New Year, New Surf Goals

Written by Ashley Leines


Posted on January 20 2023

We all know flipping the calendar brings excitement and a renewed sense of commitment to the things that matter most to us. Naturally, that means that the New Year brings new surfing goals into focus.

Here in Socal, we’ve seen an incredible run of swell to start the year, which always helps increase the froth levels and get us in the water, even when it’s icy! But no matter the conditions, it’s safe to say there will always be plenty of opportunities for you to get in the ocean and push yourself as the year goes on. Whether you’re looking to progress your longboard skills, master noseriding, step down to a smaller board, or just transition from your first foam board, our boardroom is stocked with something for every surf goal.

Stewart Mid-Length Surfboards - (949), 2FUN, XLT

If your New Year’s surfing goal is to step down to a smaller board, we’ve got you covered! The key to going smaller is making sure your board of choice still has enough foam for you, and more importantly has the design features that are going to make it still paddle well, even though it's smaller.

Want to catch waves easily while still enjoying a super-responsive shortboard feel? The popular (949) is a high speed performance mid-length with low nose entry rocker for paddle power and a monstrous deep vee concave bottom which makes the board ride much smaller rail to rail. Helpful when doing those beautiful long drawn out cutbacks. Performing great in waves like Uppers or Cottons and even at steeper waves like Newport or Huntington when the swell picks up. And for those super steep drops and easier duck-dives, the 949-Comp with it’s pulled-in nose and increased nose rocker is just the ticket.

Looking to maximize your fun in the water? The 2Fun is the evolution of the original Hydro Hull egg, one of Bill’s most well known shapes, the Funboard. Lower entry rocker makes paddling a breeze and the beveled rails offer forgiveness on the drop-in and in your turns. While it’s a super fun mid-length for any level of surfer, if you’re someone looking to progress past the foamboard, the 2Fun is a great option for that trajectory as this model is available from 7’0 - 8’0 and is super user-friendly.

Want to surf bigger waves? The XLT is a mid-length, but also dips into the category of a step-up. For those bigger days when the waves approach overhead at the point breaks or reef breaks, having the extra paddle power and foam under your chest will give you the confidence to drop in and go. Featuring foiled rails that transition to a hard edge in the tail, this board releases water for insane speed down the line. A fuller rounded pin tail gives the XLT a tight turning radius, allowing you to carve it off the top.

Stewart Redline11 Longboards

Looking to improve your longboarding skills in 2023? Improvement will mean different things to different surfers, but for us it's all about versatility. We love a board that's easy to ride and well suited for a wide variety of maneuvers from roundhouse cutbacks to noseriding, so there's always something new to learn.

Quite possibly the best performance longboard in the world, and without a doubt the best board Bill has ever designed and shaped, the Redline11 is everything you need. It turns like an 8’6,” paddles like a 9’6,” noserides like a 10’0”. The key to improving your longboarding skills is maximizing your wave count. More waves caught = more waves ridden, which means more time honing your skills. Whether you’re still getting your surfing bearing dialed, or a seasoned vet, you’ll see an instant improvement in paddle power, catch more waves, and enjoy surfing this board in all types of conditions. Just ask Ted Robinson, who surfed on the tour in his heyday and is clearly still ripping. 

Ted Robinson barreled on a Stewart Redline11 longboard

Do your 2023 New Year’s surf goals include learning to noseride? Check out Bill’s Surf Tips “Hang Ten” video for a full cheat sheet on how to noseride.

The Tipster and Ripster longboards are our magic carpets to endless noserides. Both have a classic single fin log look, with the Tipster sporting a massive tail with tons of tail rocker to balance you out while you hang ten toes over the nose. It is hands-down the best longboard for noseriding! The Ripster has a wide tail as well, but the key difference is the rails – while the Tipster sports classic 50/50 rails, the Ripster’s down rails transition to hard edges near the tail, releasing water making this model much faster and easier to turn than the Tipster.

Stewart Ripster longboard with resin swirl art

Maybe all of the above surfing goals sound great, but a bit lofty for where you’re at in your surfing journey. Just looking to move beyond your beginner foam board and onto your first fiberglass board? The most important things to look for in your first "real" surfboard is good paddle power and easy to turn while still being stable.

Stewart Funline11 mini-longboard funboard

The Funline11 is the perfect beginner/intermediate mid-length surfboard. Offered in sizes from 7’0 - 8’6, this board has the perfect mix of a wide nose with thickness in front of center for big paddle power and the forgiveness of Bill Stewart’s famed beveled rails. It’s a mini Redline11, which makes it the ultimate user-friendly, easy board to carry/transport and learn to improve your surf skills on.

As 2023 rolls out and that calendar becomes stacked, remember to keep those priorities straight and schedule some important time for yourself in the water! Whatever you’re looking to improve on this year, we can’t wait to be a part of your surfing journey. We’ll see you out there.