Surfboard shopping is a notoriously difficult thing to do.
With several key factors to research, including height, weight and design, narrowing down your top beginner-friendly surfboard picks can be an extremely overwhelming and daunting task.
You also need to decide what surface you’d like, along with what type of board would be better for your skills (or lack thereof)… So, yes. We completely understand why you might feel like this
There are hundreds of different-sized surfboards available on the market.
And, as a beginner, you probably don’t know a lot about proper surfboard buying etiquette — but there’s nothing to fear!
Though finding a single surfboard that bridges the gap between practicality and design can be a confusing process, it isn’t impossible!
With our handy guide, there’s no need to panic! We’ve done all the hard work so that you don’t have to.
After reviewing many products, we have narrowed down our top picks for the best beginner surfboard. We have also included a handy buyer’s guide, so you know what to look out for.
OUR TOP PICK
Easily one of the most recognizable soft surf brands in the United States, Wavestorm continue to astound with their practical and aesthetically pleasing boards.
Measuring in at 8' x 22 1/2” x 3 ¼”, this board is no different. It’s easy to see why it’s our top pick!
Wavestorm have designed their classic surfboards in such a way to inspire your day and promote a healthier lifestyle.
This is a board that you can make progress on as a beginner. You can actively practice balancing, paddling and popping up.
This board features a strong EPS core with 3 marine-ply stringers, so it’s lightweight enough to provide you with a simpler surf experience while also giving you all the support you need.
A resilient Sunburst Graphic design on its skin comes with additional textured grip for your comfort.
What’s more, Wavestorm are renowned for their HDPE slick bottoms, which has been incorporated into this product.
Not only does this help you to maintain the stiffness of the board, but it will keep the shape for as long as possible, so you can get all the use and wear you need out of it.
It also features a removable ankle leash, so you can stay cool and connected in the water without having to worry about your board floating away from you.
As a beginner, we recommend attaching a durable ankle leash so that you can get comfortable in the water without worrying about your board disappearing.
As a rough estimate, this board can comfortably support up to 210 pounds. Just remember to not lay too far forward, or you'll nose dive into the water!
- Removable Ankle Leash - the perfect solution for situations when you need to take the leash off to clean your board, or simply don’t want to surf with an ankle leash.
- HDPE Slick Bottom - maintains the sturdiness and stiffness of the board, so it won’t bend out of shape.
- Supportive - this board safely supports up to 210 lbs.
- Peeling - you must be careful with how you "hang" or lean the board it as the foam can dent, chip and peel.
Longboards are notoriously better for beginners as they allow for maximum grip and control.
This Froth board measures in at an impressive 9’ x 23” x 3.5” and will provide a generally smoother surfing experience.
Boardworks’ Froth board is also a better choice for individuals who are a bit heavier.
In line with this, this particular longboard is sturdy and rigid enough to comfortably support 200+ pounds with little to no issues.
Available in Mint, Papaya and Sky, there’s also a color for everyone.
In terms of the manufacturing process, this Froth surfboard features a soft foam top, which not only reduces the risk and impact of injuries, but also provides you with a comfortable surface to rest upon while surfing.
Additionally, a new or well looked after soft top surfboard doesn’t have to be waxed, meaning this board will be much easier to maintain than a wax board!
However, that’s not to say you can’t add a layer of wax if you feel that it’s necessary. It all depends on your personal preference!
For this product, a soft EVA outer skin wraps around a fully glassed and supportive EPS foam core.
Though EPS has brittle properties, it is typically quite stiff - which helps to improve the overall rigidity of this product.
Regardless of your skill level, this Froth longboard is the perfect solution for a beginner in the surfing game.
- Soft Top - reduces the chances of injury while in the water.
- EPS Foam Core - helps to maintain the shape of the board.
- Strong - this product supports a decent amount of weight, making it supportive for a higher number of individuals.
- Fins - this longboard comes with a single fin, which can be daunting for beginners. If you need additional support for a slower surfing experience, you must purchase an additional fin (or two).
If you’re looking for a more subtle design, the South Bay Board Co Guppy surfboard is the way forward!
With available sizes ranging from 5’ - 8’, there is a perfect Guppy surfboard for you.
In general, this board offers the best value basic beginner surfboard for kids and adults.
The 8’ version of this board measures at an impressive 8’ x 22” x 3”, with 80 liters of volume, and provides adequate surfing support for individuals up to 170 lbs.
This Guppy board weighs approximately 15 lbs with included soft-top surfboard fins and a leash, so it is relatively portable, despite being a little on the heavier side.
It features a unique off-set paint stripe design on a soft foam top deck, ensuring the perfect blend between appearance and practicality.
Overall, the design of the Guppy surfboard - regardless of its size - cannot be beaten!
A fiberglass rod and two wooden stringers help to maintain the distinctive curved shape of the surfboard, while a HDPE plastic bottom deck provides extra durability.
Its rounded nose also helps you to have a more powerful paddling experience, and the nose rocker prevents nose-diving.
It also has a widened chest area for easier pop-ups, a classic squash tail for cleaner turns and a flat bottom to generate speed in small waves. When combined, these elements will help you to surf in style!
Additionally, this surfboard comes with a detachable ankle strap and removable fins, so you can totally customize your surfing experience!
- Customizable - you can choose the color, whether you want to add an ankle strap (which we recommend as a beginner) and you can decide how many fins to have on your board.
- Wide Range - there is a board to suit anyone of any height and weight. It’s a universal product.
- Rounded Shape - helps to prevent nose diving for a more enjoyable surfing experience.
- Slippery Surface - the Guppy board requires waxing and can be slippery without it.
This Giantex surfboard is another one of our top picks.
Made of a durable top foam and featuring a slick HDPE high speed bottom, this board is designed to decrease resistance and increase maneuverability.
These features allow the board to travel faster over the wave, ensuring a smoother surfing experience. The bottom skin is also strong, adding to the stiffness of the board.
A linear arc design at the front of the board provides extra stability in both small and large waves. Essentially, it acts as an ergonomic buffer.
This board also comes with an ankle leash to increase your safety. It also has a traction pad which is comfortable and convenient to use.
As this board is under 7 feet in length, a traction pad can be beneficial to help you locate your ideal foot placement. This will also greatly assist you as a beginner surfer!
Three removable fins makes the surfboard easy for you to transport. It also allows you to completely customize your surfing experience.
So, once you’ve gained some confidence and want to increase your speed in the water, simply remove fins as and when you like.
With dimensions of 6’ X 20'' X 3” it’s more ideal for children and petite adult beginners. However, it’s best to double-check sizing and weight restrictions before purchase!
- Traction Pad - makes it easier to understand ideal foot placements on the board.
- Removable Fins - helps you to customize the speed and intensity of your surfing experience. It also makes the board easier to transport.
- Design - arc front acts as a buffer between you and the wave.
- Low Weight Bearing - with a weight capacity of approximately 120 lbs, this board is more suitable for juniors.
This is another product from Wavestorm that we just had to include.
Constructed from a durable soft foam, this Wavestorm board is the epitome of a classic surfboard.
It has a strong EPS core with a triple stringer that enable the board to resist and absorb any impacts that may occur during surfing.
It has an approximate volume of 86 liters and a suggested weight capacity up to 200 lbs, so it’s far more inclusive and practical than others on the market.
Additionally, on average, a long board typically weighs between 15 and 16 pounds.
However, with dimensions measuring 8' x 22 ½” x 3”, this board weighs 11.5 lbs - meaning it’s lightweight, easy to transport and will help you travel faster in the water!
A multicolor graphic skin on the top of the board makes this product one of the most visually appealing and user-friendly on this list.
Its high density HDPE polyethylene slick bottom provides added durability for your surfing adventures!
You can also remove the bolt through fins whenever you choose. This is great for a beginner surfboard as the fins are much easier to mount and can be easily replaced in case of loss or damage.
Additionally, their unique flex characteristics allow you to put the board down, fins first, and practice endless paddling and pop-ups.
An ankle leash and a traction pad give you full control over your board at all times!
- Higher Weight Bearing Capacity - this classic surfboard can support the weight of bigger individuals, making it more universal.
- Bolt Through Fins - they add security to your surfboard, but are also easy to remove.
- HDPE Polyethylene Bottom - high-density structure makes it the perfect option for a beginner.
- Waxing the Surface - you’ll need to wax this board to ride it comfortably.
Liquid Shredder: the ideal surfboard for a novice rider.
Colorful Expanded Polyethylene (EPE) is the choice of foam used for this deck, which makes the surfing experience pretty comfortable.
However, you must bear in mind that its anti-slip properties lack compared to other technology, so it might be a wise choice to have a bar of wax handy! Additionally, its striking red color makes it suitable for everyone.
Using EPE foam also means you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself further in case of a wipe out.
Moreover, the manufacturing of this board has been cleverly considered to decrease friction and make surfing as easy as possible. It’s safe to say that this board definitely lives up to its name!
With item dimensions of 7’ x 20” x 2.75”, the Liquid Shredder is one of the fastest foam boards on this list.
You can paddle with ease on this board, which can be narrowed down to its strong and rigid white PP bottom.
However, the more narrow, tapered shape of the board also helps in this regard - making surfing a breeze.
Speaking of shape, the Liquid Shredder has several wooden stringers that help to maintain its overall stiffness, ensuring that it won’t lose shape while you are learning.
The fins are individually packaged and can be attached simply by screwing them through the top of the board.
They are made from a firm, rubberized material, so they are stiff enough to work but soft enough to contribute to your safety.
Just remember that there is no leash included with this board, so you will have to purchase on separately!
- Design - it features a simplistic yet still eye-catching design that will figuratively and literally help you to ‘make waves.’
- PP Bottom - gives you all the support you may need to reduce friction and glide on top of the waves.
- Shape - a practical tapered shape supported by wooden stringers makes surfing much easier.
- EPE Surface - doesn’t have as many anti-slip properties as other materials. Simply use wax on this board to combat this issue.
For a more fun shaped board, why not try the Ruccus Foam Surfboard from South Bay Board Co?
With a 49 liter volume capacity and a 7’ x 22" x 2.85" measurement, this elegantly coated foam surfboard provides great support for surfers weighing up to 180 lbs.
Constructed using durable materials, this board has a wax-free fingerprint foam grip, and a patented heat release valve to prevent de lamination.
It has also been designed with an EPS closed cell foam core, a fiberglass rod and two wooden stringers for heavy-duty durability.
The Ruccus has also been designed with a pulled in squash tail and a more narrow, rounded out nose to provide extra buoyancy. Its nose rocker helps to prevent nose-diving.
It contains features that can be widely used to increase the practicality of the board.
From a widened chest area to a double concave bottom deck for extra speed and control - the Ruccus board provides everything you’ll need. It also comes with fins and a leash for added security!
However, with more of a shortboard riding experience in mind, the Ruccus is more difficult to learn and practice on than traditional foam boards.
The price paid for superior maneuverability and a more complex wave riding experience is a more difficult learning curve.
It’s worth it, but it should be kept in mind if you’re just looking for a simple wave riding experience, this board might not be the best choice for you.
- Widened Chest Area - gives you more stability.
- Durable - this product can withstand a variety of conditions.
- Shape - prevents excessive nose-diving.
- Low Weight - only supports riders up to 180 lbs. More suitable for younger kids or petite adult surfers.
For something a bit different, why not try this product from the California Board Company?
Weighing in at an impressive 17 lbs and measuring in at 9’ x 23.75" x 4" this surfboard is much longer and heavier than others on this list.
It offers a unique wooden graphic cover that catches your eye with its simplicity. It also comes in a custom molded shape to help you catch waves.
A 100% waterproof EPS core and a durable high density polyethylene slick bottom also make gliding across the water's surface safe and effortless.
It features a traction pad for grip - perfect for beginners to learn where to properly position themselves on the board.
With a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs, it’s durable and reliable for larger individuals.
This foam board also comes with a polyurethane surf leash with a double Velcro attachment, making it sturdy but still easy to remove.
Its triple fin set up is another advantage. The two outer fins are angled towards the center of the board, increasing tracking, speed and control.
However, you can always remove fins to experiment with single and twin fin surfing. After all, increased stability makes catching waves a breeze!
- Tri-Fin Set Up - these are interchangeable, meaning you can add or take away fins to increase your speed in the water.
- Stability - the general design and features of this board make it stable and suitable enough for any beginner.
- Traction Pad - helps you to get your bearings with how to successfully operate a surfboard.
- Control - due to its length, this board can be difficult to control in choppy waves.
This retro longboard is designed for nose riding, and features exactly what you’d expect from a high-end performance fiberglass board!
With item dimensions of 9’ x 22 1/4″x 3 1/16" and a large 72 liter volume capacity, you can catch as many waves as you want.
Overall, it is perfectly suited for beginners, intermediates or more advanced surfers weighing up to 250lbs!
Paragon's ParaLite Epoxy material makes this board lightweight, strong, and more buoyant than others in the market.
The main benefits of its colorful retro shape are the enhanced glide and stability that make it a breeze to walk up to the nose of the board.
This is the result of a wider-than-normal square tail and a full nose that make nose riding as easy as possible.
Additionally, the high gloss finish of its Epoxy material not only looks good, but ensures the working practicality of the board. A single bottom concave allows for faster surfing and works very well in a large clean surf!
A single fin on the board allows you to increase the speed of your surf, create less drag, and generally have a more laid back ride than you would with two or more fins.
The larger size of this board also helps you to achieve a smooth, slow turning performance without any added hassle.
To summarize: this product is definitely worth the money if you’re serious about surfing!
- Single Fin - requires a gentler surfing style that takes advantage of the wave itself, rather than the surfer. Perfect for beginners.
- Single Bottom Concave - will help to produce lift when you are standing up and riding the wave. Overall, it gives you extra support.
- Fiberglass - makes it easier to catch waves.
- Control - due to its length, it may not be the most suitable board to use in extremely choppy waters. You are more likely to lose control and nose dive.
This product from the Rock It Store has been designed and tailored towards children, rather than adults. Still, we feel that it has earned a spot on this list.
Measuring at 6’ x 19.7" x 2.75" with 50 liters of volume, it’s a great shortboard choice for a junior.
Though it can potentially hold up to 200 lbs of weight, due to its shorter 6’ length, anything up to 160 lbs is more realistic.
With a rounded tail and three removable performance ﬁns, you can safely glide atop the waves!
This board has also been manufactured with a focus on durability.
There are two wooden stringers with an epoxy nano coating that help to increase stability and resist water absorption.
This is a fantastic element to have in a surfboard as it means you won’t get weighed down in the water, so you can enjoy a stress-free surf!
Another thing to note is that the soft top UV resistant layer is constructed using a reliable EPS foam. However, its environmentally sensitive manufacturing process sets it apart from others in this list.
The board has been made without harmful dyes, glues, resins or toxins, making it much better all round. Additionally, all materials are recyclable!
In terms of design, this board is quite fashionable.
There is a large array of bright color options available for you to purchase, all featuring a black and white zebra striped bottom for added style.
- Durability - a water-resistant nano coating means the board can endure all your beginner mistakes without an issue.
- Design - pretty, practical and primed for performance.
- Rounded Tail - makes maneuvering your board much simpler.
- Leash - doesn’t come with the product, and needs to be purchased separately.
Beginner Surfboard Buying Guide
Soft Top Vs Fiberglass
It’s no secret that soft top and fiberglass surfboards each have their own advantages.
Whilst soft top surfboards are easier for beginners to use to learn the ropes of surfing, fiberglass boards appear to have an additional level of durability that makes gliding on the water a much smoother experience.
Soft top surfboards are generally much thicker and, as a result, tend to have an increased rate of buoyancy compared to fiberglass boards, which make your board more stable.
Overall, increased flotation and stability means you'll have an easier time standing up and surfing on a soft top board!
Not only are soft tops great for learning, but they are generally much safer than fiberglass boards. Fiberglass boards can be hard and can have sharp edges, especially the fins.
Soft tops usually have flexible fins along with rounded rails and a soft surface to fall on in case of an emergency. This makes the board less likely to lead to injury if you hit the board.
Longboard Vs Shortboard
In terms of foam boards, length and width are usually on the larger side.
Foam boards are designed to help surfers of varied skill levels to catch waves in a smoother way.
That’s why the typically larger width of these boards make them a much better choice for beginners than shortboards.
You also need to consider surfboard length to help prioritize your comfort!
With a wide and stable outline and an increased rate of buoyancy, a longboard surfboard appears to be much more beginner-friendly.
Not only does it provide a wider surface area on which you can paddle and stand up, but it creates a far more relaxing and gentle surfing experience than a shortboard.
Shortboards typically have less volume, making it harder to get up to speed when paddling.
They also require a more advanced, solid technique to achieve optimum performance - so, at face value, they appear to be much better for experienced surfers.
They are also far less stable when making turns. Overall, they aren’t great boards to start off with. You need to build up your skill first!
Just remember: there are no secrets, only practice! Simply, the more waves you catch, the quicker you will develop your skills.
Therefore, a longboard is the better beginner surfboard as it gives you ample opportunity to encounter as many waves as you can!
Generally, a surfing beginner should be riding the equivalent of 100% of their body weight in volume on their board.
One of the most important factors you need to consider when buying a beginner surfboard is your weight.
It can be quite tedious dwelling on how much you weigh, but in order to achieve a better surfing experience, you need a board that has been manufactured for your weight.
According to a generic chart, junior beginners under 125 lbs (approximately) will be better off looking at boards between 5 and 6 foot in length.
However, if you’re close to or over 200 lbs, it’s best that you look for boards between 8 and 9 foot long. You could even look at boards that are around 10’ long to achieve optimum support!
If you adhere to the correct surfboard length for your weight, then you will achieve a higher level of performance. It will allow you to increase your speed when in the water, and will help increase your stability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Worth Buying A Beginner Surfboard?
Whether you’re serious about learning to surf or simply want to take it up as a hobby, the answer is yes!
Beginner surfboards are typically much lighter than ‘normal’ boards and will help you maximize your time in the water while you’re learning the ropes.
What Size Board Should A Beginner Get?
The bigger the surface, the better. As you gain confidence in your skills, you can change the size of your board to something much smaller.
As a beginner, it’s recommended to purchase a longer board to get you used to the waves.
The larger surface area of the board gives you more control and will make you feel more stable out in the water.
It will also help you to learn good surfing etiquette that you wouldn’t get the chance to experience if you purchased a short board, such as popping up with a dropped knee.
How Much Do Beginner Surfboards Cost?
There is no one specific answer to this question. Instead, it depends on the length, brand and weight-bearing capacity of the board that you require.
Expect a high quality board to set you back a few hundred dollars, although there are many cheaper alternatives that are just as effective in the water.