When you buy yourself a surfboard there are many factors to take into consideration. Learning to surf is no easy task and requires a lot of practice and dedication before you can get good at it. It is important to remember that there is a large difference between a good quality surfboard and something on the super cheap side of things. Not only can a quality surfboard make it a lot easier to learn to surf, but it will last you for a longer period of time and allow you to have better balance, more agility, and more speed while you are riding the waves. There are so many different components of a surfboard and it is important to know what each of the components is used for as well as potential faults to the components. It is important to inform yourself so that you can make a better overall purchasing decision and find a surfboard that is going to not only last you for a long period of time but also provide you with a quality surfing experience.
What Makes One Surfboard Better Than Another for Beginners?
Now here’s the million-dollar question! We have another review for the best surfboards, but there’s a difference between good boards and good boards for beginners. The main issue is that beginners are more likely to fall, and they have less experience balancing. What that means on a practical level is that a foam board is most suited to a beginner for all the right reasons. A foam board deck is more cushioned, so you’d be less likely to injure yourself if you fall. Then, when you do fall (and you will), the board itself is more buoyant, so you can get on it easier, and it’ll serve better as a “life preserver” in certain conditions. Finally, foam boards provide better traction than fiberglass, so again, they’re preferred by those just starting out in the sport. As a beginner, I’d stay away from a slick, fiberglass board until I’m really comfortable with surfing in virtually all conditions.
Also, the shape of the board will determine stability, and the more rounded the nose and rear are, the more stable the board will typically be. We’re guessing that beginners will appreciate just a bit more stability right?
Top Surfboard for Beginners Comparison Chart
Surfboard Buying Guide
If you are new to surfing you probably have no idea how much a surfboard costs and it can be rather hard to spot the good deals. For your first surfboard, we wouldn’t recommend that you spend too much money because until you have practiced and gained some halfway decent level of proficiency at surfing you will not be able to come up with your own preferences on things like fins, size, leash and what kind of grip is on the deck.
Especially if you have never surfed before, a good warranty is something you should definitely look for when buying a surfboard. First of all you likely aren’t going to be familiar with the brands, know how to surf or how to look for defects on your board. A good warranty will cover you and give you peace of mind for when you are surfing away and someone comes up to you and points out problems with your board.
Fins are some of the most important parts of a surfboard and they come as either a permanent feature or as a removable feature of the board. Good fins on your board are not only going to increase your speed while you are out on the water, but they are also going to give you more stability and better balance.
This is something that you definitely need to be aware of when you are purchasing your board. If you buy a board and you exceed the weight limit for the board you are going to find that the board is not going to last you for very long. There are children’s boards as well as adult boards and sometimes it is not always clear who the target rider is. Before making your purchase, if you cannot find a weight limit, it is a good idea to post a question under the review section for a product, post on a forum, or contact the manufacturer directly so that you can be sure that the product is going to work for you.
A leash can be an important aspect of a board, especially for a beginner surfer. A leash is basically a string that you put around your ankle so that the board doesn’t float away from you when you fall off. When you are just learning to surf it is important to take this under consideration and realize that you are most definitely going to go for a few tumbles before you no longer find a use for a surfboard leash. Most leashes are removable and they can be made from all sorts of materials. Most surfboards have a spot on them for leash attachment, so even if you buy a surfboard and it doesn’t come with a leash you could always buy one to help yourself out.
Generally speaking the taller you are, the longer the board that you will probably want to use. It is important to buy a board that you can spread your legs out on and balance properly. Someone who is tall is going to have a wider leg stance than someone who is shorter and they will each be able to surf on both boards, but the taller person is much more likely to be able to be in control on a longer board than a shortboard and vice versa for a smaller person.
This is something that you need to take into careful consideration especially because you are fairly new to surfing. Some surfboards will have much smoother decks than other ones and if you are just learning to surf it can be rather hard to balance on one. Another thing you are going to want to take into account is how comfortable the board is to stand on; although a rough board may be easier for grip it is likely not going to be as comfortable to stand on for an extended period of time.
This is a surfer’s pride and joy. No one wants to be out on the water with an ugly looking surfboard. If you look into it hard enough and are willing to pay the money for it you can get custom jobs done to your surfboard to help match your personality. In the vast marketplace, you will find a ton of surfboard brands out there and it can be extremely hard to narrow done your favorites. Luckily the design pictured on the board makes no difference to the overall surfing experience and is just a matter of personal taste.
Thickness has a direct correlation to the overall stability of the board. The more foam that is in the board, the more stable and buoyant it will be. Thickness can vary throughout a board and depending on the area that is thick, you may have an agiler or less agile board as a result. This is a tough one especially for a new surfer, it is a good idea to try out a surfboard if you get the chance so you can see what kind of thickness works well for you.
The nose of the board is actually quite important and can have a large effect on the overall stability of the surfboard. If you have a wide nose to your surfboard then your surfboard is going to be more stable generally speaking than a surfboard that has a narrow nose on it. It is important to realize that having a wider nose also reduces maneuverability.
One final thing that you may want to take into account is the curve of the board which is also known as the rocker. Generally speaking, a board that has a large curve at the nose of the board is going to be used for surfing primarily larger waves. While increased tail rocker on a board is generally used to make the board agiler and easy to maneuver around on. For a beginner surfer, it is generally recommended to get a surfboard that has less rocker at the center of the board because it allows the board to glide easier on the water as well as it is easier to paddle around on.
Best Surfboard for Beginners Reviews
This board is an average price for a beginner surfboard but packs some very nice things to give it an advantage over its competition. This board comes with two fins as well as an ankle leash in order to make your riding experience that much easier. The max weight for this board is 200 lbs and is designed for easy riding with its shape and curvature focusing on gliding and overall stability so that you don’t fall off. The blue and white design is a nice appealing style and an adjustable fin box makes this board more portable than other boards in this price range. A durable laminate deck will help keep your board in good shape for a long period of time, as well as keep you standing up when you get hit with a big wave.
- Good for gliding
- Fins offer stability and fin box adjustments offer portability
- Slick bottom maximizes speed
- Since this board is wide, it does sacrifice some maneuverability in exchange for more balance and overall control
This board is quite budget-friendly and offers a foam top that has a traction pad for added grip support. This board also comes with its own leash so that you can find the board after you fall off. The smooth bottom along with the three fin design offers stability and control while you ride. It is difficult to find a board at all at this low price range, let alone something that will actually perform. This surfboard has a weight limit of 100kg which is something you should keep in mind when purchasing. One other nice feature of this board is that the fins are fully removable and allow for easy transportation.
- The fins are removable for easy transportation
- The foam top has grip which makes for an easier ride
- Comes in blue/ red as well as blue/ white to appeal to a larger audience
- Very budget-friendly board sacrifices some things like maneuverability
- This board does not have a hardtop and some people may find it difficult to stand on for this reason
This surfboard is specifically designed for kids or small adults. It’s 6 feet long, 21 inches wide and 3 inches thick. It can easily support riders up to 150 pounds and yes, it’s a “foamie” (foam top and core). The board includes an EZ carry handle. The design itself is beginner-friendly which means it does not have an aggressive profile and the nose/take and rocker are all designed for those with less experience in the waves. The design is a bit more stable than some advanced boards as it has a rounded out now and semi-squared tail.
The slick high-density PE (polyethylene) bottom deck adds stiffness and maximum speed. The whole package includes the board itself, 3 rounded safe edge screw-in fins along with five 2-inch fin screws. It also includes a 6 foot leash and 2″ leash plug screw.
You can rest assured with a 30-day guarantee (for returns) and a warranty on all South Bay boards.
We like this board for #3 because its price is budget-friendly and it really gives you a feel for the water if you’re not thinking of becoming an all-star surfer in the next year or so!
- Performance profile makes this a stable board
- Removable fins make it easy to transport
- Comes with a surfboard leash
- Foam top may be difficult to get used to
- Short board makes it harder to keep straight when learning how to paddle
- Loss of maneuverability in exchange for balance and control
This surfboard is more on the expensive side of things than some of the other boards on the list. But, what it lacks in price advantage it makes up for in overall quality and surfing experience. This board is easy to paddle and lightweight which makes it a bit easier to transport. The high-density EPS core is constructed of high quality expanded polystyrene materials.
The board features 3 molded, multi-layered stringers coated with a waterproof resin. There’s a high-density durable IXPE slick bottom with cool graphics. The feature list is impressive including precision-molded fittings, a double swivel, a rail saver and a neoprene padded ankle strap. The only catch with this board is that EVEN THOUGH it’s a foam board (which is perfect for beginners), we’d suggest it’s best-suited for a beginner who has had some experience (is there such a thing as an “advanced beginner”?). The reason is that it’s a smaller board which can be tougher to control. Its weight capacity is 175 pounds.
Overall a decent board, but you are paying a bit for the name. Is it worth it? We like others on the list better, but you won’t be sorry for the purchase if you choose this one!
- Fins and leash come with the board
- Easy to paddle
- Stylish design
- Soft top that still provides good grip
- Suited mostly to a more “advanced” beginner or intermediate surfer because of its smaller size
This foam top surfboard (with EPS foam core) looks less like a “foamie” and more like a “real” board. This board comes equipped with a total of three fins (stringers) as well as a leash to help out beginners. This board comes with a soft top that is easy to stand on and comfortable for long periods of time. The board is quite thick and provides good stability while on the water. Thanks to a large amount of foam incorporated into the design, this surfboard is lightweight making it a lot easier to transport. This board has a hard plastic bottom that will allow you to skim over waves with good speed and it has a lot of foam built into it in order to keep you floating.
Keep in mind that this board is actually designed for beginners and the reason it’s so long is that it will allow you to paddle (on your stomach) when you’re learning how to catch waves. It’ll be much easier to do than with a shorter board. The dimensions of the board are 9′ x 2′ x 3.75″.
- Very stylish design
- Fins, as well as a surfboard leash, come with the purchase
- The lightweight board makes it a little easier to transport
- We love the CBC name
- This is a very long board and some people may have issues with that
- Lots of foam and length can make this board hard to turn
This 8ft longboard is moderately priced and carries a lot of nice features. Its simple blue design is eye appealing for all genders and is quite easy to ride thanks to its large surface area. This board has a soft top that has enough grip to stand on and has a smooth polyethylene bottom to help you skim across the water at a faster pace. Overall this board floats good on the water and although it may sacrifice some maneuverability for some more stability, it may not be as bad as some other boards in this aspect. It’s designed specifically for beginners but has an enjoyment factor for advanced users too! Thicker rails and softer deck help minimize the consequences of mistakes (like falls onto the board).
It can perform for riders up to 230 pounds and it’s 3-inches thick, 23″ wide and 8′ long.
The rounded nose and tail offer further stability and full length double concave on the bottom deck is added for speed and fin performance.
- 3 fin system helps add control and stability
- Reinforced bottom deck for more impact resistance
- Eye appealing design
- Some users may think that this board is too long
- Be sure to check the integrity of the board when it arrives. Some buyers have had issues with poor foam deck quality and adhesion of parts that hold the board together.
This small 6ft long foam surfboard offers a super lightweight construction that is partially made out of bamboo. You can comfortably ride this board as a 150 pound beginner and have the option of stretching that to up to 200 pounds with a little more surfing experience. A three fin system along with a sharp nose make this board quite good at turning and yet still fairly easy to handle. Although this board may be a little bit higher of a price than some of the other boards on the market, you do get a board that not only looks good, but that also comes with a high quality six-foot leash.
- Small board with great turning
- High-quality materials make this board quite durable
- Very lightweight and easy to transport
- Eye appealing, plain combination of white and wood design
- Some people may want a longer board
- May not be able to hold up the weight of some riders
This soft top surfboard has an average price tag and is mostly meant for kids. A beginner shouldn’t weigh much more than 95 pounds and ride this board or they may have a difficult time. A very plain, one color design that comes in blue, red and yellow. Wonderfully this surfboard has a 90 day warranty period through the manufacturer to cover defects. This board incorporates anti-slip technology into its design as well thanks to expanded Polyethylene. This board is both comfortable and easy to ride and great for a young surfer to start out on. The smooth bottom on this board will help you surf fast and hit the waves that you want to hit.
- Affordable mid-budget surfboard
- Easy to maneuver due to its lightweight
- 90-day manufacturer warranty
- Anti-slip technology makes this board easy to ride
This surfboard is extremely budget friendly and short in length. It features an appealing design that uses both blue and white in an artistic pattern. This surfboard comes with its own leash and has a durable foam top on it so that the board will last you for a good length of time. The weight capacity of this board is quite high for a board in this low of a price range being that it is 200 lbs. This board has a smooth high-speed bottom to help you paddle faster and features three fins for added stability and control.
- Comes with three fins and a leash to help you learn
- Weight limit is high for the price (200 lbs)
- Eye appealing design to all genders
- Soft foam top can be difficult to stand on at times
- Leash may not be of the highest quality
Okay, so it’s not a SERIOUS BOARD, but it can be fun for the younger crowd who’s not quite at the age of seriously being introduced to the sport just yet. Although it may not be the easiest thing to stand on, an inflatable surfboard is most definitely the cheapest option that you have to try out some surfing in a safer environment with small waves. This inflatable surfboard, in particular, is 5ft in length and is quite easy to deflate and inflate. Although you may not look like the coolest person ever riding on an inflatable surfboard, it is a lot better to spend less money on a board as a basic introduction to water, waves and fun. One nice benefit to a portable surfboard is that you can bring it with you without a hassle and then blow it up when you get to where you are going.
Please note that this is more of a water toy than a surfboard and you need to treat it as such or you’ll be disappointed for sure!
- Extremely cheap
- Lightweight and extremely portable
- Easy to damage and can be difficult to repair
- Can be harder to ride on than a real surfboard
- Have to use something to blow it up
- NOT a real surfboard!
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
After going through our surfboard list, you’ve hopefully found some boards that you like and/ or have a better idea about the kind of features that you want with your surfboard. Remember that a good quality surfboard is not only going to last you for a longer period of time, but it is also going to allow for smoother, faster and agiler riding. Surfboards vary a lot in price depending on the quality and it may not always be the best idea to buy a super expensive board especially if you have never surfed before and found out what you like to ride. Best of luck with your surfing and hope you hit some big waves.