Groveler Surfboard Buyer’s Guide

Groveler Surfboards are becoming ever more popular in modern day surf culture.


They give riders the ability to go out in the smallest and least aggressive conditions while still being able to ride easily.

It isn’t rare to see a ton of these fat, circular boards being paddled about at your local break.

With the hundreds of choices out there, it can be difficult to pick out the right groveler for you.

Here we have compiled our top 6 choices for grovelers so that you can spend less time surfing the web and more time surfing the waves.

What Is A Groveler Surfboard?

Okay, hold up. Before we start talking specifics, let’s make sure you know what you’re getting into. Grovelers are probably the best choice when it comes to catching smaller or weaker waves. ​

For size, these boards hover in between 5’0” and 6’0” like your typical shortboards.

The main difference between grovelers and shortboards are that grovelers are wider in the center and on the tail.

The underbellies are typically more concave than shortboards as well, which makes it easier to catch smaller waves. Other than that, the elements of grovelers can vary from board to board.  

While it’s not stamped with a classic brand name, KONA Surf Co. Board is quickly becoming a staple in groveler culture. It’s a solid board to have in your arsenal whether you’re an expert or entry-level surfer and works just the same for normal surf conditions vs. smaller conditions.

The slight single concave that bends into the double through the wide tail makes it easy to latch on to the waves. The wide body and tail gives you ample space to paddle and glide through soft or slow sections.

Even with the groveler name, you’ll notice that many characteristics of the board, such as the stiffness and carbon rail reinforcements, mimic those of high-performance shortboards. Because it is built with ultra buoyant foam, even big surfers will find it easy to paddle out and pop up on this thing. With the wide range of sizes that Boardworks offers, just make sure to find the right length for you.

Catch Surf Beater

George Arzente is a man who is all about fun. Not only has he crafted a line of boards that match up to high-performance surf specs, but he also created an entire Southern California surf culture built on style and design.

The Catch Surf Beaters are great examples of fun boards that are meant for speed. In classic groveler fashion, their tapered down rails paired with the wide nose help to generate speed in smaller conditions while retaining good balance.

The high-density stiff bottom deals out a solid amount of glide while the twin channel crescent tail adds complementary bite to the fins to help you stick to the wave. These qualities make the board tons of fun to ride and expert surfers will feel the added carve and drive and drive because of them.

One thing we love about these boards is the removable fin system that allows you to switch out different keel fins. Whoever said these boards weren’t capable of next-level shredding has obviously never had the pleasure of riding one.

For the beginners out there who want a fun little board to take out, the South Bay Board Co. Surfboard is an excellent choice. Start riding and immediately you’ll fall in love with the downturned, low-profile rails and relaxed rocker that helps you glide seamlessly over flat waves while still feeling loose and maneuverable. It is an A-list celebrity in the short and wide revolution.

The reason we say this board is great for beginners is because the excess volume and flat nose makes it super easy to paddle. While the board surfs like a cloud, you most likely won’t be ripping on it. That being said, it truly delivers everything you should want from a groveler. The thick and wide body makes early wave entry possible, even when the surf lacks any grit.

The five-fin setup will allow you more stability as you cruise down the line. There’s no doubt that this board will increase your wave count in no time!

Boardworks Froth 5-6

The Boardworks Froth is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to small wave surfing. Even when you think the world is coming to an end when you look out into the weak surf that has been hitting your local spot for far too long, the Boardworks Froth will allow you to roll out and rip. In the same realm as other Boardworks boards, the modern design is great for surfers of all skill levels.

It utilizes a thick body, wide nose, and tri fin setup with removable boxes to catch more waves and get more speed. The soft-deck construction makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want a safer and more buoyant alternative to glassed boards. The best part is, it’ll shred much better than your typical foamie. Everyone should try and get one of these boardsa in their quiver.

They’re fairly inexpensive and work great for days where the surf looks impossible. Whether you’re a beginner that wants to take a step up from riding longer foam boards or a veteran surfer who wants a fiery little groveler to catch some fun summer waves, this board will leave you frothing.

Easily one of Wavestorm’s most relaxing and cruise-ready boards, this board is a great option for riding the smallest waves out there. It is a board that thrives on exploiting the best from tiny surf. This board has a shallow-entry rocker to help you glide along the waves without catching.

The design moves continuously to a wider chest area and through to a pointed nose to help push and drive through the mushiest of waves.

The unique sharpness in this groveler was made to help increase the sharpness of turns, though the beauty comes from the fact that it doesn’t sacrifice your ability to gain speed. The tail features a much slimmer design to minimize tail lift and stiffness as you move forward all while adding to the board’s incredible maneuverability.

Wavestorm pegged this as a recreational board with a novice outline that makes surfing comfortable and easy for surfers of all skill levels. 

Behold, the easy peasy, simple not steezy, Wave Bandit. Loaded with high volume and full rails for small wave surfing, the Wave Bandit is an excellent choice for the entry-level surfer who is just looking to get out, have some fun, and increase their wave count.

This board is continuously flat throughout and the dual-fin set up makes the ride completely smooth.

The Wave Bandit can be surfed off the boxy 50/50 rails easily. While Channel Islands and Al Merrick are known for making performance-based boards, the Wave Bandit is a great choice for those who are just getting into surfing and want something a little less pricey than other boards to go with.


  • Great for surfing in smaller waves
  • Extremely lightweight and very responsive when it comes to turns
  • Much easier to transport because of weight and length
  • Plane helps to keep speed continuous, even through turns
  • Width makes it easier to paddle and balance on than your typical shortboard


  • Because of higher volume, making sharp turns can be more difficult
  • Hard to catch overhead waves
  • Difficult to do bottom turns
  • Must know how to duck dive when paddling out

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between a Groveler and a Hybrid?

    While grovelers and hybrids are a lot alike in many ways, they have a few key differences that you will begin to notice as you start looking a little harder. Both typically have concave bottom designs and wider bodies which make them great for catching waves and increasing drive on smaller days. The main thing about hybrids is that they typically have wider fish tails, which will make the transition from rail to rail much stiffer. They also draw more heavily from the shortboard design.

    How do I pick the board with the right volume?

    Volume can be displaced in a wide variety of ways throughout a board and finding the right volume can come down to a number of things including height, weight, skill level, and overall preference. Generally, if your board doesn’t have enough volume, you will find it much more difficult to catch waves and create drive, as it will be dragging in the water. If your board has too much volume, it will feel like a stiff box that is difficult to maneuver. A solid, low amount of volume will allow you to have less drag, paddle out with ease, and get on top of waves with an ample amount of drive.

    How can I measure the waves to make sure my groveler is cool to take out?

    So obviously the ocean is constantly changing and a swell can come in within a matter of minutes. This can make it next to impossible to get a perfect gauge of the waves. There are also different systems used throughout the world that measure waves differently. If you want a fairly universal method to get an average, just think of wave measurement from actual trough to actual peak. One foot is ankle to knee high, two feet is knee to thigh high, three feet is waist high, four foot is chest high, five foot is high, and six foot or above is where you’ll probably want to put the groveler away.

    How many fins should I put on my groveler?

    There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s truly all about experimentation to find what suits you best. If we were to generalize, grovelers tend to work better with quad set ups. Because they are short, wide, and fat, you don’t really need much added acceleration like a thruster or twin set would give you. Having a quad set on your groveler will make it easier to turn on, a quality that grovelers don’t lend naturally.

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