Surfboard Rocker Explained

The curvature of a surfboard’s nose to tail is known as the rocker. Although surfboards appear flat, they are typically slightly curved and resemble a banana in form. The amount of turn your board has will determine how easily it glides through and over the water.

The surfboard has rocker in three places: inside the body, the nose, and the tail.

What Does a Surfboard Rocker Do?

A surfboard’s curvature is defined by a rocker. After all, wave faces are curved, so your surfboard should have some degree of curve as well.

It would be quite difficult to drop into waves without immediately nosediving into the water below if your board didn’t have any rocker.

Larger waves generally have steeper and more curve surfaces. As a result, more experienced surfers prefer boards with more rocker. Intermediate or novice surfers, on the other hand, may discover less rocker to be just right.

Flat or Low-Rocker Boards

Flat boards, on the other hand, have their own set of advantages. They’re easier to ride large waves on than extremely curved boards.


Flat surfboards (or those with less rocker) have increased surface area. More of the board will be in contact with the water at all times. This will make it easier to glide on the water and help the rider stay more stable.

Flat surfboards will travel faster across the water since there is more board surface contacting the water. This can make paddling easier. Low-rocker boards are ideal for novices.


A board with a low rocker ratio will be tough to turn. When paddling across the sea, flatter ones will be less nimble. A flat board can make you more prone to nose-dive when surfing on steep waves.

If you’re a novice or intermediate surfer, however, you may not require all of these features from your board. If you intend to ride small waves, a flat board will offer more stability and smoothness.

High Rocker Boards

Flattening boards are perfect for beginners. However, more rocker provides a greater curvature and can be beneficial to intermediate and advanced surfers.


With more rocker, it is easier to turn your surfboard. A greater rocker makes your surfboard more responsive and nimble. This is great for expert surfers who ride enormous, steep waves. It’s simpler to ride a board that is very curved near the tight, inner curl of the wave.


Surfboards with thick rockers travel slower than flat surfboards.

The small area of the board that is on top of the water decreases as the surfboard’s radius increases. The curved center of the board, on the other hand, goes beneath the water, resulting in greater drag.

Tipping the board onto its rails and keeping the curved center of the board out of the water is one way to prevent it. This may assist them in reducing drag and providing them with just the right amount of speed.

Nose Rocker

Your board’s nose will also have its own curvature, which may vary from zero to 90 degrees. The more your nose is pointed skyward, the more rocker it has. Nose rocker is beneficial when riding on a wave face with a lot of curve.

As the surfer plummets into the wave, nose rocker pushes the board’s front end above the surface of the water. The nose of a boat with a flatter nose rocker may easily plunge straight into the water.


Tail Rocker

Your board’s tail, like the nose, has its own amount of rocker. Tail rocker makes it easier to spin. Tail rocker can also help prevent nosediving by providing a surface for the surfer to push down on and angle the board’s nose up as needed.