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Surfing is a great way to destress, stay fit, find meaning in your life, and have fun. There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you catch a wave! When you’re first learning to surf, you need a great beginner surfboard.
From longboards to shortboards, fish boards to funboards, here’s our guide to choosing the best beginner surfboard. Plus, check out our World Surfers top recommendations for the best surfboards for newbies.
Beginner Surfboard Vs. Pro Surfboard
If you’re new to surfing, you might be wondering what the difference is between surfboards for beginners and pro surfboards. Firstly, most beginner surfboards will be soft foam boards, making them a lot safer and easier to use when you’re first getting started. If you do lose your balance, soft top surfboards are much more forgiving than pro surfboards, which are very hard and can even have sharp edges.
Secondly, beginner surfboards are easier to maintain (you won’t need to worry about waxing your board), and cheaper. Buying a surfboard for beginners is a cost-effective way to get started and find out whether surfing really is your jam. And if you decide it’s not for you, then you won’t have lost out on an expensive investment.
In contrast, experienced surfers prefer boards designed for their fast speed in the water, but these tend to be a more dangerous choice for beginners.
How to Choose the Best Beginner Surfboard
When you’re choosing your first surfboard, all the options out there can seem overwhelming. Here’s what to look for in the best beginner surfboards:
When it comes to surfing, volume refers to the buoyancy of the board. The heavier you are, the more volume you’ll want in a board to keep you afloat. Buoyancy is measured in liters, with a standard board coming in at about 60L.
The general rule is that the larger the board, the easier it will be to use, making larger, longer boards a better choice for beginners. Larger surfboards are usually easier to control, and it’s always better to go for a board that is slightly too big than one that is too small.
A greater width also provides better stability, allowing you to stand up on that board more quickly and stay up there longer!
Whether it’s for you or you’re looking for a surfing board kids can use, you don’t want to spend too much on a first surfboard. Beginner surfboards can vary a lot in price, but while you learn how to surf, you don’t want to invest too much.
If you’re buying a surfboard for your child, there’s always the chance that they might decide that surfing’s not for them after a month or two. Go for a cheaper model first, and you won’t be as annoyed as if you’d splashed out on a high-end, expensive model.
There are some really cool designs out there that will get you reaching for your board and hitting the water every chance you get. Aesthetics aren’t everything, but you wanna look cool while you’re riding waves!
Quick Learning Curve
If you’re learning to surf, go for a board that’s specifically designed to be easy to use, master, and catch those waves. There are some awesome surfboards for beginners that will have you surfing like a pro in hours!
A grippy texture on the top of the board will provide added friction, giving you that extra boost you need to get upright and stay upright on your surfboard!
The Best Beginner Surfboard Reviews
Now you know what to look for, so let’s get onto the best surfboards for beginners on the market right now!
Giantex 6′ Foamie Beginner Surfboard
An excellent choice for kids and teens who are eager to learn to surf, this foam surf board looks cool and is a joy to learn to surf on! Available in 3 fresh, vibrant designs, kids will love to hit the water with this awesome surfboard, which is both fun and manageable. With a foam top and durable, rigid bottom, this board maximizes both safety and speed on the water.
If you’re looking for a beginner surfboard for children, I doubt you’ll find a better contender. And even better, it’s a complete bargain – a very affordable funboard which provides excellent value for money!
- Cool, bright design
- Free leash included
- Durable and strong
- Removable fins for easy transport
- For heavier adults, this board may not have the desired buoyancy
- The heavier you are, the harder the Giantex Foamie is to manage
- Board scratches easily
California Board Company CBC Surfboard, 5-Feet x 8-Inch
This shortboard by California Board Company is ideal for kids and teens who love surfing! It’s lightweight and the perfect size for children at 5’8 and weighing under 7 pounds. Kids can hit the beach, carry this out to the water themselves, and feel calm and confident surfing on this shortboard.
This CBC board has the iconic fish shape, making it easy to maneuver and zip through the water. However, it’s probably not the best option for complete beginner surfers, as the shorter length means that it’s not as easy to stand on.
- Fantastic board for kid surfers
- Traction pad for better grip on the board
- Excellent price for a fish surfboard
- Not for complete beginners
- Only suitable for up to 190 pounds
- Harder than other soft foam boards
South Bay Board Co. 6′ Guppy Surfboard
Another great surfboard for kids and adult beginners up to 150 pounds, the Guppy is a great starter board. The specially designed shape of the Guppy hits the balance perfectly between stability, speed, and performance. This shortboard has a rounded nose and a tail that is squared off, making it an excellent board for beginners. You’ll be impressed by the amazing buoyancy of the Guppy. Even a complete beginner will be sure to feel safe and relaxed getting out on the waves on this cool board.
Developed on the Pacific coast on LA’s South Bay, this board is tried and tested by confident surfers and designed for both beginners and regular surfers. Lightweight and with a handy carry handle, your kid will be running down to the water before you know it.
Classic funboards inspired the shape of the Guppy. The deck has increased durability and softness due to heat lamination process, so this board is sure to last for several seasons. Even if you do take a tumble, the soft top will cushion you enough to prevent any injuries.
- Round nose and squared tail create better stability and performance in the water
- The deck is sturdy and soft
- Amazing beginner shortboard
- Durable, heat-laminated deck can stand up to plenty of use and exposure to the elements
- Convenient carry handle
- Upper weight limit is 150 pounds
- Occasional flaws in the paint finish on this board
Wavestorm 8′ Brushed Graphic Surfboard
Wavestorm is a well-known name among surfers, and their 8′ board makes a brilliant purchase for beginner surfers. Suitable for both children and adults up to 200 lbs, you’ll feel safe and confident catching waves on this beauty. The graphic art is both eye-catching and modern, for a fresh look on the beach.
The Wavestorm brand name is enough to convince you of the durability, safety, and top-quality materials used in the construction of this board. Wavestorm has been making high-end surfboards for everyone from beginners to pros for over 20 years. Their boards are built to last: the EPS core, hard-wearing Water Barrier Skin, and HDPE bottom will stand up to anything!
Coming in at 86 liters of volume, you’ll have no worries about the buoyancy of this longboard. The textured traction pad creates loads of friction to aid you in standing up and staying upright on the board. It’s no wonder that this is a popular choice whether you’re learning to surf or starting to progress your surfing skills. In our opinion, this is one of the best beginner surfboards you can buy right now.
- Affordable price
- Trustworthy brand name
- Features include traction pad, ankle leash, and removable fins
- Durable, well-made board
- Heavier than other models at 11.5 pounds
- Not designed for surfers who weigh more than 200 pounds
South Bay Board Co. 8’8 Heritage Foam Beginner Surfboard
The Heritage by South Bay Board Co. is an excellent choice for adults just getting the hang of riding the waves. It comes highly praised and meets all the requirements of a beginner surfboard: It’s easy to ride and catch those waves and has lots of buoyancy (86L in fact!). It also has that forgiving soft top which is essential when you’re just learning to surf.
If you’re a larger adult, you should go for a bigger board to help you get started with surfing. Too short, and the board will be harder to control. The Heritage certainly fits the bill at 8’8 and is suitable for riders from 100-230 kg.
The Heritage has been cleverly designed to be accessible and easy to use, even for the complete beginner. Created in the style of classic longboards, the double concave bottom deck, and the unique shape of the Heritage makes super-fast paddling possible. Another benefit of this intelligent design is the Heritage’s incredible stability- you’ll find it easier than ever before to get up and stay standing on this board.
When it comes to durability, it’s hard to beat South Bay Board Co.’s boards! With 6 oz resin layers, hard-wearing foam, and PVC-lined fin holes, this beauty will hold up to anything you can through at it.
- Durable and hard-wearing
- Comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Leash and fins included
- Designed by surfers, for surfers
- Low maintenance board – no waxing necessary
- Some surfers find that this board isn’t wide enough for their liking
BIC Sport G-Board EVO Soft Surfboard
BIC is one of the most well-known surfboard brands out there, and with good reason. The BIC Spot G-Board EVO is a fantastic beginner surfboard that falls in the mid-range of prices. It’s a soft-top board but it has remarkable strength due to the reinforced stringers, allowing for superior performance in the water. Durable and eye-catching, you won’t go wrong with the BIC Sport EVO – it’s the ultimate when it comes to foamies!
You’ll quickly master the small learning curve of the BIC Sport EVO, with plenty of opportunity for further progression as you continue to learn. This board should last you several seasons, allowing you to go from newbie to confident wave rider in no time.
- Excellent performance
- Affordable cost
- Impressive durability
- You get the safety benefits of a soft-top board with the strength of a harder board
- You can’t paddle on your knees on this board – not enough buoyancy
South Bay Board Co. 7′ Ruccus Soft Top Surfboard
The 7 ft Ruccus is another of the South Bay Board Co.’s range of high-quality surfboards, specially designed for novice surfers. As this is a short board with less buoyancy than the Heritage and the Verve (49L), it’s better suited to surfers with a smaller build. Children, teens, and adults can all use the Ruccus, and it’s not just for beginners, either. Experienced surfers can take this board to the next level for a lot of fun, exhilarating surfing!
All the boards by South Bay Board Co. stand out for the high-quality materials and the careful manufacturing process they undergo, making these boards durable and well worth the investment. The deck of the Ruccus is grippy with no need ever to wax it, and it catches waves like nothing else!
- High-quality build
- Reliable brand name
- Faultless customer service and 30-day satisfaction guarantee (or your money back!)
- More comfortable to maneuver for teens and surfers of a smaller build
- If you’re tall or heavier, this may not be the right board for you
Surftech Learn2Surf 9′
The Learn2Surf 9′ board by Surftech is truly versatile: Perfect for beginners, but with enough to offer at an intermediate level to keep things interesting for years to come! Surftech has been making boards since 1989, and they’ve put all that experience and expertise to good use when it comes to the Learn2Surf 9′ board. It travels smoothly, catches waves effortlessly, and is great fun to ride.
With 86 L volume, this model is super buoyant and robust. Measuring 8 ft by 22.5 inches wide, with a 3.25-inch thickness, this board is a top choice for most adults up to 180lb. Impressive durability comes from the EPS core, high-density slick bottom, and sturdy maple-ply wood stringers.
- Removable fins and leash included
- Durable, strong core for a stiff feel and top performance
- Heavier than other foam boards
Best Choice Products Foamie Surfboard
If you’re on the lookout for the perfect kids’ beginner surfboard, this might be the one! Affordable, cute, and the ideal size for little kids, the Foamie surfboard by Best Choice Products ticks all the boxes.
It comes in two bright colorways, red and white, with a funky design. Measuring 72″ by 20.5″, it’s small enough to be able to maneuver easily, and not too wide for kids to paddle. The integrated traction pad invites little surfers to get up on their feet on the board and provides extra grip. And if they do take a tumble, the foam on this soft top surfboard is soft enough to prevent any bruises or injuries.
We’re sure that this will be a winner with all kids who love surfing! On this foamie, children will feel confident enough to take the next step in their surfing progression, build their skills, and get even more out of their latest hobby!
- One of the best beginner surfboards for kids
- Very stable and buoyant
- Soft top for increased safety
- Traction pad for easy use
- Leash included
- Lower quality than other boards on this list
- Paint may bubble in strong sunlight
- Not suitable for adults
Best Beginner Surfboard: Commonly Asked Questions
What size surfboard should I get?
The size of surfboard you should go for depends on your height and weight as well as how well you can surf. Generally, the rule is that larger boards are easier to control and maneuver. But you also want a board that is the right size for you to be able to paddle comfortably.
When you’re learning how to surf, a thicker board with more volume is a good bet. Aim to get a board that is wider and taller than you are. Also, make sure you check the minimum and maximum weight limits to make sure the board you get is right for you.
Is surfing an expensive hobby?
Surfing doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby at all. You need to invest a little money at first for the right gear like your board and wetsuit, of course. But there are some excellent affordable options to get you started. Once you’re kitted out, you can surf very cheaply, especially if you live near some great surf beaches.
How much does a beginner surfboard cost?
Beginner surfboards can set you back anywhere from $150-$1000, depending on your needs and budget. As you can tell, there’s a wide range of boards available. The price tends to differ according to the materials used in the construction
Are foam surfboards good for beginners?
Foam surfboards tend to make great beginner surfboards, as they are easy to use, lightweight enough to travel with, and affordable. When you learn to surf, you’re likely to lose your balance a few times and a foam board is soft enough to prevent any serious injuries. They also require less maintenance and care in between surfing trips.
Is a fish surfboard a suitable surfboard for a beginner?
A fish surfboard can be a great alternative to a foamie board, even if you’re just getting started. Although fish surfboards do have a steeper learning curve than the traditional foam beginner board, you can use it at any level of ability. They are easy to paddle, and don’t scream out newbie down at the bay!
Fish surfboards can be used in all conditions and perform well with smaller waves. This makes them an ideal choice if you want to slowly build up to bigger waves. They also have great buoyancy and are lightweight, making them suitable for both adults and children.
How long will it take me to stand up on my board?
It’s hard to say precisely how long it will take you to master standing in your surfboard, as it really varies for different people. A lot of it depends on your sense of balance, and how generally fit and healthy you are. If you’re in great shape and have a strong core, it shouldn’t take you long to stand up and ride the waves. Practice, practice, practice! If you can afford it, we’d recommend you book a few surfing lessons to get advice from a pro when you’re first starting out.
The Wrap Up
If you’re looking to catch waves, have fun, and get fit by surfing, you won’t go wrong with any of these amazing beginner surfboards. We hope you’ve enjoyed our ultimate guide to the best beginner surfboards. As always, feel free to contact us with any of your thoughts and questions. Make sure you share with your surfer friends over on Facebook, too!