Bear Surfboards Review | Epic Boards or Rip Off?

Whether you are a newbie or a professional surfer, you need a surfboard to do your passion. With tons of products claiming to be the best on the market, selecting the best surfboards can be overwhelming. That is why you should look into the brands, and from there, choose the best board that suits you the best.

This Bear Surfboards review will highlight this brand, and you will get to know its products. You will also learn the basics of surfboards that will help you choose the best surfboard to use based on your skill level, preference, and riding style.

Top 8 Best Bear Surfboards Reviewed

If you have watched the movie “Big Wednesday,” then Bear Surfboards might already be familiar. It is a fictional surfboard store that came to real life. That is why it is not surprising that it has become famous during the late 1980s, not to mention that it still incorporates the legendary Bill Hamilton design.

Here are the Bear Surfboards that you might want to check for yourself.

  1. San Onofre Bear Surfboard
  2. Atomic Bear Surfboard
  3. Cosmic Bear Surfboard
  4. Dude Bear Surfboard
  5. Bombora Bear Surfboard
  6. Bu Bear Surfboard
  7. Wombat Bear Surfboard
  8. Tiburon Bear Surfboard

#1. San Onofre

San Onofre

The San Onofre is the best selection if you have to ride the waves that are one to six feet high. Its rocker improves your performance even on the deep waves, and its kicktail provides better turnability without compromising speed.

It has an excellent volume at the board’s center, making it an excellent choice for catching the waves. It has a thin tail for enhanced maneuverability.

What makes the Bear Surfboards more surprising is that you can personalize some features of your board. You can choose your preferred fin system for the San Onofre, whether it is future, FCS2, or FCS1.

#2. Atomic


Atomic Bear surfboard is the best choice if you are a fan of retro design. This model has the 50s to 80s hotdog surfboard design inspiration, and it has a single fin.

The Atomic Bear surfboard is available in eight dimensions. You can choose to add some features like resin tint, glossing, and colors.

#3. Cosmic


The Cosmic Bear surfboard is a longboard that is ideal for noseriding and performing some tricks. It is responsive and dependable, and it has a single fin.

You can choose to personalize this board by selecting up to two colors and extras, such as the glossing and resin tint.

#4. Dude


The Dude surfboard is minimalistic, but the elegant, efficient, and versatile design will allow you to perform some tricks. Like the Cosmic, the Dude model is a longboard that you can also customize with colors and additional resin tint and glossing.

You can also select the fin systems for this model.

#5. Bombora


Unlike the Cosmic and the Dude, the Bombora is a mid-length type with an egg’s shape. It is another Bear Surfboard model that has a retro design. Aside from its classic appearance, it is also an ideal choice for catching medium to large waves.

#6. Bu


The Bu is a Bear Surfboard longboard model but unlike the typical ones. The Bu is shorter. Thus, it provides better control and maneuverability.

Because it is a shorter form of a longboard, it also has a single fin.

As a customer, you can choose for additional FCS1, FCS2, or Futures for this board.

#7. Wombat


Bear Surfboards claim that the Wombat is the best seller from the late 1990s until now because of its versatility. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced-skill surfer, you can enjoy using this board.

You can also select additional customization, such as the resin tint, colors, glossing, and fin systems.

# 8. Tiburon


Unlike most of the Bear Surfboards model, the Tiburon is a fish type, making it an ideal option to ride the small to medium-height waves.

This product is available only in white color, but you can select its fin systems. You can choose among the twin fin wood-made, 2 FCS1, 2 FCS2, or futures.

About Bear Surfboards

Bear Surfboards has a unique history. It all started when a guy named John Millius developed a surfboard store in 1977 for the “Big Wednesday” movie, which focuses on the Malibu surf scene during the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, the surfboards were wood-made.

Billy Hamilton was the one who created the first surfboards for the company. In 1980, Randy Rarick joined the team to shape the brand’s surfboards. Rarick’s creation was the one that brought the brand to excellence, and Bear claims that this quality continues today.

Bear Surfboards claims that the best shapers create the company’s products, foam-made with high-end resin.

Aside from surfboards, the Bear Surfboards also sells apparel and accessories.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Surfboard

If you are a beginner, you need to know the basic info on surfboards. Unlike the boards used for other watersports, the boards that surfer use are more complicated.

Surfboards come in different sizes and shapes to match different wave conditions. They also come in different fins, rails, etc. Thus, you need to know these surfboard basics to pick the best product for yourself.

As you would notice, the Bear Surfboards products come in different sizes and shapes. It is essential to identify them to select the best surfboard that will accompany your surfing journey.

Basic Types of Surfboards

First of all, you should know that surfboards come in different types. Aside from what you will read from this article, there are still a lot more surfboard types. What you will read here are the most common and the most basic ones.


The longboard is probably the oldest among the types of surfboards that are still in use today. The typical longboard may range up to twelve feet and typically features a wood stringer and a large fin for stability.

Longboards offer vast volumes, which makes it an ideal choice if you prefer boards with fantastic buoyancy. These boards are also easy to paddle because of their length.

Beginners can use this board to train themselves on performing tricks because of its easy usability. With a longboard, you can play a drop-knee turn, cross steps, etc. If you want you can get a partner to surf with you using one longboard, you may do so.

What makes this type amazing is that surfers of all skill levels can use this board.

Despite its amazing advantages, longboards also have some disadvantages, which include its heaviness. Among the other types of surfboards, the longboards are among the heaviest. It is also one of the hardest to maneuver.


The fish has the length that is almost the same as the shortboard, but it has a fish-like contour, usually broader and thicker. It has a swallowtail responsible for providing extra speed but compromises the maneuverability that a typical shortboard can give.

Besides, it is also stable, even if it is short. The only problem with this board is that it has less buoyancy, and popping is less forgiving.

This type is excellent for providing paddling strength and catching waves, especially on small and mushy days.


Surfers also call this board a foamie because of its foam construction. It is an ideal surfboard type to use for aspiring surfers with zero knowledge in surfing. It is the type of board that surfing schools will want you to use for your safety and the others’.

As the term implies, it is unlike the hardboards, which is the typical construction of the other surfboard types. Because you are a beginner, there are several instances that you might bump into other surfers. If you are using a soft board, the impact will be less painful for the other surfers.

Aside from this advantage, the soft boards are incredibly buoyant and durable. You can also use it in any water condition. It is also not an advanced surfboard, which means that it is cheaper than the other boards with several features.

The problem with this board is that it is the bulkiest. It is large and heavy. Thus, transportation can be an issue if you do not have a vehicle.


Most surfers typically refer to shortboards as performance boards, because this type is what they usually use for performing tricks and maneuvers. It is also capable of catching waves a few feet overhead, depending on the surfers’ abilities. Shortboards are maneuverable, and also have excellent turnability.

That is why you should not be surprised that only the intermediate to expert surfers can use them. Shortboards come in different subtypes, which include the groveler and the bonzer.


The funboards are a combination of the mini-Malibu and the shortboard. The mini-Malibu is like a shrunken version of a longboard. It has an excellent ability to catch any kind of wave and provides progression for better pop and turns.

These boards are small, which you can fit inside your car, and it is lightweight enough to carry by hand along the beach. The funboards typically have less volume in the nose part, making them ideal for duck diving.

The only problem with the funboards is that you cannot use it to ride the big waves. It is also typically a hardboard type; that is why being hit by it feels painful.

Types of Tail Design


As mentioned, the swallowtail is the typical tail design that you can find on the fish type of surfboards. It is the best choice if you are looking for a surfboard with excellent turnability and responsiveness.

The swallowtail is the best option if you want to ride the clean waves with twin fins or quads.

Round Tail

The round tail is the best choice if you are looking for a surfboard that gives nice turns. With a board with this type of tail design, you can enjoy flowy and smooth turnability and carving.

It does not provide the most pocket release, but an average surfer can still ride a board with this tail design in common water conditions. However, it is not the best choice for groveling.

Diamond Tail

The diamond tail almost resembles the squash tail. It has a short rail line and an increased drive, and it provides a lot of pocket release.

Squash Tail

The squash tail is an all-rounder that provides the most release because of the full exit. It offers an easy turn on the wave face and drives at the bottom. It is one of the most forgiving surfboard tails that you can use for everyday surfing.


The pintail is the typical design that you can find on mini-guns and guns. The pintail offers a lot of drive but less mobility, making it an ideal tail design for riding massive overhead waves.

It is because massive waves already have power in them that will keep your board moving. What your board needs to do is to be responsive enough for the surfers’  control.

Thumb Tail

The thumb tails look like a round tail but broader. Because of it, it offers more pocket release compared to the rounded tail. However, because of its width, it compromises the drive.

Types of Rail Design

Hard Rails

The hard rails provide a lot of drive but less mobility because of the hard edge along the board’s length. Full Rails

The full rails offer a lot of buoyancy because of its flat deck. However, this buoyancy compromises the board’s turnability because of the foam in some rail parts. Because it provides excellent volume, this rail is an excellent choice for heavier surfers and small wave riding.

Soft Rails

The soft rails provide the best turnability but less drive.  Yet, it is easy to use.

What You Need to Know About Surfboard Rockers

Having more nose rocker provides excellent maneuverability and above-average speed. It is excellent for riding hollow waves. For a board with less nose rocker, this board offers excellent speed but less turnability, making it an excellent groveling option.

If your board has more tail rocker, it provides better control, but the turnability is not fast, although excellent enough, making it an excellent option for breaking waves. Having less tail rocker offers impressive speed, but it is less responsive. Turnability is challenging too.

Surfboard Fins

Generally, if you are on a heavy side, you should choose boards with bigger fins, if you are on the smaller side, select the opposite.

Having more rake makes the board more turnable, while for a less rake, it provides better control. If the fins have narrow tips, they give more release, but the turnability is better if the tips are more extensive.

Foil fins make rail turning more stable. Flat foiled ones give more release.

If you want more maneuverability, choose a light fin, so that the tail will be featherweight too.


Buying a surfboard can be confusing, especially that many surfers have varying opinions regarding the different types of surfboards, and which goes best to a wave condition. However, it all boiled down to your abilities and built as a surfer. After all, you have plenty of options.

Several surfboard brands are offering high-quality products. One of these is the Bear Surfboards. It used to be a fictional shop in a movie that became real. If you do not know which product to look at first, the Bear Surfboards’ products are worth checking.

If you still do not like Bear’s products, you already know the basics of surfboards because of this Bear Surfboards review, and you have an idea of what to search.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What Kind of Surfboard Is Excellent for a Beginner?

A: This article introduced you to the different types of surfboards. With this knowledge, you already know what kind of surfboards that go well for a beginner. If you have zero experience or still getting the hang of this skill, you should get a foamie. Surfing schools will advise you to use this type of board too. Your next consideration should be your height and weight. Picking the right size of the surfboard depends on them. Manufacturers have their size chart, where you can find the appropriate size for yourself.

Q: Is It Easier to Surf on a Foam Board?

A: The foam board is the user-friendliest among the other surfboard types. That is why it is the most advisable for beginners. Among the different surfboards, the foamies are the safest and the most buoyant, making paddling a piece of cake.

Q: How Dependable Are the Bear Surfboards Products?

A: Bill Hamilton was an award-winning surfer. He starred in films focusing on the surfing scenes. He has been a legendary shaper and worked for prestigious brands. This guy became the shaper of the Bear Surfboards, in which his designs became successful in the late 1980s. However, the Bear Surfboards had an issue with patent rights, but this brand is still standing today. Currently, he creates surfboards that can sell for up to 50,000 dollars. According to Bear, the best shapers design its products. With these grounds, it is up to you to decide how dependable this brand is.

Q: How Much Surfboard Volume Do I Need?

A: For a beginner, the general rule is that the volume should be equivalent to the surfer’s bodyweight. For example, if your weight is 50 kilograms, you should select a surfboard that is 50 liters. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the wave condition, age, skill level, etc. That is why experienced surfers may choose a surfboard with a volume equivalent to 35 to 40 of their body weight.

Q: Can I Choose a Board With a Lot of Volume?

A: Nobody is stopping you from buying a board with lots of buoyancy. However, most boards with this feature are bulkier. It is because the big surface area is a factor. Volume is the product of the width, length, and thickness. That is why surfboards with much buoyancy are more difficult to turn and maneuver. Your board will end up controlling you instead of the other way around.

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