Surfer/Writer/Burrito Enthusiast
Opinion: Don't be a surfboard volume whore

Don’t be a slave to volume. Think shape, size and tail configuration. Photo: JP Van Swae

The Inertia

A surfboard volume calculator exists on nearly every shaper and board retailer’s website. The process is largely the same in each case: the user inputs a few pieces of information into their computer box, the calculator spits out your perfect board volume, and then a slew of supposedly “magic boards” appear on your screen, like you have just summoned your own digital surf genie.

While volume is a helpful tool to assist in surfboard selection, it has all the validity of an SAT score. Sure, it means something, but it’s really only one piece in a much larger puzzle. Purchasing a new stick on this number alone without considering size, shape, purpose, and a host of other variables would be a disastrous decision.

But to some in the surfing community, their volume number means everything. These surfers aim to ride the tiniest board possible. The smaller the board, the thinking goes, the better the surfer – which is almost as idiotic as thinking giving your monitor a vigorous rub will result in a genie appearing that vaguely resembles Rob Machado.

These are volume whores. They obsess over the minuscule dimensions of their boards the same way size queens focus solely on dick length, but in reverse. It does not matter to them how well they perform on their potato chip board or if they enjoyed themselves in the water at all. In their minds, they ride a high-performance model, so they shred.

Which is bullshit.

Let’s take this hypothetical scenario for example: say I strut into a bachelorette party dressed as Lieutenant Dangle from Reno 911 and announce that I am a well-endowed 12 inches (hypothetically, remember). The ladies will request I immediately remove my clothing. I will oblige, because I am a hired male dancer and did not come here to listen to Right Said Fred for my health.

Upon removal of my underwear, the ladies will discover that the footlong I promised is rather skinny in width with unforgiving rails. They will be unimpressed. I will try to explain to them that my manhood is a “High-Performance Penis meant for experts only,” but they will not care. An average bachelorette party cannot catch a regular, everyday turn on from a slender member.

Now, if I let them all know that I am packing a six-inch Wavestorm in my pants, there may be some initial push back. Some ladies in the crowd might say “My boyfriend has a 10-inch Al Merrick Flyer,” or “beat it, kook.” But the girthy Wavestorm assures that no one leaves unsatisfied. Everyone can have a good ride. Maybe it can’t do all the fancy tricks and flicks you see those filthy stars on ShredHub do, but it will last for a long time and leave you with a smile on your face. Wavestorm has far more satisfied customers than Al Merrick for a reason – because more volume means more fun.

Don’t be a volume whore with your next surfboard purchase. Instead, try thinking about your future board with Sir Mix-A-Lot’s most famous hit in mind: Don’t listen to those surf magazines telling you that skinny boards are the thing. Get one that’s real thick and juicy. Because surfing, as with sex, is supposed to be fun – not some weird contest to achieve an arbitrary number. After all, it’s never the size that matters, but the motion of the ocean.

Now start shoving those dollar bills in my hot pants. Daddy’s got a CostCo membership to support.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.