What is a Stringer on a Surfboard? – A Detailed Guide

Have you ever noticed the little line went down vertically on your surfboard? It goes down to the central line and to be precise this thin line plays an important role in surfboard construction.

Now, another question is have you ever heard of surfboard stringer? Or, if you’ve already heard the name, probably wondering, “What is a stringer on a surfboard?”

Stringer is a thin wooden line that sits at the center of your board. The purpose of a stringer is to add flex, strength, and stiffness to your board.

However, today in this article we’ll know a lot about surfboard stringers and why they are necessary. So, let’s not waste any more time and buckle up! 

What is a Surfboard Stringer? 

A surfboard stringer is a thin wooden strip that runs down at the center point of the board from nose to tail.

This wooden strip separates the polyurethane foam blank into two and supports it with strength in the polyurethane core structure. It adds rigidity to the construction yet makes it easier and more stable to ride. 

The main purpose of adding stringer in surfboard construction is to add stiffness, flex, and stability to the board. It prevents the board from becoming unshaped and bent from pressure.

When a surfboard is made of polyurethane foam core, then it needs the stringer to gather some strength and prevent the board from breaking from much pressure. 

Functions of Surfboard Stringer

Surfboard stringer makes the surfboard extra solid, durable, and sturdy and adds strength to the structure.

The main function of a surfboard stringer is to retain flexibility and add enough strength so it doesn’t bend with pressure during surfing occasions.

Stringer was introduced in 1958 by Gordon Duane and he wanted to add strength to the structure of the surfboard. 

When you surf on your board, you put pressure on the surfboard and it can bend the stringer.

At that time, the stringer will flex and the strength in the stringer will prevent the bending or breaking of the surfboard. Plus, it makes it easier to move or handle the board. 

Materials of Surfboard Stringer

Materials of Surfboard

A stringer is a thin line yet does a huge task to prevent any damage to the surfboard from bending. So, it’s normal that a stringer needs tough materials to make.

Most of the time, wood is used to make the stringer and different kinds of woods are used here. 

Balsa, Basswood, Plywood, Cedar, Redwood, and birch are most of the popular wood choices to make stringer. Among these, Balsa is the most used and popular.

It’s famous for being lightweight, durable, and providing extraordinary service. Depending on the manufacturers and their production quality, the materials and preferences vary.

For shortboards, a thin stringer is ideal as most flex is needed there. The thickness of the stringer depends on the size of the surfboard.

However, longboards need thicker stringer to add more stiffness to support the surfing pressure. Ultimately, the thumb rule is the bigger your surfboard will be, the stringer will be thicker. 

Other than wood, stringer can be made with high-density foam, carbon fiber, or PVC. These materials also provide powerful strength to the stringer structure just like wood. 

How Surfboard Stringers Are Made?

As mentioned before, a stringer is made of wood and the measurement of the stringer depends on the size of the surfboard. Stringer is made of a thin piece of wood that’s scraped and shaped properly with the ideal length and width. 

Shortboards need less flex that’s why it needs a thin stringer. For example- boards of 6 feet or under will need a trigger of 3/16 inches.

Whereas longer boards already have enough flex for the length but need additional strength. That’s why they need thicker stringers. Such as, an over 6 feet surfboard needs a trigger of 3/8 inches. 

Now, let’s start positioning the stringer. In the surfboard, a construction blank is used. A Blank is a foam made of polyurethane or polystyrene.

This blank is used to shape the surfboard as a mold In the first mold, the foam will be shaped and cut into the shape of the board and attached to the board. 

When the mold will dry, according to the length and width of a board there’ll be a split at the center from nose to tail. Then, the stringer will be glued at the split section and attached.

Therefore, making a trigger isn’t difficult. If you’re doing DIY surfboard, then download any stringer templates or make your design of stringer. 

Types of Surfboard Stringer 

Types of Surfboard

Regarding time and size, surfboard stringers can be versatile. There are two types of stringers available. Single and multiple stringers.

Maximum short surfboards or body boards have single stringers at the center point. Whereas, multiple stringers like one-three are also seen and those are positioned equally spaced from one another.

To give extra support to the length of a longboard, multiple stringers are necessary. Stringer affects how the surfboard performs. 

So shortboards and longboards, which one should you go for when it’s time to stringer? Ger some suggestion. 

Best shortboard South Bay Board Co
Best longboard Wavestorm 8′ Surfboard

Double or triple stringers increase the support, reducing the damage or risk of breakage of the surfboard. But as a matter of fact, multiple stringers have both pros and cons.

For example- multiple stringers for sure increase the strength and stability of the surfboard. On the contrary, it also increases the weight of the surfboard with extra stringers. 

Still, some other surfboard stringer variables are also available. Such as- Wedge stringers, this type starts from the nose and then get apart towards the tail area.

It looks like a V shape. Then there are Flared stringers which start from the nail or tail and curve down to the rail area. 

Parabolic stringers are quite wonderful and give better service for their outstanding design. Two stringers bent down and follow the rails of the surfboard on this board.

Therefore, these are the variations of surfboard stringers. You can choose anything you prefer based on your skill and taste. 

Why Does Surfboarding Need A Stringer? 

In simple words, the stringer is one of the most crucial parts of the surfboard. Stringer adds extra strength with stability and flexibility aboard.

It prevents the board from breaking or snapping from additional pressure. The pressure can be your weight or the extreme waves. 

However, there’s an exception which is Epoxy EPS boards. This type of board doesn’t need a stringer as the epoxy resin is strong enough to prevent the surfboard from any breakage.

Plus, the structure of Epoxy resin is stiff and tough than other types of boards which is why only professionals prefer this type. 


Q: Do surfboards need stringers?

Ans: Stringers made of wood add additional strength and flex to the stability of the surfboard. It protects the surfboard from any nasty breakages from any pressure.

It’s used in the center position of the surfboard, so it can maintain balance and pressure well.

Q: How do stringers affect surfboards?

Ans: Stringers are usually made of a thin wooden strip that is placed at the center position of the board. As the stringer is placed at the center position, it adds stiffness and strength while maintaining the proper balance.

The main task of the surfboard stringer is to add strength and handle the flex of the surfboard. 

Q: Do foam boards have stringers?

Ans: Yeah, foam boards have stringers. The foam is split equally and the stringers are placed in between the spilled. Stringers add enough flex and it makes it easy to handle the board. 

Q: Do All Surfboards Have Stringer? 

Ans: No, not all surfboards have stringers. The exception is Epoxy EPS boards. The epoxy resin is quite tough enough to support the surfboard without stringers. 

Sum Up

In the end. All we can say is that a stringer is one of the essential elements for surfboard construction. Stringer can be made with different kinds of wood and materials.

The main job of the stringer is to keep the surfboard safe, and protected from wave pressure or body weight. Overall, it gives the board enough flex with strength except for Epoxy Stringers.

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