Word of the Day



a long narrow board that you stand or lie on to ride waves

Origin and usage

The word surfboard combines the word ‘surf’, from the word ‘suffe’, which is of unknown origin but was used in the 1590s in reference to the coast of India, and the word ‘board’, from the Old English word ‘bord’ meaning ‘flat surface’. Surfboard became a common English word in the early 20th century, as the sport of surfing gained popularity.


Surfboard refers to the long, narrow board used in the sport of surfing. Surfing is popular in coastal areas all over the world and involves standing or lying down on a surfboard in order to ride ocean waves.

Wood was once a common material used in making surfboards, but most modern surfboards are made of foam and coated in fibreglass so they are lightweight and float easily on the water.

The size and shape of the surfboard depends on how experienced the rider is and the kinds of waves they want to surf.

Longer boards are easier to paddle and stand up on, so experts usually recommend beginners start with a longer surfboard. The wider a surfboard is the more stable it is; therefore, wide surfboards are best for beginners or surfers riding bigger waves. The thickness of a surfboard relates to how well the board floats, so a thicker board floats better and gives a smoother ride, especially in big waves.


“I like the city. I like the concrete. I like big business. I like being a CEO of my own company and having a lot of responsibilities. At the same time, when I can go off with a backpack or off on a surfboard or even off on a run somewhere in the woods – that’s where I’m really happy.”

(Matthew McConaughey)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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