The 5 Best Beginner Surfboards - Surf's Up

June 30, 2022
by Dan Skewes
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If you're new to surfing, it can be tough to know where to start.

There are so many types of boards out there that it can feel overwhelming.

The best beginner surfboards are made specifically for people who aren't used to riding waves.

They're designed to help you learn how to catch and ride waves safely.

Luckily, we have a great selection of beginner surfboards for you to choose from.

Whether you want a board with a soft outline or one with a more traditional shape, we've got what you need.

Take a look at our selection of the best five beginner surfboards available right now.

We've done all the research for you to ensure that these are the best options and also have a buying guide, so you can make your own choices and know what features to look for. 

Let's get to the list!

Wavestorm 8ft Surfboard

Wavestorm 8ft Surfboard // Foam Wax Free Soft Top Longboard for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Surfing, Multicolor

Wavestorm is a brand that is synonymous with beginner surfboards.

This surfboard is eight-foot-long and has a width of 22 and a half inches.

Its volume is a huge 86 liters, making it a great size for beginners.

It's made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) with a three-stringer system, ensuring it will be durable and solid but also soft if you fall on it.

It has removable bolt-thru fins, an ankle leash, and a traction pad to help beginners find their balance and keep hold of their board if they do fall.

You also get a soft board sock cover to protect your board when you travel.

The top design of the board is colorful and eye-catching also, making it both aesthetically pleasing and easy to see in the waves.

Many beginners, both adults and kids, choose this board when they're starting out.

It's lightweight enough for beginners to use but durable enough to take a beating.

We were impressed with its performance and how easy it was to use, even for absolute beginners.

Pros

  • Large size - the board is eight feet long
  • High volume - a volume of 86 liters is sure to keep it stable
  • Soft material - made from durable but soft EPS foam
  • Good range of extras - comes with a good range of extras, including a cover

Cons

  • Weak ankle leash - this can detach from the board

Boardworks Froth – Soft Top Surfboard

Boardworks Froth! | Soft Top Surfboard | 3 Fins | Longboard Surf Board | 7' | Papaya

This board is available in both seven and eight-foot lengths.

For shorter adults, the seven-foot version should be fine, but taller adults should look at the longer board.

The board is 24 inches wide and three inches thick, making it a great size for beginners to start out with.

The board's exterior is coated in an elastomeric polymer (EVA) to give it a soft but tough rubbery feel, and the interior is EPS foam.

This combination makes it durable and resistant to damage but also soft enough to fall on without hurting too badly.

It's also available in three different colors.

We liked that it has three thruster fins, but that these can be removed if you want.

The material is definitely tough enough to take some damage, both in the water and out, and landing on the board isn't too painful.

The board floats well and is easy to maneuver, making catching waves easier for beginners. 

Pros

  • Different sizes - available in a few different lengths
  • Thick rails - at three inches thick, the board is great for beginners
  • Solid fins - the three fins are made from solid materials and are easy to remove
  • Durable - the EVA coating makes this more durable than some other soft top boards

Cons

  • Missing extras - no leash or cover means additional purchases are needed

Verve Premium Foam Surfboard

South Bay Board Co. - 8' Verve Premium Foam Surfboards - Wax-Free Soft-Top Surfboards - Best Beginner Surfboards for Kids & Adults – Fins & Leash Included - Patented Heat Damage Prevention System

Available in a wide variety of colors, this eight-foot surfboard from South Bay Board is a premium option for beginners.

It is 23 inches wide and three inches thick, giving it a volume of 80 liters.

Thankfully, the board has a carry handle carved into it to make it easy to handle despite its large size.

It weighs 16 pounds and is constructed with an EPS foam core, a fiberglass rod, and two wooden stringers to ensure it is stable and durable.

It's still a soft-top board, though, so it will cushion any falls.

The nose and chest sections of the board are designed to make it easier for beginners to find their feet, and the tail helps with the stability of the board.

We loved the texture of this board as it helps not only with grip but ensures that the board doesn't need waxing.

The number of extras with the board was also impressive, as it comes with three removable fins and an ankle leash.

The board is easy to maneuver and can resist some of the dings that other soft-top boards can't.

Pros

  • Large size - at eight feet long and 23 inches wide, this is perfect for beginners
  • High volume - an 80-liter volume helps keep this board buoyant
  • Grippy texture - helps beginners keep hold of the board and prevents the need for wax
  • Solid core - the board is durable and hard to damage

Cons

  • Price - the $399 price tag might be too much for beginners who just want to try out surfing

Guppy Beginner Surfboard

South Bay Board Co. - 8' Beginner Surfboards - Safe Soft-Top Surfboards - Best Beginner Surfboards for Kids & Adults – Strong Triple Stringer Durability - Leash & Safe-Edge Fins Included

This is another beginner surfboard from South Bay Board.

Although it shares several features with the Verve Premium, its lower price point might make it more attractive for some beginners.

The board is available in several stripey colors and, at 22 inches wide, is slightly narrower than the Verve Premium.

It still measures eight feet long, is three inches thick and has 80 liters of volume, however.

It's also a little lighter than the Verve Premium at 15 pounds but features the same EPS foam core, fiberglass rod, and two wooden stringers.

The board has a carry handle to make it easier to manage when not in the water.

The shape of the board is designed to help beginners find their feet and stay on them, and it has a three-thruster fin set up.

This is a great board for beginners of all shapes and sizes. It's lightweight enough for kids and smaller adults to use but also durable enough for larger adults.

It's made from quality materials and is durable enough to take the beating often given to boards by beginners!

Pros

  • Large size - at eight feet long and 22 inches wide, this is perfect for beginners
  • High volume - an 80-liter volume helps keep this board buoyant
  • Good shape - the shape of the board is designed with beginners in mind
  • Durable materials - this board can take some dings without getting damaged

Cons

  • Slippery surface - the board will need waxing, unlike the Verve Premium

Big Softy Surfboard

Rock-It 8' Big Softy Surfboard (Teal)

As the name suggests, this surfboard from Rock-It is definitely big as it measures eight feet long, is nearly 23 inches wide, and is just over 3 inches thick.

All of those measurements add up to a volume of 81 liters.

It's available in a variety of bold and solid colors, and all versions have the same zebra-striped design on the bottom.

The board is constructed from three wooden stringers encased in EPS foam and has an epoxy coating to prevent water absorption.

The board's surface is soft and grippy enough to be used without wax, although you can wax the board if you wish.  

The bold colors and design of this board immediately catch the eye, but there is also substance behind the style.

It's a good size for beginners without being too unwieldy and is easy to maneuver through the surf.

This board is a great choice for beginners of all ages and sizes.

Pros

  • Large size - one of the thickest beginner boards available without being too large
  • Prevents water absorption - the epoxy coating will stop water from getting into your board
  • No wax is needed - the board can be used without the need for wax
  • Colors - a wide range of bright colors are available

Cons

  • Fins - the fins are screwed into the board, making it more difficult to remove or replace them

Buyer's Guide

Best Beginner Surfboard

To help you make your choice, we've looked at the most important features a beginner's surfboard should have.

Considering these points will ensure you pick the right option for you. 

Size

The size of your board is going to depend on your height and weight.

A smaller person might prefer a shorter board, while someone taller might prefer a longer board.

Although experienced surfers might opt for smaller and thinner boards of around six feet to help them ride and tear through waves, these are not the best for beginners to the sport.

As a beginner, you want a long and wide board that is around eight to nine feet long and 22 to 24 inches wide.

Surfboard widths are measured at their widest point, and a wider board will give you a larger base to stand upon and find your balance.

It will also help you learn how to paddle while you're on your board, too. Look for surfboards classed as longboards.

Thickness

It's best to opt for thicker boards, also. Thicker boards have more volume and will float more easily than thinner ones.

When you grab onto the side of the board (or the "rails"), you will be able to feel how thick the board is, and for beginners, a thickness of around two and a half to three inches is best.

Any thicker than this, and the board will become difficult to maneuver.

For beginners, it's all about which board will help you find your balance better.

Typically, the best boards to help you balance are boards that are thicker, longer, and wider.

You can continue using this board as you learn to surf, and even intermediate surfers will get some use out of these types of boards.

Volume

The volume of a surfboard is related to its size and thickness and is a very important factor to consider when buying a beginner surfboard.

It's an important measure because two surfboards of the same length and width won't necessarily perform the same in the water, depending on other properties such as their shape and thickness.

Volume takes all of these measurements into account.

Volume is measured in liters and is the best measure of how well a surfboard will float as it directly relates to how much water a surfboard will displace. 

You can easily find surfboards that go as high as 80 liters, especially if they're longboards, and surfboards for more experienced surfers can be as low as 25 liters.

For beginners, however, we would advise looking for surfboards that have a volume of at least 60 liters.

The higher the volume, the better it will float.

Material

There are many materials that surfboards are made from today. Fiberglass is a popular choice with experienced surfers.

This material is lightweight and strong, but it does absorb water quite quickly, so it's not ideal for beginners who need something that floats better.

Polyethylene is another popular surfboard choice and is usually used by intermediate surfers.

These boards generally don't absorb water as fast as fiberglass boards, although they can pick up damage more easily.

They also tend to be heavier, making them less maneuverable. 

A popular choice for many beginners is epoxy surfboards. Epoxies are durable and easy to repair, but they do take time to dry out after being wet.

They're durable and don't get damaged as easily as many other materials.

They also float easily and are easy to paddle, so it's easy to see why beginners prefer them.

Another great choice for beginners is soft top surfboards, or "foamies."

These have a top layer made from foam and are perfect for beginners as they're stable, easy to paddle, and float.

They also have the added bonus of being soft to land on.

As a beginner, you are bound to fall and land on your surfboard, and with boards made from fiberglass or other hard materials, this can be very painful.

If your surfboard is made from foam, however, these falls and bumps will be far less painful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Longboard, A Shortboard, And A Funboard?

Longboards are often considered to be the most versatile type of surfboard.

They're designed to be ridden short-to-medium distances and can handle larger waves than shorter boards.

Longboards are typically wider than shortboards and are usually around 8 feet wide.

They're perfect for surfing big waves and riding down the line.

Funboards are smaller and lighter than longboards and are designed specifically for surfing small waves.

Funboards are narrower and usually only about 6 feet wide.

They're easier to ride and maneuver through tight turns and are great for learning new skills.

Is A Shortboard Good For A Beginner?

Although many surfers have learned how to surf on a shortboard, it's easier to learn on a longboard.

Learning on a longboard gives you an advantage over others because you'll be able to ride bigger waves and travel farther when you're ready to progress to a longer board.

It's also important to note that some people feel more comfortable riding shortboards than longboards.

Some people simply prefer riding shortboards due to their size and maneuverability.

Are Longboards Worth It?

If you want versatility, then yes, a longboard is definitely worth it.

You'll be able to travel farther and catch bigger waves while still having fun in the lineup.

A longboard can definitely take you through being a beginner and into being an intermediate surfer.

However, if you just want to enjoy yourself at the beach without worrying about catching big waves, then a shortboard may be a better option.

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, there are many types of surfboards available. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Before buying a surfboard, make sure you know what you're looking for before you buy.

This way, you'll be able to find a board that fits your needs perfectly.

Although you can learn to surf on any style or size of board, the best surfboard for beginners is a longboard.

It's a versatile board that allows them to travel further and catch bigger waves.

Longboards offer more stability than other types of board and make it easier for beginners to paddle, stand, and surf.

The best material for beginners is soft-top foam boards. These are easy to maneuver and will save some bruises compared to hard-topped boards if you fall!

We know that finding the best beginner's surfboard can be difficult, but we hope that the beginner surfboards we chose in this article will be of help.

Remember to keep the points raised in the buying guide in mind when you make your own choice of a surfboard.

Good luck and have fun riding those waves!

Related: The 5 Best Surf Watches For Catching Waves

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