A Groveler surfboard is a board specifically designed to make the most of weaker or smaller waves, typically from knee to shoulder high. This type of small wave surfboard will have very specific characteristics to make sure that it can paddle and catch weak waves, generate speed without any help from the wave itself, but also be loose enough to throw around in the better sections of the wave or if conditions improve. Lots of surfers would choose a longboard or minimal type board for these conditions but these longer boards are harder to turn and so in some surfer’s eyes less fun! It took a while but eventually shapers worked out how to cram a lot of volume into a shorter board and still make it work, they deserve our eternal thanks because these boards are fun! The typical Grovel surfboard is packed with volume to ensure that it’s easy to paddle, will be relatively short in length to help it turn in weak waves, the rocker line is generally flat with a small amount of nose and tail rocker this is to enhance its paddling ability and also to help the board maintain speed through flatter sections of the wave.
The wide point of the board will be fairly far forward, the opposite to a high performance style shortboard again to help with wave catching. These boards generally carry a decent amount of concave on the underside which helps to generate lift which in turns generates speed more easily, essential in weak waves. The choice of fins is also important in a Groveler surfboard, most come with a 5 fin set up so you can choose between a thrusters or quad set up. In small waves a quad is often the best bet, this set up generates more speed and also loosens the board up a little making it easier to turn, this is helpful on a 40 litre 5’ 8” surfboard! A softer fin also helps in keeping a Groveler feeling lively, a stiffer fin will often make this type of board feel like it just wants to go straight. There are many great examples of Grovelers ranging from the Channel Islands Al Merrick Average Joe to the Pyzel Gremlin, all have little tweaks to focus on different areas, some excel in really weak waves whereas some focus on getting the most out of the upper end of a poor wave. Depending where you live and surf a Groveler can mean different things, waist high Trestles may be a grovel wave to local Californian surfers so a South coast surfer in the UK that would be surf nirvana! As long as you tailor your choice of Groveler to your size, your ability and the waves you’re going to be surfing you’ll have a blast no matter what the conditions. read more