Getting a beginner surfboard is the first step you should take if you’ve decided to become a surfer. After all, learning how to surf can be time-consuming, but finding the right beginner surfboard for yourself can reduce the time you spend learning.
It’s also worth noting that beginner surfboards are primarily oriented toward being stable, safe, and easy to use. This is different from advanced surfboards which focus on speed, agility, and everything else your adrenaline-pumping heart desires.
But you shouldn’t go looking at cheap surfboards (whether new or old) simply because of their price. There is an art to creating surfboards and so you will want to ensure you always go for reputable surfboard brands.
Before we get into the top 10 best beginner surfboards to get, you’ll first need to understand some of the characteristics and specific info that will help you identify the perfect board for you.
Beginner Surfboard Dimensions
The dimensions are the first feature you should analyze when looking at beginner surfboards. Depending on your size, weight, height, etc., you may need a larger, bulkier board or smaller, slimmer board.
In general, though, the best beginner boards are those that are very stable and buoyant, as this will help you master paddling and popping up quicker and easier.
The 4 main dimensions that boards have are length, width, thickness, and volume.
Beginner surfers should ideally get a longer board (anything longer than 7’ is ideal) because this also increases the other measurements. A longer board means more surface area and mass, which means more buoyancy and stability, which enables beginner surfers to catch small waves easily.
Keep in mind that longboards are perfect for people who have never surfed before. If you’ve got the basics down but still consider yourself a beginner, funshapes might be a better option as they allow for more progression and skill-learning (carving, hacking, turning, etc.)
The wider the board, the more stable you’ll be while paddling or standing on the board. Beginner surfboards are usually between 22” and 24” in width.
In general, you won’t want a surfboard that is over 3” or below 2.5” in thickness. This is because boards that are too thick may prove too difficult to maneuver, while boards that are too thin may lack the necessary buoyancy to keep you going.
The good news is that virtually all beginner surfboards are designed with this in mind, so you won’t have to overanalyze this dimension too much.
Volume is measured in liters and affects how much space in the water your board will take. As a beginner, you don’t have to burden yourself with this measurement since all the other dimensions determine volume.
In short, longboards (boards for beginners) will have a higher volume than shortboards (boards for advanced & experienced surfers).
Beginner Surfboard Types
There are two primary surfboard types for beginners - longboards and funshapes. Depending on your skill level, one of these will be a better choice than the other, but let’s take a look at what sets them apart so you can easily determine which one you need.
Due to their size and shape, longboards are perfect for surfing beginners who have never surfed before in their lives. This is because they are heavy and provide the most stability, making them ideal for learning the ropes of surfing.
However, once you cement the fundamentals, you may come to the realization that turning these large boards or trying to ride larger waves is difficult. After all, they are large, and doing advanced techniques on longboards requires board control knowledge and experience.
Funshapes are similar in size and shape to longboards but they do have some key differences that influence how the surfer controls them. For starters, they’re a bit more difficult to paddle on and stand up but they make up this deficit by providing a lot more variety in terms of what you can do on them.
They’re a much better option for surfers who have the fundamentals down to a T and want to ride slightly larger waves.
Top 10 Beginner Surfboards
Now that you’ve learned about the differences between the various available beginner surfboards, it’s time to help you out even further by giving you a list of the best 10 beginner surfboards today.
These surfboards all have certain defining characteristics but all of them are excellent choices for beginner surfers.
10. Rock-It 8’ Big Softy
Weight Range: Up to 190 lbs
The Big Softy is a beloved surfboard in the beginner surfer community due to its high buoyancy properties and ease of use. Paddling on this soft board is very easy and it’s more than capable of letting you learn the ropes of surfing, even if you’re a bit tense doing so.
It has 3 marine, epoxy nano-coated, wooden stringers that resist water absorption while the EPS foam the surfboard is made from is UV resistant and generally doesn’t need any wax.
9. South Bay Board Co. Guppy 8’
Weight Range: Up to 180 lbs
The Guppy 8’ from the South Bay Board Company is ideal for slightly lighter and shorter surfers who want to begin their surfing lessons in style. This board is also more affordable than most other beginner boards and is also available in sizes for kids (6’).
It has a shape that’s well-adapted to beginner surfers and features an IXPE foam top deck that’s heat-laminated. Lastly, it has a semi-squared out tail section for providing maximum stability, safety, and performance.
8. Kona Surf Co. 7’6”
Weight Range: Up to 180 lbs
This superb beginner surfboard is perfect for surfers who weigh up to 180 lbs due to its superior design. It has durable, rigid wooden stringers, an outer epoxy shell, a high-density EPS core, an adjustable fin box, an HDPE slick bottom, and a heat-laminated top deck.
On top of that, Kona Surf Company’s board designs and prints are incredibly pleasing to look at, so you’ll definitely catch an eye or two from bystanders, with red being the most striking color. You’ll also get 3 removable fins and an ankle leash to help you keep your board close if you fall.
7. South Bay Board Co. Heritage 8’8”
Weight Range: Up to 220 lbs
The Heritage 8’8” is a great option for surfers who are bulkier, as it can provide a perfect experience to surfers who are up to 220 lbs in weight. This is primarily due to its shape and size, with a stunning 9’ of length and 86 liters of volume.
As with most other beginner surfboards, this one has 3 stringers as well, and a waterproof EPS foam core. It also features an HDPE double concave hull that’s reinforced which provides additional stability and rigidity.
6. South Bay Board Co. Verve 8’
Weight Range: Up to 190 lbs
We’re slowly getting into the more popular beginner surfboards, with the South Bay Board Company’s Verve 8’ rounding off the bottom 5 of the top 10. This surfboard comes with plenty of accessories, including customization pens, a traction pad, a travel bag, a leash, and a thruster fin setup.
It’s also slightly wider than most 8’ boards at 23” (compared to the usual 22”), making it easily controllable while learning surfing fundamentals. It is a bit on the pricier side but it makes up for this in quality.
5. South Bay Board Co. Ruccus 7’
Weight Range: Up to 170 lbs
The Ruccus 7’ beginner surfboard is designed for slimmer and lighter surfers, hence the 7’ in length. This also makes it displace just 49 liters of water, making it more agile and maneuverable than other beginner boards.
Keep in mind that you may have a slightly more difficult time controlling this board since it has one fiberglass stringer and two marine wood stringers (double-reinforced). You’ll also get a leash and fins for the board.
4. Softech: Roller 7’6”
Weight Range: Up to 175 lbs
The Softech Roller is one of the most popular boards in the world and for good reasons - it’s affordable, expertly designed, and features ideal dimensions to make beginner surfers as comfortable and confident in their abilities as possible.
It has a triple-fin setup and 2 stringers. The fins are removable and you can replace them with more advanced fins when you get the basics of surfing down, which is a great feature since you may not end up having to upgrade your board until you become an advanced surfer.
The board also features a waterproof X-density EPS foam core.
3. Wave Bandit: Easy Rider 9’
Weight Range: Up to 230 lbs
The Easy Rider 9’ is arguably the easiest board for beginners due to its immense size and large volume. It’s also strong and big enough to be used by larger surfers as well. And the best thing? It’s not even that costly to get due to its sub-$500 pricetag.
The board features double maple wood stringers and an EPS core, sporting a 4.5-inch tri-fin setup. This surfboard is perfect for all sorts of surfers, from beginners to slightly more advanced ones and it is stable enough to help new surfers learn all the basics quickly and efficiently.
2. Wavestorm 8’ Classic
Weight Range: Up to 200 lbs
The Wavestorm 8’ Classic surfboard is the best-selling surfboard in the United States and for good reason. It’s incredibly affordable, large, bulky, and rugged to support beginners in their quest to learn how to surf, and has an impressive volume of 86 liters.
The board has an HDPE slick bottom and a pad for stability during standing and surfing. You’ll also get a set of fins and a leash. Overall, you can’t go wrong with this surfboard, no matter if you’re younger, older, larger, smaller, shorter, or taller. It’s a board for everyone!
1. Catch Surf: Log 8’
Weight Range: Up to 200 lbs
And finally, we have the Log. This stylish beginner surfboard provides plenty of buoyancy and surface area for you to paddle and stand on. This makes catching even the tiniest waves a breeze.
You can expect a stiff dual composite core, triple wood stringers, a rugged and durable HDPE slick bottom with a bumper tail, removable fins, and everything else you’d want from a surfboard for beginners.
However, the thing that surfers love most about this board is the ‘bang for their buck’. The Log is very well-designed and uses high-quality materials, costing only $400. So, if you’re a beginner who’s looking to start your surfing lessons in both form and style, this is arguably the best board you can get.
There are plenty of different surfboard options you can get as a beginner. In some way, you’ll be spoiled for choice. You may feel a bit overwhelmed at first but the good news is that you can’t really go wrong when it comes to beginner surfboards (as long as you don’t go for the cheapest options from non-reputable brands).
Having said that, we hope this article will help you make the best decision possible based on your needs, skill level, fitness levels, and more.
Everyday California is a brand started by two people who have a love for everything California-related. This includes surfing, kayaking, visiting various beaches, and more. We own a shop that sells lifestyle products and apparel, and if you aren't so sure about buying your own board quite yet, we can rent you a foamy to try before you buy. Our goal is to spread the California lifestyle as far and wide as possible in an affordable and approachable way.