So you’re finally getting the hang of catching your own wave. It means you are leveling up and that you survived one of the most challenging parts of surfing. At this stage, you’re probably already thinking of buying your own board.
Having your own board will make it simpler for you to improve your skills because you are training your body with just one board instead of several rentals. In the long run, the amount you spend on rentals will cost more than buying a brand new board.
The question that must be buzzing around in your mind right now is: how do I pick the right surfboard?
We’ve put together a list of some of the best beginner surfboards. Take note of your weight, height and riding ability when you choose among these boards.
Our Top 3 Favorite
So you’ve decided to ride a shortboard and this 6” Giantex soft board will welcome you to the world of duck diving, sharper maneuvers and faster trimming down the line. If you’ve never tried paddling with a shortboard before, you’ll find that this soft board offers more volume so you can be more buoyant in the water. Buoyancy will help beginners paddle better until they are confident enough with their timing and strokes.
- Dimensions: 72” x 20.5” x 2”
- Weight Capacity: up to 200 lbs.
- Made of high density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Bottom concave built for speed
- Comes with a blue and white custom print
When it comes to soft surfboards, Wavestorm Company is the leading brand in the United States. This 8-foot classic is one of the top selling boards in the country because it is such a good board to learn on. The board itself is light and easy to handle in and out of the water. It has just the right amount of volume to help you paddle and catch waves early. Its shape is forgiving enough to help you adjust your weight without pearling or nose-diving when taking off.
Wavestorm boards are products of extensive research involving materials and performance, as well as unparalleled manufacturing expertise in the industry. This board is made of a strong EPS core and it is built with three marine ply stringers. It is the perfect package for all beginners because it was built to help you perform better and it is durable enough to last until you are ready to transition to your next board.
- Made of strong expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- Has 3 marine ply stringers
- Has a high density HDPE slick bottom skin
- Comes with a textured traction pad
- Has pre-installed leash plugs with a removable ankle leash
- Has 3 removable bolt-thru fins
- Comes with a soft cloth board sock cover
With a name like that, the Liquid Shredder FSE (Foam Special Edition) is built to impress. Loved by beginners and pro surfers alike, this hand-shaped, custom-made surfboard is designed to offer stable and streamlined performance. It’s everything you want in a well-oiled machine, except it’s in the form of a soft board.
The Liquid Shredder was built to be enjoyed by surfers of all skill levels, however, it wouldn’t hurt if you already knew how to ride a shortboard so you could truly push this board’s limits. If you are new to surfing and you simply want a smaller board that can go fast, this board will be right up your alley. Its compact size and handy weight also make it the perfect vehicle for children and beginners.
- Weight Capacity: 95 lbs. to 180 lbs.
- Dimensions: 6’0” x 20” x 2.5
- Materials: EPS soft foam deck, slick PP hard bottom, double wooden stringers
- Comes in blue, red and yellow
This colorful foam board with a fun Hawaiian design is known for its no nonsense approach to surfing.
The board is rigid and stable, while staying compact enough to make it easy to assemble so you can hit the surf in no time.
This board comes in a familiar groveler or egg shape, which makes it easy to paddle without sacrificing performance.
This shape also makes it possible to do earlier takeoffs so you don’t have to worry about getting thrown off at the peak.
- Weight Capacity: Up to 100kg
- Dimensions: 71.7” x 19.7” x 3”
- Materials: EPE deck, EPS core, PP hard slick bottom
- Comes with removable fins (thruster)
- Free leash and traction pad
#5. Greco Surf 8’ Performance Soft Top Foamboard
Greco is a brand that many surf schools trust because they are known for making high performance boards that are perfect for first-timers but can also be enjoyed by advanced surfers.
This Greco foam board is built with unique Greco Surf Respired technology, making use of double reinforced and handpicked treated and cured wooden stringers. Its internal epoxy core is shaped with a smart double concave that provides more glide to your ride. Its HDPE reinforced bottom will endure all surfing conditions.
- Dimensions: 8’ x 23” x 3.7”
- Volume: 72.9 liters
- Comes with an 8’ extra strength leash
- Built-in 2+1 setup (single fin or thruster)
- Rounded edges for safety
- Comes in blue, red or white
#6. Greco Surf 7’ Performance Soft Top Foamboard
True to their brand, Greco Surf continues to manufacture different high performance soft boards that deliver quality, durability, performance and style. This 7’ soft top foam board is fast, light and everything you are looking for in a fun board. This board is perfect for smaller individuals or those who are already looking to transition to a shorter board coming from a traditional 9’0”.
Just like its bigger counterparts, this fun foamie is designed with Greco Surf Respired technology and has double reinforced, handpicked treated and cured wooden stringers. Its core is a mix of high density, lightweight IXPE and HDPE reinforced plastic. This board has earned the reputation of being one of the best soft performance surfboards in the market.
- Dimensions: 7’ x 22” x 3.3”
- Volume: 54.9 liters
- Comes with a 7’ high-end leash
- Built-in 2+1 setup (single fin or thruster)
- Built-in rail saver
#7. Greco Surf 5’7” Hosanna Beginner Foamie
Nobody takes high performance soft boards as seriously as Greco Surf. Their team of creative engineers and innovative designers has created the Hosanna—a masterpiece that is built to shred no matter what. Its high density and lightweight IXPE deck combined with a closed cell EPS core makes it the standard for all performance soft boards in the market today.
Just one look at the Hosanna and you can already picture how fun it will be to surf with it. It is fuller near the nose to help you paddle, but its tail tapers to a recognizable squash tail finish for optimum speed when in trim or during a turn. Don’t let this foam board fool you because it’s built for tough conditions! If you are considering this for your first board then be prepared to step it up at least two notches higher.
- Dimensions: 5’7” x 21.9” x 3”
- Volume: 38.3 liters
- 5 fin setup: thruster, quad or thruster
- Comes with a 6’ high-end leash
- Comes in blue or red
Based on these options, you should have a clearer idea of what kind of board to buy. Below are more guide questions to help you decide.
Beginner Surfboard Size Chart
“What size beginner surfboard should I get?”
First, decide on the surfing style that you want to pursue. You can either go longboarding or shortboarding.
Next, check the weight capacity and volume of the boards. You should get a board that will be able to support your built.
Surfer Weights (Lbs)
Should I buy a foamie?
Foamies are tons of fun for all surfers! Don’t be afraid that they are kooky or ‘beginner’ boards. You can absolutely grow with them as you begin to get your shredding skills intact. We’ve found that they are much easier to learn and they’re perfect for mastering your foundational surfing skills. They are far more buoyant than hardtops, making them much easier to paddle and catch waves with, and they are a lot safe to ride with, considering the fact you’ll probably be bailing all over the place during your first few sessions.
How do I know when I’m ready to transition to a smaller surfboard?
Here’s a small list of things that you should master before even thinking about moving to a small board:
1. Be able to catch small, whitewater waves easily
2. Make sure that your pop-ups are steady and under control
3. Know how to get positioned in the lineup
4. Know how to catch frontside and backside waves
5. Know how to top turn, bottom turn, and cut back
How do I take care of my first surfboard?
Here are some tips that will go a long way: always rinse your board with fresh water after every session, don’t leave your board under the sun, and store your board in a safe and spacious area.
How long does it take to learn how to surf?
As long as you don’t give up the first couple of times, you should be able to witness progress in the first 1-3 months.
What Else Do You Need To Begin Surfing?
After you pick out your board and wax, you are ready to start practicing. But I would also recommend getting some other beach and surfing items. You will also need basis things like a towel, swim trunks or wetsuit, a high SPF sunscreen.
Other optional items that are convenient and nice are things like a tide watch or any waterproof watch for that matter so you can at least keep track of time. While we’re at it, a good pair of sandals, hat, sunglasses and backpack are nice to have while you’re not in the water.
What are the best places to go surfing for a beginner surfer?
Check your area for beach breaks (sand bottom surf breaks). Beach breaks are typically friendlier for beginners because surfing reef breaks can prove to be more difficult for a first-timer.
What is considered to be a good beginner surfboard?
All of the boards listed above are ideal for beginners. Just keep in mind that the materials count. Don’t think that foam boards are inferior to hard boards because they deliver the same punch and performance while also keeping you safe during your time as a beginner surfer.
Factors to Consider When Buying
Picking the right sized surfboard for your body type and skill level is extremely important! Not only does your height and weight play into it, but also your age and level of fitness. The types of waves that you will be surfing will factor into your purchasing decision as well, as you’ll want one that complements waves rather than one that makes surfing more difficult. Be honest with yourself and your abilities and you’ll have a much better time out in the water!
Learning to surf will involve a lot of falling, meaning a lot of wear and tear on your board. You won’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a board that will get destroyed over the course of your learning process. You are much better off spending a small amount on a board that you can ding and dent the life out of before you cash out heavy.
Width and Thickness
Most pro surfers have short, narrow boards that make them look super slick. Unfortunately for you, you’re not there yet! You’re much better off having a thick, wide board that will make it easy to float and paddle. We highly recommend looking for a board that is AT LEAST 19 inches wide and 2 inches thick.
Final Thoughts – Which Should You Get?
While there are loads of excellent beginner surfboards out there, we have to recommend the Wavestorm to newbie surfers. The company is reputable, reliable, and has a great track record in making quality soft-top surfboards that riders of all levels can enjoy.
If not the Wavestorm, a soft-top board is our best recommendation. They are easier to ride and can prevent injuries while you’re out perfecting your craft. We hope you now have a basic understanding of how to pick the best beginner surfboard! Whether you buy your surfboard online, from a buddy, or at your local surf shop, is totally up to you. The most important thing is to get a board that makes you stoked to get out there in the water!