There's never been so much variety in terms of surf craft available to the average, everyday shredder today. Whether you prefer your surfboards long or short, slim or fat, hard or soft, epoxy or PU, retro or thoroughly modern, there's so much on the market, it can be a bit... baffling.

Should you just go on price? Colour...? The one that feels best underarm? The one that your fave pro endorses? Your local shaper's 'take' on the one your favourite pro endorses? Maybe a board glassed with a 'green' resin made from upcycled pelican farts?

Yeah... sure, all of above to some degree. Kinda. Whether you like to buy off the rackorder a custom or pick up bargains second hand, here's our guide to the top 9 shooters in the high performance range for 2018. 

Have we made it easier to make a purchase? Not really... maybe even a touch more difficult. We can't really say which board suits you best, since one surfer's Hypto is another's Crapto, one surfer's ...Lost is another's lost cause. You're pretty much on your own on this one.

It's not really as if the shaper's own blurb helps much either, right? They pretty much all claim to be 'fast but responsive' and of course 'drivey but loose'. 

Have a look around, take your time. Deliberating over your next surfboard purchase, is time well spent.

(Sorted for boards but looking for new rubber? Boardshorts? )

 

Channel Islands OG Flyer

 

Channel Islands OG Flyer Surfboard
Channel Islands OG Flyer Surfboard

Channel Islands OG Flyer Surfboard

Dimensions: 5’11” x 19 ½” x 2 ½”  /  31 litres
Shaper: Al Merrick
Set-up: Thruster
Materials: EPS/Epoxy resin with carbon strips
Price: €820 / £720

Channel Islands

The CI Flyer, Al Merrick's early naughties response to the 90's potato chip and arguably the most successful surfboard of all time just got upgraded to OG status. Original Gangsta. If any hi-perf shortboard had Mexi jail tatts, ridiculously baggy denim shorts billowing over white gym socks hoiked right up, and strange top-button only done up short sleeve flannel shirts, it'd be this one. What? Need further convincing that's a good thing? Read the full review

 

 

Slater Designs Gamma

 

Slater Designs Gamma Surfboard
Slater Designs Gamma Surfboard

Slater Designs Gamma

Dimensions: 5’10” x 19 1/2” x 2 9/16” / 30 litres
Shaper: Kelly Slater
Set-up: Thruster/Quad
Materials: LFT (EPS/Epoxy)
Price: £690

Slater Designs / Firewire

Poor Goat. Poor meek, mild, undernourished, and lately, under-employed Goat. Footy hurty, still-y, and no comp prize money to help make ends meet... Well you can change all that. If you'd like to contribute to the Slater estate, you can buy one of his signature Slater Designs surfboards (note: he doesn't claim to shape em, like Rob). And if making the 11 time World Champ's Pn'L sheet look a touch healthier isn't motivation enough, well just get one coz they go real, real good... Read the full review    

 

 

Firewire SKX 

 

Firewire Tomo SKX Surfboard
Firewire Tomo SKX Surfboard

Firewire SKX

Dimensions: 5’9” x 18 7/8” x 2 3/8” / 27.3L
Shaper: Daniel “Tomo” Thomson
Set-up: Thruster/Quad
Materials: LFT
Price: €819 / £670

Firewire

Stu Kennedy mightn't be your fave surfer of all time/this year/last year/any of the years before. Maybe it's the nearly balding bit, maybe it's the general bed side manner. Doesn't matter. He was the first to legitimise Tomo's angular, unorthodox craft in elite CT competition, and has honed the design towards a much more palatable outline for surf craft (small 'c') conservatives. And if such a relatively unrevered pro can have a signature model of such popularity, well there must be something in that...Read the full review

 

JS Monsta Box 

 

JS Monsta Box Surfboard
JS Monsta Box Surfboard

JS Monsta Box

Dimensions: 5’8” x 18 3/4” x 2 1/4” / 25 litres
Shaper: Jason Stevenson
Set-up: Thruster
Materials: PU/PE
Price: €700 / £610

JS Industries

JS rose to the fore at almost the exact same time as Bob The Builder. Coincidence? There's no such thing. As kids everyone enjoyed Bob and friends' oeuvre, so too did almost every surf coast in the known shredosphere suddenly appear populated with a flotilla of surfboards with earth moving digger motif. JS has remained at the forefront ever since, with elite team riders like Julian, Mikey and Jeremy and the Monsta Box is the label's go-to high performance shape of the moment. Read the full review

 

Simon Anderson NXFC 

 

Simon Anderson NXFC surfboard
Simon Anderson NXFC surfboard

Simon Anderson NXFC

Dimensions: 6’2” x 19 1/2” x 2 1/2” / 31.4 litres
Shaper: Simon Anderson
Set-up: Thruster
Materials: PU/PE
Price: £500

Simon Anderson

Despite Simon Anderson's recent consignment to slaughter to the Sacred Cow abattoir in the SE Podcast Ep 14, his NXFC model maintains its status as one of the best high perf shooters of the year/the last decade. Did we mention he invented the thruster? Did anyone else? The big man describes this model as "fast, loose but predictable." Bit like that stun bolt dispatched by the slaughterman's mercy lever, then.  Read the full review

 

Bradley Roman 

 

Bradley Roman Surfboard
Bradley Roman Surfboard

Bradley Roman Surfboard

Dimensions: 5’11” 18 5/8” x 2 5/16”
Shaper: Christiaan Bradley
Materials: PU
Price: €650

Euroglass

The Romans have had a bit of a rough trot lately, being essentially labelled as a bunch of unimaginative albeit effective pugilist thugs who culturally appropriated much of the Ancient Greeks' good stuff and claimed it as their own. Well Bradley ain't having that. He's decided to win back a bit of cred for the Eternal City, via a wicked shortboard design as effective as Cesar's conquest of Gaul. Read the full review

 

Hayden Shapes Holy Grail 

 

Hayden Shapes Holy Grail Surfboard
Hayden Shapes Holy Grail Surfboard

Hayden Shapes Holy Grail

Dimensions: 5’6” x 19 1/4” x 2 5/16”
Shaper: Hayden Cox
Construction: Future flex / epoxy
Price: £799

Hayden Shapes

The only surfcraft we've reviewed this year - high performance or otherwise - featuring an outline that actually goes out to the tail block (as opposed to curving progressively in from a wide point), Hayden Cox's rampant success with the Hypto has bought him the latitude to marry an unconventional outline with a high-performance shape, not usually bedfellows in the orthodoxy of shortboard design. Read the full review

 

Lost Psycho Killer 

 

...Lost Psycho Killer Surfboard
...Lost Psycho Killer Surfboard

…Lost Psycho Killer

Dimensions: 6’0” x 20” x 2.5” / 33 litres
Shaper: Matt Biolos
Set-up: Thruster
Materials: EPS/epoxy with Carbon Wrap
Price: €800 / £700

...Lost

With its homicidal tendencies and Carbon Wrap technology, the new-school belligerence given off by the PK — both visually and verbally — is palpable. On the stringer, non-integral dimensions are given in decimals rather than fractions; it’s very much that sort of surfboard. You pay slightly more for the Carbon Wrap than you would for standard PU/PE construction; what you get in return is a slightly lighter, more durable board, which has a little more float and goes considerably faster in smaller waves. Largely due to the cooperative flex pattern, you don’t have to work so hard to get the board going. Read the full review 

 

Christenson Mescaline 

 

Christenson Mescaline Surfboard

Christenson Mescaline – deck

Christenson Mescaline Surfboard

Christenson Mescaline

Dimensions: 5’10" x 19 ½” x 2 ⅜” / 30.7L
Shaper: Chris Christenson x Daniel Thomson
Set-up: Thruster/Quad
Materials: PU/PE with carbon strip
Price: €800

Pukas / Christenson

We asked Brad Gerlach, who’s been championing Christenson’s boards for years, if he’d had a go on a Mescaline. “I rode it switchfoot in the Mentawais, and it worked super good.” Switchfoot in the Mentawais? We thought he might be taking the piss. Or mescaline. “I had hurt my right leg and couldn’t surf natural foot, so I surfed the rest of the trip goofy. I surf like an average surfer when surfing goofy, so I can tell how the board would work for the recreational surfer.” Apparently he tries all his technical gear switch to see how they perform for the recreationals. So there you go. What’s your favourite generic term, by the way, for a surfer who isn’t a professional? “Recreational” is decent but we prefer “civilian”. Read the full review, plebs