Best Hybrid Surfboard

The bigger that surfing grows, the more and more that we are beginning to see hybrid boards sprinkled throughout lineups everywhere.

When you first hear the word "hybrid," it can be a bit confusing, as most kinds of boards have pretty obvious features according to their names (aka longboards and fish surfboards).

A hybrid is pretty much a mixture of various elements drawn from other surfboards and put into one.

So, in a way, pretty much all boards are hybrids unless they're made to be purely one thing. For the purpose of surfing and not getting too technical with wording, hybrids are actually defined as a

Blend of shortboards and fish surfboards.

We believe everyone should get to experience hybrid surfboard performance at some point. Let’s dive into the best hybrid surfboard reviews so that you can see what they’re all about!

South Bay Board Co. Razzo

#1 Best Overall: South Bay Board Co. "The Razzo" 6’ Hybrid

  • Developed for the Ultimate Performance
  • Thruster Nose and Squash Tail
  • EPS Closed-Cell Foam Core
Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer

#2 Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer

  • Great for Having Fun In Smaller Conditions
  • Slight Rounded Nose and Swallowtail
  • EPS Core
The Mahi Hybrid

#3 South Bay Board Co. "The Mahi" 5’8” Hybrid

  • Best Hybrid For Kids and Smaller Riders
  • Narrow Nose and Swallowtail
  • EPS Closed-Cell Foam Core
Catch Surf Beater

#4 Catch Surf Beater

  • Best Hybrid For Boogie Lovers
  • Rounded Nose and Twin-Channel Crescent Tail
  • Dual-Composite Core


What Is a Hybrid Surfboard?

Before we move forward, let’s lay out a few specs so that you can understand both the hybrid surfboard template and the hybrid surfboard design.

  • Wider Template Than a Shortboard
  • Low Rocker Profile
  • Higher Volume Than a Shortboard
  • Forward Widepoint
  • Pulled-In Tails
  • Usually Run Between 5’2” and 7’2” in Length

Top 4 Best Hybrid Surfboards

Our #1 Pick - South Bay Board Co. "The Razzo" 6’ Hybrid

The Razzo is no doubt one of our favorite boards in the South Bay Board Co. lineup, and for a variety of reasons. This soft-top, performance-based board is made to surf more like a shortboard than anything, yet gives you a comfortable ride and strength that you’d expect from a foamie.

Like many hybrid surfboards out there, the Razzo has a narrower thruster nose and a shallow rocker profile that is found closer to the tail. There is a classic single concave that moves throughout that bottom before taking a V-exit in the tail. It cuts deep into the faces of waves just like you would expect from a shortboard, yet rides with much more versatility. You’ll love the high-performance feel, even in smaller conditions.

At just 6’, it is small enough to take with you on the road, yet still paddles like a dream thanks to the wider profile. Altogether, it comes with a thruster set of fins, a 6’ leash, and a textured, wax-free deck, allowing you to get in the water as soon as you get it!

Pro's

  • Brings high performance to small conditions
  • Comes with everything you need to surf
  • Comfortable soft-top design

Con's

  • Not the best in mushy waves


#2 Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer

If you are looking to get out in some barrels, you're going to need a board that can perform. The Ben Gravy Performer rides well in small to overhead conditions and costs way less than your standard, glassed shortboard. Ask the guys from Wave Bandit, and they'll tell you that this board was made to be dynamic, just like the lifestyle of Ben Gravy.

In terms of durability, the board is constructed with a durable EPS core and double maple wood stringers. They’ve added some cool fish surfboard features like the swallowtail, helping you to pick up more speed when conditions get a bit steeper. The high-density slick bottom adds to that speed even more, allowing you to glide down the line like you’re hovering on air.

The Performer comes with a 4.5” thruster set of fins and a leash plug, as well as a ridiculously awesome, sunglass-wearing, pineapple graphic design.

Pro's

  • Durable dual-composite core
  • Awesome pineapple graphics
  • Swallowtail for added speed

Con's

  • Does not surf well in steep overhead conditions


#3 South Bay Board Co. "The Mahi" 5’8” Hybrid

While The Mahi comes from the same company that built The Razzo, it is a beast all its own. One of the main differences you'll notice is that the Mahi comes with a classic fishtail, allowing you to draw out bigger turns and fly down the line without that shortboard feel.

It's a soft-top deck, meaning it is safer and more comfortable to ride, yet also has a fingerprint-textured deck so that you can surf with it wax-free. One thing that is similar to The Razzo is the single concave that runs through the full bottom to the V-Exit, giving you a bit more release in drawn out turns.

With that said, it is a bit easier to paddle than The Razzo thanks to the added volume. It truly surfs just like you would expect a classic fish surfboard to surf. Both groms and veterans alike will enjoy it in the waves, though we would recommend as the best hybrid surfboard for beginners.

Pro's

  • Works in a wide variety of conditions
  • Wax-free deck
  • Added volume for easy paddling

Con's

  • Added volume lowers overall performance capabilities


#4 Catch Surf Beater

Catch Surf is probably one of the coolest surf brands on the market and their line of funky boards makes staying home on small-wave days a thing of the past. You can ride the Catch Surf Beater both with and without fins, great for those riders who are familiar with the feel of boogie boards.

Both lightweight and durable, these little boards are meant to handle a wide variety of conditions. The maple plywood stringers and stiff, water-resistant core, help to give you more confidence while you ride. Pair that with the high-density slick bottom and twin-fin design, and you get a board that will lift you over the water like the surfing god or goddess that you are.

We can’t leave here without talking about Catch Surf’s rad, 80s surf style aesthetic. Each board is completely unique in design, giving you bright neon colors and wild graphics that will definitely catch some eyes in the water. If you’re looking for a fun summer board, look no further.

Pro's

  • Draws the best elements from multiple boards
  • Added stability and paddling ability compared to shortboards
  • Very maneuverable
  • Can surf in a wide variety of conditions
  • Wider template and flatter rocker for early wave entry

Con's

  • Low rocker profile doesn’t hold well in really big waves
  • Hard for beginners to ride
  • Does not maneuver as well as shortboards


Hybrid Surfboard Size Guide

Weight

Beginner

Intermediate

100-140lbs

6’2”-6’4”

6’0”-6-4”

140-160lbs

6’4”-6’8”

6’2”-6’6”

160-180lbs

6’6”-6’10”

6’4”-6’8”

180-200lbs

6’10”-7’2”

6’8”-7’2”

200lbs+

7’2”+

7’2”+

Riding SBBC board
how to surf groveler


FAQ

Hybrid Surfboard Vs. Fish Surfboard

You’d be surprised how much the hybrid surfboard and the fish surfboard have in common. That’s because the hybrid draws a lot from the fish surfboard. When it comes to thickness, length, and hybrid shortboard speed, it’s all very fishy. Both of these boards are great for picking up speed, yet they each are far more stable when you ride them side by side with shortboards.

With that said, only some hybrid surfboards will use swallowtails. Some actually utilize squash tails to give you more of a shortboard feel. If we had to think of the one major difference, we’d have to say it’s the performance. Hybrid surfboards outperform fish surfboards thanks to the added shortboard qualities.


Egg Vs. Hybrid Surfboard

The main difference between a hybrid surfboard and an egg surfboard is the template. Egg surfboards are rounder in the nose and tail, hence the name, and they don't give you anywhere near the same performance that a hybrid does. This is because egg surfboards don't draw any of their elements from fish surfboards. Rather, they are a mix of longboards and shortboards.

With that said, both of these boards do have a pulled-forward wide point, giving you more surface area to paddle with. They both run a bit higher in volume when compared to shortboards too. Hybrid shortboards dimensions tend to run a little smaller too, as eggs can run up to 8'5" in length.


How To Surf a Hybrid Surfboard

Think of surfing a hybrid like surfing a shortboard. We recommend that you take hybrids out in waist-high to overhead waves, though they can surf smaller waves if you know what you’re doing.

Thanks to their design, you can make earlier entry into waves, meaning you don't have to paddle as far ahead of the rising point as you would with a shortboard. Because the rocker profile is lower, you don't have to pump as you would with a shortboard either, making it a more cruise-friendly ride.


Can Hybrids Surf Big Waves?

Like we said before, in many ways, the hybrid surfboard shape is a lot like that of the shortboard. They work really well in waist-high to overhead waves. The main issue is that the rockers on hybrids are a lot shorter, meaning it’s harder to take those steep, vertical drops onto the faces of the waves. Fortunately, because of early wave entry, you may not need to drop so late.

If anything, we’d recommend getting a hybrid with a vee in the nose if you are looking to catch steep waves. These noses stay above water better so that you lessen your chance of pearling.


Conclusion

We hope that our article has narrowed down your hybrid choices so that you can find the best hybrid surfboard for sale! These boards are some of the most versatile on the market and we recommend that every surfer has one of them in their quiver.

If we had to pick our favorite overall, it’d have to be The Razzo by SBBC. This board is a high-performance monster with serious capabilities that will allow you to surf bigger and better waves, as well as those smaller waves that shortboard won’t allow for.




Our Rating

South Bay Board Co. Razzo



mikey shaughnessy

Written by

Contributing Author