Torq Mod Fun is an excellent one quiver option for traveling surfers. It has a relatively even outline and comes with a free set of Torq thruster fins, giving it good performance and control in a bunch of different waves. With a medium to full nose and little entry rocker, the Mod Fun has enough volume to make small/weak waves more fun than they should be, but when the surf picks up just move your back foot over the tail and you’ll feel how quickly it can respond. Plus it’s a great value for money option for surfers on a budget.       

Shop The Mod Fun Here

Here's a excellent in depth look at the Mod Fun by Torq


We hope this has helped you to better understand what mid length surfboards are all about and if they are the right type of board for you. If you still have any questions about the boards in this blog or about mid lengths in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are always happy to help. You can find all of these boards plus many more mid length surfboards at Hydro both in-store and online.

Shop Mid Length Surfboards Here


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