a man with a power tool pollishing a handmade surfboard

What are the latest trends and innovations in surfboard design and technology?

3D printed surfboards, handmade boards, and more

The global surfboard market is expected to reach over AUD 778.38 million by 2032. The main driver? It’s the latest trends and innovations in surfboard design and technology.

Importance of innovations in surfboard design

When it comes to surfboard design and technology, the best way to encapsulate its status is by an Ancient Greek saying that goes, “The only constant thing in life is change”.

Surfboards are constantly being redesigned, and new technologies are always being developed. These innovations are currently driving the industry’s growth.

But what exactly is driving these innovations, and what is the impact on the industry? For starters, the change is coming from the surfers themselves.

Case in point, Daniel Thomson’s innovative surfboard design called “Vanguard.” Thomson is a globally-renowned Australian surfer who came up with a unique surfboard shape.

His vanguard surfboard shape has straight rails, an angular tail, and a noseless design. This kind of design lets the water flow more smoothly around the board. This results in less drag and quicker movement through the water.  

Thomson is famously part of the design group spearheading Tomo Surfboards.

Apart from the most efficient and best-performing surfboards, surfers basically want to experience adventure, excitement, and fun whenever they hit the waves. But how about when there are no waves present?

Surfers are now looking for ways to still find that adrenaline rush when there’s not much wind to make regular surfing possible. This need now leads to a demand for electrical designs on surfboards.

Highly advanced surfboards are being sought after. Surfers never tire of seeking the latest trends and innovations when it comes to an activity that’s near to the heart.

At the end of the day, it is the voices of the surfers who will further drive innovations in surfboard design and technology.
The latest trends and innovations in surfboard design and technology

Here are some of the latest and coolest innovations in the surfing industry.

Handmade Surfboards

It’s been said that the surfing community is currently in the second most innovative period of surfboard design. The first one was the “Shortboard Revolution” during the 60s up until the early 70s.

During the first period of surfboard design innovation, boards drastically decreased in size. The previously long surfboards that were 10 feet long suddenly became 7 feet and sometimes even shorter.

This drastic change in surfboard length also affected the surfing process itself. But now, the community is witnessing the era of handmade surfboards.

In fact, more and more surfing enthusiasts are getting into the backyard-shaping path. The spotlight is now on locally-made and shaped-by-hand surfboards. The movement is currently being led by young surfers who got fascinated with shaping boards by hand.

From the name itself, they mostly do this in their backyard and with only a few pieces at a time. There’s certainly a market for these kinds of boards over the mass-produced ones.

What’s helping shed light on these young shapers? They attribute it to social media and the “communal consciousness” of the surfing community. It’s good that the community is now opening its heart and minds to these low-volume surfboard makers.

Personalised surfboard design through 3D printing

3D printing has opened the doors to countless innovations in different industries, and the surfing community is no exception. One of the latest trends in surfboard design is creating personalised surfboards with the use of 3D printing.

This kind of technology allows surfers to improve their performance in the water. A group of students from the University of Wollongong is leading the innovation.

They are also consulting with experts from different fields to ensure that the perfect surfboard can be created for its intended surfer, from human geographers who study the surfer’s perception of their performance to specialists in biomechanics who focus on the effect of translational forces to the surfer and waves.

What’s more, the team does not stop just producing the best surfboard components for surfers. They are constantly innovating and improving the surfboard design.

One way they go about this is by tracking the data on the fin with the help of a GPS tracker. The data collected includes wave count, top speed, and even highest air and biggest turn.

All of these are considered in creating a bespoke surfboard fit for the intended surfer. What’s more, with 3D printing, the manufacturing cost is much less significant versus using expensive moulds.

a man in the ocean foiling on a surfboard


More and more people are getting interested in surfing. This means there is always a need to find technology that will provide a bigger and better thrill but is still safer.

One of the latest trends gaining momentum is the use of hydrofoil surfboards or more commonly known as foilboards.

These differ from the usual surfboards because they have two underwater wings and a long mast or a carbon fibre rod.

With enough speed and momentum at sea, the carbon-fibre wings will push through the water. This will then be followed by the lifting of the surfboard, thus lifting its rider up in the air.

Because of the interest in this type of board, there are now foilboards with electric-powered propellers. The propellers give extra power, which means they can be used even without any waves. This surfboard technology allows any surfer to experience the rush of surfing even on lakes and rivers.

Get the best surfboard designs with the latest innovations from Slimes Newcastle!

When finding the latest surfboard designs, look no further than Slimes Newcastle. We carry all types of surfboards – from longboards, skim boards and even custom boards from Mark Richards Custom.

We have been in the Novocastrian area for over a decade now, so you can be sure about the quality of the items that we carry. We are a trusted shop in the community, and we are more than happy to help you shop for your new surfboard.

You can visit our physical store at 496 King St, Newcastle or browse our website for our catalogue. You may also call us on (02) 4961 3088 or send your enquiries to newcastlestore@slimes.com.au.

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