July 20, 2024
degree 33 surfboards

San Diego Spotlight: Degree 33 Surfboards Review

There is no shortage of surf brands in San Diego, but Degree 33 Surfboards is quickly making a name for itself. With the tagline, ‘A Board for Every Surfer’ – Degree 33 is catering their board lineup to surfers of all skill levels. Unlike most surf brands that design only high performing boards for experts; Degree 33 hasn’t forgotten about the average Joe everyday surfer. You can ride Degree 33 from the beginner board in your quiver all the way to custom boards fine-tuned for performance and everything in between.

In this Featured Partner Spotlight, hear their story as we review the Degree 33 surfboards lineup and learn about their surfboard demo program unique to San Diego.

Degree 33 Surfboards Story

Like many surfing companies, Degree 33 started from humble beginnings and passion. In 2006, Degree 33 was simply a couple of surfers trying to make a few extra bucks selling boards on Craig’s List marketplace. When space got tight selling boards out of a one-bedroom apartment, this hobby turned into a business.

Today Degree 33 is a full-fledged surf brand with a complete lineup of diverse boards and a shaper for building custom boards. No longer selling boards from an apartment, they have a showroom in Carlsbad that supports their direct-to-consumer business online.

san diego surfboard demos
The Degree 33 surf showroom at their location in Carlsbad.

Interview with Degree 33 Surfboards Owner Trevor Berge

We sat down with Degree 33 Surfboards CEO Trevor Berge for a peek behind the scenes:

How did you get involved with Degree 33 Surfboards?

“As a lifelong surfer and business owner, I was attracted to the excellent designs and personal service that Degree 33 takes with their customers.  We try to treat customers like family which is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.”

What makes Degree 33 Unique?

“We offer a full range of boards and surf gear for everyone from beginner all the way up to expert surfers.  We have a legendary San Diego veteran shaper Bill Minard who has been hand shaping for 54 years and designs our boards.  We offer a Ride It Guarantee which allows you to trade in a board within 33 days if it is not working well for you.    We offer payment plans on surfboard purchases.”

What is your favorite board from the Degree 33 quiver?

“Oh this is a tough question as we have so many epic boards.  I have three favorites currently:  The Ultimate Performance Longboard at 9’,   The Speed Egg Midlength at 6’6” and the Bullet Groveler at 5’8

Favorite wave in San Diego?


Unique: San Diego Surfboard Demos

If you have ever tried to demo a surfboard before buying in San Diego, it’s not easy. Oftentimes, the best option you will get are rentals from surf shops that are old, beat up and usually from past seasons. Camp Shred is the only viable option to demo new surfboards in San Diego, but it only lasts for two days, once a year in Cardiff, CA.  

Unfortunately, neither of these are the best indicators before dropping a few hundred dollars on a shiny new board. There is nothing worse than buying a new board only to realize that after riding it a few times, it’s not for you. Hence, San Diego’s best surfboard demo program was created by Degree 33.

It’s simple. It’s a membership program called Degree 33 Surf Club. For a monthly fee of $200, you get access to a 30+ board quiver with unlimited use. It’s a great way to demo a few boards before you find the perfect match for you.

san diego surfboard demos

What is even better is they will allow $100 from your monthly fee to go toward the price of a brand-new board when you choose to purchase one. While the $200 monthly fee may seem expensive, you can cancel it after only one month. Alternatively, you can continue month to month if you just like trying the newest boards when they drop.

Insider’s Tip: Check out First Light Surf Club on the 3rd Thursday of every month (6:30am) at Turnarounds surf break in Carlsbad. It’s a free surf meetup + community. They often partner up with Degree 33 Surfboards to do demo mornings. Check out First Light Surf Club’s Calendar of Events to see when Degree 33 is running a sponsored surfboard demo morning in San Diego.

san diego surf demos
Riding the Poacher during a San Diego surfboard demo morning with First Light Surf Club.

Degree 33 Ride It Guarantee

As if the demo program wasn’t enough, Degree 33 also offers the best program in the business if you don’t truly love your board. Honestly, it’s simply unheard of. Simply put, any board that you purchase from Degree 33 has a 33-day window where you can return your board for credit if you don’t love it. Provided there is no damage, you can trade your recent purchase in for a better fit from their lineup.

degree 33 surfboards

What is a Hybrid Surfboard?

A hybrid surfboard typically is defined as a type of surfboard that shares characteristics from other board types. For example, a board that shares elements of a high performance shortboard along with a longboard to create a fun shaped board capable of surfing in varied conditions.

In this section however, we will mainly be discussing hybrid surfboards as it relates to combining multiple types of material and construction elements. For example, elements from both a soft foam board and elements from a solid epoxy board.

As it pertains to Degree 33, they have created a Hybrid Epoxy Softtop surfboard. This board uses a unique soft top grip and epoxy bottom construction.

The Degree 33 hybrid surfboard epoxy + softtop finish

Benefits of the Hybrid Epoxy Softtop Surfboard

Durable – The combination of epoxy and soft grip foam is extremely durable. To begin, epoxy construction is about 35% stronger than a traditional fiberglass board. When combined with a soft top that is not susceptible to dings or pressure, you have a surfboard that will not break often and is built to last.

Forgiving – The foam top is soft which helps to absorb impact on falls. Additionally, lying on it and getting to your feet is more forgiving than a hard top.

No Wax – One of the most unnoticed benefits of a hybrid epoxy surfboard is that you never have to fuss with wax. Never worry about forgetting your surf wax or wax melting on your board in your car again! Plus, you’ll save a few bucks.

degree 33 surfboards
The grippy soft top deck of the Poacher, no wax required!

Budget Friendly – Not requiring as much craftsmanship as fiberglass, these hybrid surfboards will usually allow you to save a few hundred dollars.

Surf Friendly – The hard epoxy bottom and fully shaped rails allow this board to surf and perform as a high-performance surfboard will.

Review: Choosing the Degree 33 Surfboard right for you

The Degree 33 hybrid epoxy soft top lineup is impressive. You can find a board for any condition, style, and experience level of surfer. We’ve compiled some Degree 33 reviews after demoing a few of their boards here in San Diego to help with your buying decision.

degree 33 surfboard review
The Degree 33 hybrid surfboard lineup includes the Ultimate, Poacher, and Codfather.

Hybrid Longboard Surfboard Degree 33 Review

Best For: Beginners or small wave days

As the saying goes, the best surfer in the water is the one who is having the most fun. Usually that guy is the one with the biggest board. Whether a beginner or not, the extra volume and length of a longboard will allow you to paddle into waves with ease.

Degree 33 has designed their hybrid epoxy Ultimate Longboard Surfboard with a little extra rocker than a traditional, flatter longboard. As such, the maneuverability dropping into and turning on larger waves is impressive.

Keep this board in your quiver not just for small days but also when you just want to catch more waves than your fellow surfer!

Beginner's Choice
9' Ultimate Longboard Surfboard Aqua Dip (Hybrid Epoxy Softtop) - Degree 33 Surfboards

The all experience levels, all conditions surf killer. A longboard is a must for your quiver.

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Hybrid Funboard Surfboard Degree 33 Review

Best For: All the time and all experience levels

If you could have one board to surf in all conditions, the funboard is your quiver killer. Whether it’s knee high or head high, funboards are designed to surf both, and every wave size in between.

At Degree 33, they designed an exceptional hybrid epoxy funboard surfboard named the Poacher. The first time I paddled out on the Poacher, I knew I found something special. The Poacher is nimble enough to take off and turn into steep waves and buoyant enough to glide on crumbly waves. Similarly, the friendly design of this board caters to all experience levels.

This truly is the hybrid surfboard for every surfer!

Intermediate's Choice
7'2" Poacher Funboard Surfboard Gray Chevron (Hybrid Epoxy Softtop) - Degree 33 Surfboards

Easy transition from a longboard. Still has enough volume to 'poach' both small and large waves.

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  • Effortless to stand up and catch a wave.
  • Handles a variety of waves sizes from small to large.
  • Easy to paddle.


  • Difficult to duck dive which can make more challenging in larger surf

Hybrid Fish Surfboard Degree 33 Review

Best For: The more experienced surfer seeking a more playful ride.

The board with a little less that gives a little more. A fish is your go to step down surfboard that is playful and fast in smaller surf yet holds its own in larger surf as well.

Degree 33’s hybrid epoxy fish surfboard is called the Codfather. It is designed and surfs like a fish, allowing you to generate more speed going down the line. Effortlessly glide into wide sweeping turns with stability. I recommend riding the Codfather from knee to head high surf. The one downside is it lacks a bit of rocker for comfortably dropping into steep waves.

Expert's Choice
6′ Codfather Fish Surfboard Blue Dip (Hybrid Epoxy Softtop) – Degree 33 Surfboards

With more speed and more paddle power, this fun sized fish surfboard is perfect in both shoulder high peelers and windblown mush burgers.

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Surfboard Progression

When you think about surfing, ideally you want to match the board to your skill level. If you are a beginner surfer, ride a longboard. As you slowly master that, step down to a fun board. The next would be a traditional shortboard or fish. At each step of your surfboard progression journey, it’s best to have a board that allows you to catch the most waves.

hybrid surfboards san diego demos
The Degree 33 Hybrid Expoxy Soft top family!

Fortunately, with Degree 33, their entire lineup is designed with surf progression in mind. As you graduate in skill level, you can trade down to a smaller board in the Degree 33 lineup or simply keep them all! That way, you have a board in your quiver for every condition and surf spot.

Final Review: Are Degree 33 Surfboards Good?

We certainly think so! Degree 33 stands out in their quality of construction and diverse lineup that really includes a board for every surfer. Our personal favorites are Degree 33 hybrid epoxy softtop surfboards. These hybrid surfboards are long lasting and won’t break the bank.

The owner Trevor is welcoming of all surfers stopping by to check out the showroom or test out their demo program. For more information, visit Degree 33 at their Carlsbad location near Bressi Ranch at 3145 Tiger Run Court, Suite 114 Carlsbad, CA 92010 or visit them online at www.degree33surfboards.com


  • Gavin Bechtold

    Gavin has been living and surfing in San Diego for over a decade. He loves the ocean and is lucky to call San Diego home. Frustrated with mainstream reviews, he set out to create the best source of surf reviews for San Diego beaches. Check the About page for more info!

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