We’re taking a look at the best surfboards for beginners. And if you’re new to surfing, it is definitely best to start with a beginner-friendly board. You wouldn’t learn to drive in an expensive sports car – the same principle applies to learning to surf.
I would also add that before you go ahead and invest in your board – especially if it is on the more expensive side – try and hire or borrow the board you’re after and see how well it suits you.
If you’re a beginner obviously you’re not suddenly going to start surfing like a pro, but it can give you great insight into how you feel on the board.
With that mini intro out of the way, let’s talk about boards!
What Kind Of Surfboards For Beginners Are There?
There are literally dozens of surfboard variations – between length, volume, materials, weight, number of fins – and that is before you start getting into custom surfboards and colour options.
But some are much better suited to beginners than others.
Generally it would make sense to go for something you don’t mind abusing a bit – it will probably take a few hits and get some dings on the way.
And go for longer (usually 9′), wide and thicker (3 inches or more). When you’re starting to find your feet in the water it will give you a bit more stability, and will be easier to paddle on. They have a higher buoyancy so will float more easily.
The other option is to go for a soft surfboard, also known as a foamie. Soft surfboards are a great option for beginners – when you fall off, you don’t have to worry about your boarding smacking you in the head and causing injury.
If you go for a soft top surfboard, I’d recommend around 8′ for adults and 6′ for children.
Like I said, there are literally dozens of options and varieties, but for beginners, that is probably overthinking it. All you want is something that is stable enough in the water that you can get used to paddling out, popping up (aka standing up on your board), and won’t hurt you if you fall off.
So we’ve put together our list of the best surfboards for beginners.
The Best Surfboards For Beginners
Greco Surf 9′ Performance Soft Top Longboard
The Greco Surf 9′ Performance board is probably the best one on the market for beginners in my book. At 9 feet long, 24 inches wide and almost 4 inches thick, it provides ideal stability and control for beginners and with a volume of around 93 liters, it can handle someone weighing up to 250lb.
It also comes with a 9 foot leash – so one less thing to worry about – and can be set up with a single fin or tri fin configuration.
It catches waves perfectly, it doesn’t bend or flex when you pop up on it and I have seen countless testimonials of the excellent support Greco Surf themselves provide.
Definitely the perfect surfboard for beginners!
Greco Surf 8′ Performance Soft Top Longboard 2.0
The Greco Surf 8 Foot Performance Soft Top Longboard 2.0 is pretty similar to it’s 9 foot bigger brother above.
It has slightly different dimensions – 8 feet long (obviously), 23 inches wide and 3.2 inches thickness.
It is still great for stability in the water for newcomers to the world of surfing despite being shorter and smaller, and at just under 15lb in weight it is very easy to transport.
Some say that 8 foot boards are a bit too short if you’re a beginner, but I know plenty of people who have learned to surf on these boards and had no problems whatsoever.
Also if you’re a bit lighter, with a lower volume displacement – around 70 liters, it is less likely to cause pearl diving.
So another good option for beginners from Greco Surf, and probably the recommended one if you’re a little bit on the lighter side.
Keeper Sports California Board Company 9 Foot Soft Board
A very classic looking board with a graphic wood effect, and the full 9 feet that is ideal for beginners. At 24 inches wide and 4 inches thick, it is probably the biggest board we have on this list – definitely the thickest – and perfect for those of you starting out.
Being a soft board, it is still light and not likely to hurt you if it hits you – and it also comes with a leash included.
It has a waterproof EPS core so it will still hold up well to dings and dents and scratches.
Bic Sport Dura-Tec Magnum Surfboard, 8 Feet
This 8 foot 4 inch beast from Bic Sport is stunning. It weighs in at 17lb, so it isn’t too difficult to carry around and can take a load of up to 220lb (100kg).
It’s a bit on the expensive side compared to the others in this list, but this is a legit surfboard. You’re paying for a bit more durability and heavy material.
While it is beginner friendly, it is designed with intermediate surfers in mind so when you’ve advanced from your beginner status and call yourself an intermediate, you can still keep the same board.
So while it costs a bit more upfront, if you get addicted to surfing, it will probably work out cheaper as you progress.
Bodyglove Soft Surfboard – 7, 8 Or 9 Feet
With the Bodyglove soft surfboard, you can take your pick of 7, 8 or 9 feet length as all 3 options are available.
The board is textured so when you wax it you don’t need to add a base coat.
The leash is a bit thin compared to the Greco boards we listed, and the attachment is in the center of the fins – meaning that if you do have a mishap, you could lose your leash and your fins!
The build quality is good and it is great for catching waves, provides a fast paddling and a good glide, especially the 9 foot version.
It is perfect for beginners but you might be eyeing up replacements when you’ve moved beyond that level.
Wavestorm 8 Foot Graphic Classic Pinstripe Surfboard
Going back to the 8 foot length of board, the Wavestorm Graphic Classic Pinstripe is a great value for money option.
It weighs in at just under 12lb, is 8 feet long, 22.5 inches wide and just over 3 inches thick – so for a beginner it will provide a stable base to learn from.
It is one of the best selling beginner surf boards in the world and has excellent build quality – it will get through most of the abuse you can give it.
Definitely worth considering as a beginner.