Surfer on the famous Waikiki Beach . Kalakaua Avenue. O'ahu . Surfboards Just as there are ways to master the perfect wave , there is also the art of creating the necessary instrument to catch that wave . Surfing as a sport , won wide popularity in the early twentieth century and since then , the different ways to create surfboards began to appear. The first surfboards were made of koa wood . Normally measured 3.5 m ( 10ft ) long and could weigh 68 kg ( 150 lbs ) . Before modern techniques with sand, coral was used to smooth wood grain , coal to dye and walnut oil for final finishing . Since the knowledge of physics and technology expanded too, now surfers can enjoy more effective boards , hydrodynamic and light . The resin and fiberglass are used for a better and smoother finish , and the sum of the polyurethane foam buoyancy aid of the tables , so much so that many quickly left their old boards to acquire new and renovated . The novelty of the tables was significant shorter in the surfing world , allowing its practitioners , better manage and go further. In the late '60s and early '70s , the length of the boards went from 3.5 m (10 ft) to 1.8 m (6 feet). A whole new breed of " surfers " began to experience the infinite possibilities for maneuvering and quick tricks . Through the years , expanded surfing , surfers enjoy today new ways to capture the waves depending on the tables used : Longboard - Using a table of 2.7m ( 9 feet) or more . As a rule, the surfer will choose a table that is greater than its height at 0.9 m (3 ft ) . They are less maneuverable than a shortboard , but generally can float better and is easier to balance on them. Shortboard - Using a table of between 1.8 m to 2.4 m ( 6-8 ft) , with a " nose" and a rear angled or " tail" rounded . With this table unless balance is achieved , but it is much more maneuverable than long tables . Tow -in surfing - surfing is practiced with the help of a jet ski or helicopter, " tows " the surfer to release at a particular point and at a given time . Used with extremely large waves , which are not easily accessible due to its height and speed. Bodyboard - surfing is using a small foam board , much smaller and lighter than surfboards . To practice , the table is placed under the torso , or kneeling with one leg , usually used fins. These tables are very maneuverable and Duke versátiles.El