Shortboard designs are great to ride when the conditions are clean and they are what most surfers on the pro tour compete on. They are great for riding vertically, hitting the lip and pulling aerial maneuvers. They are the most common type of surfboard nowadays, but that doesn’t mean everyone should be riding them. There are a few characteristics that might make you think about leaving them to the pros.
Because of the large amount of rocker on a shortboard, they lose speed unless you are turning. They need to be ridden rail to rail, spending a lot of time in steeper “sweet spot” of the wave. They are also typically glassed thinner to allow for better performance which means they can ding easily. On a really big day at a good break you might just see a few of them wash up in two pieces. Shortboards are the best boards to ride for talented surfers in epic conditions, but if you are just starting, you might want to hold off for a bit until you get the hang of things a little more.
Check out some more examples of shortboard surfboards in the SurfScience.com surfboard directory.