In the surfing world, a hybrid surfboard is the blending of the fish surfboard and the high-performance shortboard. Hybrids, from the eyes of the modern surfer, are the best of both worlds. It brings the best qualities of two of the most popular shredders into one.
The elements at play when the fish and the shortboard were fused together had the goal to have a board that is easy to paddle, very stable, and fast. Hybrid surfboards were intended to be rapid as a fish, yet maneuverable as a high-performance shortboard.
The anatomy of the hybrid surfboard can be broken down into different elements like a low rocker, wider outline with a wide point pushed forward, thickness all the way through – especially under the chest, modern style rails, efficient bottom contours, and determined upon the level of performance intended – a slightly pulled-in tail.
The hybrid surfboard is the board you will want to ride if you want a little more on top to help in less-than-perfect conditions while still maintaining the style of the shortboard. The added thickness aids in catching waves while the extra width helps with stability.
Surfers will find hybrid surfboards interesting to ride, especially for those with a little bit more girth, but don’t feel constrained only with longboards.
Table of Contents
Top 6 Best Hybrid Surfboards Reviewed
Every surfer, beginner or advanced should experience a hybrid surfboard performance at some point. As you read on, you will find the best hybrid surfboards you can add to your quiver.
But, before that, here’s laying out a few characteristics of hybrid surfboards you should be familiar with.
- Low rocker profile
- Wider template than a shortboard
- Higher volume than a shortboard
- Pulled-in tails
- Wide forward point
- Roundness in the rails
- Usually runs between 5 ft 2 inches to 7 ft 2 inches in length
Now, let’s get into the business. These surfboards are put into this review so that you can see what they are all about.
- The Razzo 6 Hybrid by South Bay Board Co.
- 6′ Mahi Fish Shortboard by South Bay Board Co.
- 6-foot FSE FoamieSoft Surfboard by Liquid Shredder
- Hybrid Surfboard by Kona Surf Co.
- Protech Hybrid by New Surf Project
- High 5 Surfboard by the Channel Islands
#1. The Razzo 6′ Hybrid by South Bay Board Co. – Best Overall
- 72 x 20 x 2.75 inches
- CNC machined hand tapered rails
- Ideal for riders weighing 50 to 180 pounds
- Best for casual to experienced wave surfer
- Fingerprint Texture IXPE Foam Top Deck
- I-Beam stringer and bamboo layers provide a rigid deck with a slight flex
- EPS closed cell foam core
- Package includes FCS Fin Boxes, FCS Thruster Fins & Fin Key, & 6’ Leash
- Squash tail, thruster nose
- 6oz layers of resin for extra durable boards
Razzo means rocket in Italian and no wonder it is what it’s named from – Razzo 6’ Hybrid by South Bay Board Co., can truly fly. It is one of the favorites from the South Bay Board Co., lineup.
Like several hybrid surfboards, the Razzo is fabricated with a thruster nose, an expanded chest area, squash tail. And at 6 ft, it combines the knack to go fast, and make outrageous downturns, all while granting the board a fun-size feel.
It is a soft-top performance-based board that is made to surf more like a shortboard than anything. Don’t get it wrong, it still gives you the comfortable ride and strength that you would expect from foamie.
The Razzo may seem smaller than most surfboards that are used for learning, but it’s no reason for you not to pick this board up. Its wider deck and EPS soft foam top are perfect for smaller children or those who have just a little bit of experience.
It comes with a tri-fin retro setup beneath with a pre-textured deck, leaving you not worrying about waxing every time you want to surf. The classic single concave moves all over the bottom before it takes a V-exit in the tail.
This design helps in cutting deep into the faces of waves just like you would anticipate from a shortboard, while still riding with much more versatility. Razzo is small enough that you can take it with you on the road conveniently, and paddle it through the waves effortlessly.
|Delivers supercharged performance to small conditions||Not ideal for mushy days
|Comfortable and relaxed soft-top design|
|Comes with everything you need to ride
#2. 6′ Mahi Fish Shortboard by South Bay Board Co. – Best Soft-Top Hybrid Surfboard
- 68 x 21 x 2.75 inches
- Fingerprint Texture in the foam on the top deck
- EPS CLOSED CELL Foam Core
- Ideal for riders weighing 50 to 180 pounds
- Best for casual to experienced wave surfer
- I-Beam Stringer
- Rigid deck with a slight flex
- Hand tapered rails
- Classic fishtail
- 6oz layers of resin for extra durable boards
An instant classic and an impressive board for all-around surf, the Mahi Fish by South Bay Board Co. is a combination of power and performance that is a beast of its own. This hybrid surfboard goes along with the traditional fishtail that allows you to draw out bigger turns and fly down the line even with less shortboard experience.
The Mahi comes from the same surfboard company that built Razzo, but it stands on its own features. One distinction you will observe is how it is a bit easier to paddle than 6-footer from SBBC. All credits to the added volume.
The shallow rocker Mahi showcases acts as a single concave all throughout the bottom. This makes it perfect for any surf as it starts to show its flairs in smaller conditions. The only similarity it shares with Razzo is its V-exit which lets your release more in drawn-out turns.
When you first ride Mahi, you might get concerned with how paddling insane foam volume feels like a breeze. Fret not as it won’t do any harm in its performance. Instead, it cuts down the line with great speed. All these while it allows you to enter waves like greased lightning.
The Mahi by SBBC has a soft-top deck that makes it safer and more comfortable to ride. It showcases a fingerprint-textured deck that helps in surfing wax-free. Need to record the intense ride? You’ll enjoy doing so with its pre-installed GoPro mount on top.
|Added volume helps with easy paddling||A little less responsive than a hard-constructed surfboard
|Ideal for beginners and for small days||Extra volume trims down overall performance|
|Works in any water conditions
|Wax free deck
#3. 6-foot Soft Surfboard by Liquid Shredder – Best Hybrid Surfboard for Beginners
- 72 x 20 x 2.5 inches
- Weighs 9 pounds
- Can carry 95 to 120 pounds
- Constructed with EPE deck, EPS core, PP hard slick bottom; Heat laminated
- Removable Tri-fin Thruster
- Sharper nose shape
- Dual wooden stringer
- 90-day non-commercial use warranty
- Ideal for beginners and children
- Anti-slip properties
Perfect for kids and beginners alike, the 6-foot FSE FoamieSoft Surfboard by Liquid Shredder is a lightweight and very buoyant soft board that can carry surfer than weighs up to 120 pounds. It is stable and is certain to deliver a good time while learning the basics of wave surfing.
Constructed with EPS foam blank as its core, this hybrid surfboard is sandwiched by a soft but firm EPE foam deck and white PP bottom, making it rigid, hard, slick, and fast. The two wooden stringers it has provided the board with the stiffness it requires for optimal performance.
Hand-shaped and heat laminated, it uses a high-technology design to guarantee a superior performance that other foam surfboards cannot present. Adding to the fun and delight while surfing the waves is its wonderfully bright colors.
You can choose from blue, red, and yellow. Aside from the different colors you can pick from, these boards provide a comfortable non-slip texture that assists surfers o stay on the board.
6-foot FSE FoamieSoft Surfboard by Liquid Shredder is not only a cost-effective hybrid surfboard but a stick that yields high performance. That can all be credited from the technology that goes into its construction.
|Highly buoyant and stable, ensures easy paddling, maneuvering and catching waves||Size can prove to be a setback when it comes to popping up or controlling the board
|Fins that it comes with are flexible and rounded||The leash is sold separately|
|More affordable than other brands|
|Lightweight and portable
|Feels solid and unyielding
#4. Hybrid Surfboard by Kona Surf Co. – Best for kids
- 52 x 19.5 x 2.5 inches
- Ideal for all skill level riders
- Heated lamination HDPE bottom
- Hybrid shape
- IXPE deck with double layers of EP and XPE
- 27 liters of volume gives plenty of stability to help you catch every wave
- Custom outline for maximum float
- Added rocker for high-performance at any water conditions
- Scratch-resistant diamond checkboard bottom
- Double wooden stringers
A hybrid surfboard perfect for kids and beginners, it gives the rider a roomy space for that size of 52 x 19.5 x 2.5 inches. Its 27 liters of volume work enough to give you sufficient float for catching waves.
Beginners and kids can experience a comfortable surf knowing that the integration of 2 stringers decreases the chances of the board snapping. In addition to that, this board’s stability is increased with the extra full layer of fiberglass and epoxy resin.
The Hybrid Surfboard by Kona Surf Co provides a variety of use by including removing fins. These can be set up as thrusters, twin, or completely removed to change it from surfboard to bodyboard. Such design lets the rider experience two separate styles of surfing with the same surfboard.
The sleek design comes from the application of vacuumed lamination that makes the surfboard even more water-resistant compared to other beginner boards in the industry today. You can enjoy a spacious point with the addition of the sophisticated Kona logo. Plus, you can choose from a variety of colors making you surf with style.
Another interesting feature of this surfboard is its diamond checkerboard bottom that provides maximum protection against scratches that may occur not just from the water obstacles but from traveling and storage too.
This checkerboard bottom improves the surfboard’s speed in water adding confidence to the rider that their board is protected and will, in turn, make the waves their best friend.
|Removable fins allow the board to change from surfboard to bodyboard in a snap||Poor packaging, some have reported missing leash
|Can work in different water conditions|
|Stringers that add flex and durability
|Plenty of volumes to catch waves
#5. Protech Hybrid by New Surf Project – Best for All Skill Levels
- 66 x 19 x 2.25 inches
- Single to double concave bottom
- Ideal for 1 to 6 ft waves
- Best for Intermediate to expert riders
- Epoxy construction
- Round tail
- Dual tab plug type
- Thruster fin setup
NSP (New Surf Project) has been providing a wide range of superior-quality boards since 2011. Their boards are available in their award-winning technology – Gold level CocoFlax technology, along with our durable HIT, SLX, SLX Carbon, Elements, E+, PU, P2.
This technology was just recently introduced to the surfing world. They have done extensive research, development, design, and manufacturing process to perfect their boards. Accompanied by good customer service, they take pride that they have also been recognized by Sustainable Surf’s ECOBOARD for their years of implementing technologies that reduce environmental impacts.
Their Protech Hybrid Surfboard is just one of the many surfboards they are proud to have produced. Superior performance convenes with paddling power in the most flexible and manageable intermediate shortboard in the market.
Protech Hybrid is perfect for riders who are looking for added grip and performance from their hybrid surfboards. When paired with RTM fins, the whole board offers lightweight performance, with great flex, speed, maneuverability, and responsiveness.
This durable surfboard is designed with the tail of a shortboard for performance and the wider nose of a fish to make the most of paddling power and stability. The rails, bottom rockers, and foil create a fast, stable and maneuverable surfboard on the waves.
Combining the flat rocker and added width makes catching waves effortless while generating speed with a pulled-in round tail for a bite through rail turns.
One of the technologies NSP applied to this surfboard is the carbon flex tail. Strategically placed at the back end of the rails, it provides enhanced sturdiness and resistance against increased back-foot pressure.
This advancement makes the board even more responsive than the conventional construction as it provides unparalleled flex response in turns.
|Carbon flex tail for increased durability||More expensive than most hybrid surfboards
|Better glide and stronger built|
#6. High 5 Surfboard by Channel Islands – Best Small Waves Hybrid Surfboard
- 66 x 21 x 2.9 inches
- Best for knee-high waves
- Ideal for all skill-level riders
- Medium foils and rails
- Hybrid nose shape, wide tail
- Relaxed entry rocker, medium exit rocker
- Single to double concave bottom
- Wide, beveled swallowtail
One of the highly anticipates models from the Channel Islands after Average Joe, High 5 is intended for the times when the waters are really tiny and weak. Those days when you’d rather be on a longboard than short. They are short, wide, and fat-framed, and they are intended to get up and going in those really weak and mushy waves.
High 5 takes ahead of the Average Joe when it comes to pushing the board too much. While it is an easy and forgiving board, it is also a quicker and nimbler board. It is suited for a better, faster, and more agile surfer.
This board is almost reminiscent of Channel Islands’ Fishcuit tail. But, if you look at it more carefully, you will see that it has a bevel.
The deep concave that goes through the middle of the board comes out to the pronounced double concave and then vees out the tail. This feature is very noticeable since it sticks out quite a lot.
|Nimbler, agile, performance-focused version of Channel Islands’ Average Joe||Needs to be managed and pushed|
|A fast and a blast to ride a hybrid surfboard in the right conditions||Quite a struggle to control
|Medium exit rocker and relaxed entry rocker|
|Not limited when it comes to performance
Our Top Pick
Hybrid surfboards, having the design elements like little vee in the nose area make them highly functional surfboards for everyday surfers. They let you make the most of your available surfing time by getting you into waves earlier and easier.
This is why South Bay Board Co. “The Razzo” 6’ Hybrid takes our vote. Without a doubt, it features all the characteristics that the best hybrid surfboard must have.
Razzo surfs more like a shortboard than anything while giving you the comfortable ride and strength you can only get from a foamie. It seems as if this board is intended for riders who want to stick with shortboards but also want to add something different to their quiver.
Truly, Razzo brings superior functionality as a hybrid surfboard to smaller conditions where shortboards just don’t really do that well. This is a monster with serious potential that will let you surf bigger and better swells, as well as the smaller waves that don’t allow for shortboards.
Why Ride a Hybrid Surfboard?
Hybrid surfboards take the same lengths as the traditional shortboard. As mentioned, they derive the attributes of thickness, width, and volume from a longer board. This conveys that their design is intended to replicate the ease of turning like that of a shortboard.
These shredders also deliver more stability and speed, thanks to their volume and width. Such aspects make hybrid surfboards excellent beginner surfboards. Two of the most popular types of hybrid surfboards are the fish and the funboard.
Fish hybrid can be surfed with a 4, 3, or 2 fin setup depending on the kind of ride you are aiming for. Lesser fins mean more speed, but with less stability. On the contrary, more fins mean more stability, but a tad slower because of the added resistance against the water.
Can you ride them on sizeable waves? Yes. Hybrid surfboards can still perform even on bigger and better days. Their low rocker may concern you with their ability to stick late drops or coming off on top turns on a steep-faced wave. Rest assured there are easy solutions to this setback.
First off, these boards allow you to get into waves earlier to avoid the possibility of taking a late drop. Such difficulty is still bound to happen every now and then since this move doesn’t deal with coming off the top of a turn on a steep-faced wave.
Hybrid surfboards work and can work even better once you get used to riding them. They are highly functional for the everyday average surfer. That being said, they let you maximize your available surfing time, getting you into waves earlier and easier while still performing at higher levels than fish or shortboards.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Surfboards
- Represents the best elements from multiple boards
- Easier to paddle than a shortboard
- Added stability compared to shortboards
- Just as controllable as shortboard
- Can surf in a wide variety of conditions
- Plenty of different options and combinations to choose from
- Wider template and flatter rocker for early wave entry
- Challenging to ride steeper waves because of a low rocker
- Low rocker profile doesn’t perform well in really big waves
- Not the best for beginners
- Less maneuverable than shortboards
- Can’t pull tricks like on a shortboard
Hybrid Surfboard Size Guide
Hybrid surfboards come in such a wide range of shapes and sizes. While there is truly no way to ascertain what size is the best for you, the sizing chart below may help serve as a general reference when you are out looking for a board.
|Hybrid Surfboard Size Guide|
|100 to 140 pounds||6’2″ to 6’4″||6’0″ to 6’4″|
|140 to 160 pounds||6’4″ to 6’8″||6’2″ to 6’6″|
|160 to 180 pounds||6’6″ to 6’10”||6’4″ to 6’8″|
|180 to 200 pounds||6’10” to 7’2″||6’8″ to 7’2″|
|200 + pounds||7’2″ +||7’2″ +|
Hybrid surfboards let you live through and experience the waves from just about every portion of the waters for hours of fun. They are the perfect shredders for intermediate to advanced riders who are always seeking the ultimate thrill.
While hybrid surfboards are the best of both worlds, they still won’t beat the feeling you get riding the shortboard. Yet, it is not a bad idea to include this as part of your board collection.
If you are on the lookout for a hybrid surfboard to add to your quiver, we hope that you begin your search with any of the hybrid surfboards on our list. Of course, your thoughts are always welcome, too. Hit us in the comments section below if you know of a hybrid surfboard that we missed mentioning.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How to surf with a hybrid surfboard?
A: Riding a hybrid surfboard almost feels like surfing with a shortboard. While we advise that you take hybrid surfboards out in waist-high to overhead swells, you can also take them to smaller waves – as long as you know what you are doing.
Hybrid surfboards’ design makes your entry into the waves early. This means you don’t need to paddles as hard as you would with a shortboard. Since the rocker profile is lover, you also do not have to pump as you should with the previous either. Hybrid surfboards make your ride a more cruiser-friendly ride.
Q: Can we ride a hybrid surfboard on big waves?
A: As mentioned, the hybrid surfboard’s shape is so much like a shortboard, therefore it could just act like one, too. These surfboards perform well in waist-high to overhead waves. The setback falls on the rockers that are a lot shorter. This makes it harder to take those steep and vertical drops. Good thing that the shape allows you to enter early, thus you may not need to drop too late.
You may also get a hybrid surfboard with a vee in the nose if you really intend on taking steep waves. These features stay above water better leaving you fewer chances of pearling.
Q: Are hybrid surfboards the newest in the line of surfboard types?
A: Hybrid surfboards, as most professionals perceive them to be, are the future of surfing for the main reason that they are a combination of both worlds. Combining elements from your favorites creates an outrageous-performing surfboard.
It is almost like having the chef make a fusion out of your favorite foods or a band player putting together his favorite parts to create the best music producer. These are babies of continuous improvement and experimentation.
A lot of the modern shortboards we are seeing now share a lot of their hybrid characteristics. The extra width, as well as the rocker profiles, become a lot lower than shortboards when the first big wave hits. Hybrid surfboards can perform for all levels of surfing and there is no doubt, they are here to stay.
Q: What fin setup works best for hybrid surfboards?
A: Different fins on hybrid surfboards make a huge difference. Twins, thrusters, and quads are definitely recommended. Twins aren’t as popular as the other two for hybrid surfboards, but they can add a bit of a classic feel to your surfing experience. They are maneuverable and can add a little bit of looseness if the build of your hybrid surfboard feels like it could use it.
Thrusters are hybrids’ favorite since it gives them the shortboard feel. It also provides a lot more control and lets you turn tighter and bust out tricks. Since hybrids are wider than shortboards, you may still retain that looseness while you pump down the line.
Another good thing about the thrusters on hybrid surfboards is that they cause the board to become stable without surrendering speed.
Quads are for speed. So, if you just want to go fast over anything else, don’t look any further than them.
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G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.