Best Shortboard Surfboards of 2024

Daniel Lofaso

The idea of the best shortboard is about as subjective as they come. Everyone has preferences for lengths, widths, construction, board shape, and of course, an affinity for select shapers.

For many of you, you just want someone to tell you which shortboard to buy and why. For others, you want to know what John John is riding and just want the same thing. 

In light of the subjectivity behind this decision, I’ve tried to pull in as much objective data as possible to help shine the light on the best shortboard surfboards you can buy right now. More on that below.

Our pick for

Best all-around shortboard


OG Flyer by Channel Islands

According to the Channel Islands website, “The Flyer is easily the most ridden and enjoyed all around board in our history” and their “all-time most popular design.” For those reasons, and because Channel Islands is notably the most recognized surfboard brand in the world largely in part to a long-time sponsorship to 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, it gets the top nod on this list.

If what you are looking for is an everyday sort of shortboard you can ride in any conditions, this will likely be a nice addition, or option, to your quiver. From novice to expert level surfers, the OG Flyer is a strong contender for best surfboard.

Our pick for

Best small wave shortboard


Flat Earth by Slater Designs 

One of the most hyped up surfboards for 2022 has definitely been the Flat Earth by Slater Designs in conjunction with Akila Aipa. As a quick primer, Slater Designs are actually a sub-brand of Firewire, a company Slater bought into some years ago.

The GOAT brings in some of his favorite shapers to utilize Firewire technology and to bring his personal input into the design process. For this board in particular, most people ride it as a twin plus trailer fin which makes it incredibly fast and highly rippable. A great option as a small wave board for the sort of daily waves most people surf, but also a board that reviewers have said gets even better in hollower waves.

Our pick for

Best "one board quiver" shortboard

on Jacks Surfboards

from $825

Hypto Krypto by Haydenshapes

Are you looking for more of a “one board quiver” instead of having a high performance shortboard, a foam rich paddler, and a groveler? You may want to consider the Hypto Krypto by Haydenshapes, a very popular board that still is one of their best-sellers even years after its debut.

This board rose to fame after style-master Craig Anderson was captured on a massive swell at Kandui, Indonesia riding a 5’4” Hypto with the sort of style and grace that we can only dream of. Check out the video above for proof and then do yourself a favor and pick one up.

Our pick for

Best high performance shortboard


Inferno 72 by Sharpeye

The Inferno 72 by Sharpeye is a board that is on many a surfers bucket list. I’ve tried to get my hands on one but they are usually on a very long waiting list and I just find myself ordering something else instead of taking the plunge. 

The Inferno 72 is made by Marcio Zouvi, arguably the hottest shaper on the planet right now. This board won the 2021 Stab in the Dark contest, considered by many to be the best indicator of a surfboard by professional surfers. It also won top honors from another independent board test from Kale Brock, which also framed the board up nicely for everyday surfers.

Ridden by WSL surfer Filipe Toledo, this board excels in small to medium waves where high performance surfing is desired.

Our pick for

Best barrel riding shortboard

on Jacks Surfboards

from $825

Ghost by Pyzel

Despite the high performance surfing done by what many call the best surfer in the world, the Ghost is actually considered to be an all arounder capable of handling good waves in all sort of conditions.  

It has a wider point pushed forward which makes it a bit more forgiving than many premium surfboards, and has proven to be versatile for John John in all sorts of different waves – Lowers, JBay, Margaret River, and Bells Beach.

So if you are looking for another high performance surfboard option for good to epic waves, or just want to think you can get a board that will get you an edge like John John, check out the Ghost by Pyzel.

Our pick for

Best way to surf like John John Florence

on Jacks Surfboards

from $825

Red Tiger by Pyzel

“I just want to ride what John John Florence (JJF) rides.” Ok, then you want a Red Tiger by Pyzel.

This board comes from a Pyzel and John collaboration from when John wanted to try some boards that "just go really fast" for off-days during competition. What resulted was actually a JJF favorite and what is now his go-to board for most daily conditions.

While the Red Tiger certainly fits the fun category, it is still classified under Pyzel's high-performance shortboard category.

For a slightly more grovely version of this board, check out Pyzel's White Tiger.

Our pick for

Best way to surf like Mason Ho

on Jacks Surfboards

from $709

Little Wing by …Lost

If you’ve ever seen surfing’s ambassador of fun Mason Ho, there’s a good chance it was on a Little Wing by Lost (aka Mayhem). This surfboard is what Lost calls a “playful performance” board, which is another way of saying it rips in all kinds of conditions.

Its got low rocker and a short and wide outline, all characteristics that are built with speed in mind. It has a bit of lift in the tail though, for snappier turns that are complimented by the deep concave. In short, it has elements of your more playful surfboard that works well in mushy waves combined with elements that make it flare up in fun, mid-sized waves.

In general, Lost boards are known for being highly forgiving and the company is one of the most trusted brands in surfing today. If you want a proven shape by a highly reputed brand, check out a lost Little Wing.

Best Shortboard Analysis Criteria 

As mentioned, the best surfboard for you may not be the best surfboard for someone else. Where one person may want a high performance surfboard for getting barreled in 6-8’ Nicaraguan barrels, someone else might want a fun shortboard for a winter day at Florida’s Sebastian Inlet.

I’ve personally surfed most of the boards on this list or have friends who own one of these boards. I love board design, so naturally I talk to my friends (and strangers!) in the lineup about what they are riding and how they like their boards.

In addition to the above, I’ve referenced very popular shortboard surfboard comparison contests – Stab in the Dark and filmer/editor Kale Brock’s review – that were published in the last few years. For these results, I’ve grabbed the top winners of the contests and added them to the list.

Surfboard shapers don’t publish sales data, and there is no central hub where surfers buy boards where you can find loads of reviews (like Amazon), so you just sort of have to know a thing or two about boards, brands, and shapers.

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