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The Best Surfboards for Surfing in Oregon

Oregon surf is volatile.

Subject to the lucrative swell cycle of the open Pacific.

As such, board choice remains crucial, with certain shapes providing the means to succeed in Oregon lineups where others fail. 

When braving the cold waters of the Oregon Coast — from Newport to Cannon Beach and more— some boards will give you a subtle edge needed to beat the mire of Oregon closeouts.

In such conditions, these boards triumph above the rest. 

Longboard: High-Performance Longboard 

High-performance Longboards feature a thinner, shorter build and have more rocker than traditional nose-riding logs. These boards make faster turns, steeper drops, and quicker lines than classic longboards allow. 

Due to the consistent exposure to open Pacific swells traveling in short intervals, Oregon sandbars remain pitchy and dense –– traversable only for a board capable of handling arduous faces. 

In ankle to head-high waves and beyond, you’ll need a board equipped with a snappy bottom-turn, capable of racing fast, hollow A-frames. 

A High-performance Longboard does the trick. With a greater paddle speed, the HP Longboard catches green waves and turns on a dime, beating the white water and drawing a solid line.

Throw in a pair of side bites and the HP Longboard even manages heavier, hollower breaks. 

Mid-length: 2+1 Mid-length Egg 

Traveling down in size, a classic 2+1 Egg offers more versatility than a longboard without sacrificing needed acceleration. 2+1 Eggs remain thinner and more high-performance variations of their single-fin forerunners, championed by SoCal shapers in the late 1960s and 1970s.

A 2+1 Egg withstands bigger surf, shapes below 7 '0 offering a manageable duck dive while still nimble on the surface. These boards grant earlier entries into tighter pockets with the fin setup maintaining stabilization in the deepest of pits. 

For newer surfers looking to downsize, the Egg proves a great transitional board. At around 7’0, these boards remain accessible to newer surfers while enhancing mobility on the face. In softer waves you can remove the side fins, allowing more speed and agility. 

Shortboard: Fish 

Famous for its wider nose, higher volume, and swallowed tail, the Fish remains a go-to for shortboarders looking to up their wave count. 

For Oregon’s shifty sandbars you’ll need a shortboard capable of chasing stray peaks. From the speed offered by the width and volume of the Fish, on-the-fly adjustments and last-minute drops prove seamless compared to the traditional thruster. 

For slabbier breaks, the swallow tail boasts additional traction, ample in smaller, high-speed barrels –– a commonality on the Oregon Coast, year-round. For beginners transitioning to a shortboard, the Fish proves ideal –– not requiring the typical paddle conditioning that shorter lengths require. 

Alternative: Mini-Simmons 

While some look at the Mini-Simmons and see a laughable, toy-sized twin-fin, it proves extremely versatile, perfect for the dilapidated sandbars of the Oregon Coast. 

The Mini-Simmons is Joe Bauguess’s take on Bob Simmons’s wide-hulled, twin-finned, flat-rockered longboards. Joe stumbled upon something truly special by cutting a

traditional Simmons practically in half –– a board with remarkable quickness, capable of drawing long and fast lines down most wave shapes. 

While a Mini-Simmons remains confined to smaller waves, it's a perfect Spring and Summer board for Oregon –– an antidote for the wind-chop and small interval that keeps most surfers perpetually looking for half-decent breaks. Pretty much anyone can surf this board, yet the Mini-Simmons proves worthy of any quiver. 

Final Thoughts: Choosing the Right Surfboard for Oregon 

Part of the fun of surfing is constant experimentation. The defying of traditional boundaries and trying a variety of shapes in different breaks (remember, there are sharks in the lineups of Oregon). 

Some boards may work, while others simply won’t, and you might even stumble upon an Excalibur.

A board that works in such an unprecedented way that you feel chosen by the board, not the other way around. 

But if you're exhausted from the search for an Oregon-optimized board, these shapes may alleviate your struggle. For many Oregonians, they certainly have.

Looking for more Oregon adventures? Check out our hiking guide and our camping guide.


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