Summer, my most favorite season has finally come. I can no longer wait to drive straight to the beach and play with the waves. But before that, I need to finish writing this review on the best beginner surfboards.
Do you love surfing? For me, it’s half of my life. Some of my friends are helplessly seeking their first surfboard that is suitable. And if you are just starting and be serious in surfing, just like my friends, you must be very careful in choosing a beginner surfboard. It makes all the fun, dude!
14 or 15 years ago, as far as I could remember, I was confused standing in front of many choices for my first surfboard. Whether it should be a short board or long board, or choosing a malibu for a lot more fun? Agrrr…it’s a pain.
Today, with the growth of online shopping, there are tremendous amounts of surfboards with various types and models pushed onto the internet, making it harder for starters to choose their first board. But no worry, I’m here to help you out. Just read through my complete guide, I hope that you find the best beginner surfboard for yourself.
Here is a the list of my best picks for your quick scanning through or you can scroll down for detail reviews.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A SURFBOARD, ESPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS
People don’t forget their first love. So do the surfers. We will never forget the feeling of riding our first surfboard. It was eager, exciting, a bit painful but such a beautiful memory. However, there are still many cases didn’t have a happy ending with their first surfboard. Well, just because they pick the wrong one.
A wrongful starting may kill your love, the fire of surfing. So, you must spend time to figure out how to choose a right surfing board that fits you the most. This is especially way more important if you are just a beginner.
But don’t freak out. Finding a suitable surfboard is not that difficult. You just need to consider essential things below, they will help you understand your needs and make the selection easier.
Note: In this article, I’m trying to help people to pick their best beginner surfboards. So, all guides and advices here are just for beginners. It’s may not applicable to you as an intermediate or pro surfers.
VOLUME IS MOST IMPORTANT
So, can you guess what the hardest thing is in my first day of surfing? Let me tell you, it’s not paddling, not turning. It’s how you get on and stand firmly in your board. If you can’t do that properly, your surfing could be painful.
That’s why you should choose a big board with high volume as your beginner surfboard. The more volume, the more buoyant your board is, the easier for you to pop up, catch and ride the waves.
For an beginner we recommend to choose the surfboard with at least 60 liters volume. It will be more help since you’re learning.
This is the second most important numbers to consider when buying a surfing board. And when it comes to dimension, we’ll talk about length, width and thickness.
A narrow board will allow you to ride faster rail to rail while a wide board will be more powerful and stable. Longer boards are more buoyant, easy to catch waves and more stable while a shorter board is easier to turn and duck dive. Thinner board gives you more ability to turn harder while thicker board is more floatable.
Bases on your weight, skills, and preferred type of surfboard, you can choose a suitable size for your board. Surfer Today has a comprehensives surfboard size chart for your reference.
So, for entry-level surfers, we recommend to choose a wide, long and thick board. These are the best beginner surfboards that help you learn and get used to surfing quicker.
TYPE OF SURFBOARDS
The world of surfing is constantly changing, lead to the evolving of surfboards. You can find many designs of surfboard in the market today. However, these designs will turn around only 7 main types of surfboard:
7 TYPES OF SURFBOARD
- Around 5’6 to 6’4 long, 16″ to 19″ wide, usually with a rounded square tail
- The most popular surfboard, fast, hard to paddle, but easy to turn, duck-dive and
- Usually over 8′ or 10′ long, with a rounded nose
- Very stable in the water, easy to paddle and catch waves, but hard to turn because of its size
- Ideal beginner surfboard for learning
THE FISH BOARD
- Around 5’2 and 6’4 long and 18″ and 22″ wide with a swallow tail
- Designed for enhancing ability to catch wave while still be fast and maintaining maneuvering performance
- Great for small and medium waves
- Generally 6’6 and 8’0 in length and 20″ to 22″ wide
- Designed to combine paddling capability of longboard and turning ease of shortboard
- Perform well in all conditions, ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers
THE GUN BOARD
- Usually feature a narrow nose, pintail, and varies from 7′ to 12′ in length
- Easy to paddle, quickly enter the big waves, easy to control in steep waves but quite hard to turn
- Ideal for extreme surfing conditions
THE TOW-IN BOARD
- Usually from 5’5 to 6’2 in length, with a wider tail and nose, keeping the rails more parallel for stability, heavier than standard
- Built for speed, ideal for big waves surfers
THE STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD
- Typically varies from 9′ to 12′ in length, wider and thicker than longboard
- Built for surfing on small and medium wave or paddling in flat water like lakes, rivers
Okay, you’ve already had a good idea about the essential factors to choose suitable surfboard for beginner. Now, there’s one last but not least thing to consider before going to detail reviews and pick your best beginner surfboard. It’s material.
For your easy understanding, here in this post, I simply classify surfing board materials into 2 types: soft and hard board. Each type has its own pros and cons that you can see in below comparison.
- Safer for beginner surfers
- Difficult to ding or break
- Can be equipped both soft or hard fins
- Easier to catch waves
- Very buoyant, easy to paddle
- Suitable for more skillful surfers
- More fragile, easy to ding or break
- Only go with hard fins
- Harder to catch waves
- Less buoyancy, but offer more maneuverability
So, with the comparison I made above, if you are a new surfer, we highly recommend you to choose a soft surfboard for your safe and easy learning.
WHAT ARE THE BEST BEGINNER SURFBOARDS IN 2019?
Well, I hope that for what I’ve been sharing, you’re now equipped all knowledge and be able to choose your first surfboard and start your first surfing.
The best way to buy a surfboard is going straight to the shop then touch and feel it by yourself. But you know, it’s a luxury and not so many people have chance for it. So, online shopping is a great alternative.
However, scanning through thousands of products on the internet is such a boring thing. If you are fed up with that, check out our detail reviews below. I have used many surfboard, can’t remember how many, but I don’t like most of them. Below are the 5 best beginner surfboards that I recommend for new surfers.
However, before we come to the detail review, let me quickly brief you about how we should go through it. Each of these reviews will show you:
Product key features: are the essential information that give you an overview about the product
Our ratings: are the score from 1 to 5 based on how good the surfboard is in term of 4 factors:
- Stability: refers to how easier the beginner can get on and stay stable on the the board. This is first important step for starters. It should be one part of the performance factor below, but for this article, we cut it out for your effortless consideration.
- Performance: is the combination of many factors that define a good surfboard, including: maneuverability, ease of paddling, speed,…etc.
- Price: is how the product compares with other in terms of absolute price only, regardless of the quality
- Overall rating: is our own rating for the specific product, the higher score means the more suitable we think the surfboard is for beginners.
In-depth review: our detail go-through that helps you better understand why we think this product is the best surfboard for beginner.
Pros and Cons: are a summary of the advantages that make the surfboard stands out as well as the downsides that you need to consider before buying.
Now, let’s jump into 5 best surfboards for beginners in our list.
Our #1 Rated
Like I’ve shared with you, the first surfboard for beginners should always be a big, long and foam board. That’s why our top 1 rated recommendation for the best beginner surfing board is this Stormblade 10′.
This is a soft board, made from superior EPS (expanded polystyrene) core, with top foam deck so it’s durable, and light compared to other longboards. It makes surfing easier, safer but still a lot fun, especially for beginner.
This is a huge and super buoyant board that make you easier to pop up on it and paddle. The 24.5″ wide board give you more balance when riding, this is critical to new surfers. You know, falling down from a surfboard is never a good feeling even when you are in the middle of the sea.
And as a longboard, it’s way easier to catch waves than other smaller boards. You don’t need to make so much effort paddling to catch a wave. This is great for those who are learning to surf as you can keep practicing without worrying about catching waves.
However, because of its size, this Stormblade 10′ is hard to turn. It’s also hard to carry this long surfing board so you need to think about how your car can cope with it before buying.
- Durable, soft and light compared to other longboards
- Safer and easier for beginner to learn surfing
- Easy to paddle and more balance
- Catch waves easily
- Ideal for both new and intermediate surfers
- Hard to turn
- Hard to carry
Our #2 Rated
Wavestorm may be the most well-recognized surfboard brand in the US. It’s famous for learn-to-surf board which is soft and easy to handle. And this Wavestorm surfboard 8′ is one of the best in their beginner segment.
This Wavestorm 8′ is an longboard, but can be considered the funboard as it’s the shortest in this type. However, you can still catch waves easily with this board. Yet, because its size is smaller, it helps to improve the ability of turning, ripping. It’s ideal for both beginner and advance surfers.
Its width at 22.5″ is enough to give you a great balance, easy to handle the board and also improve the speed a bit.
This Wavestorm surfboard is a EPS soft board with top foam, as light as 11.4lbs which make it durable and quite easy to carry. It won’t depreciate much after 1-2 months surfing (in case you want to resell it).
So far, this is one of the best surfboards for beginners, but to use it to the fullest, you will need a bit more skills.
Great combination between wave catching and handling
- Safer and easier for beginner to learn surfing
Soft, light, easy to carry
- Suitable for beginner and advance surfers
Need to power to paddle
- A bit more difficult to master
Our #3 Rated
This California surfboard 7′ is a soft board, also often called phonies. They are perfect for learning on for kids, adults and the whole family. This is a great option which is well-priced, offer big value for money.
The key thing about this California 7′ is they are made of foam, that’s is soft. So when you fall on them, you don’t get much impact compared to a hard surface. This is import for beginners as it breeds confidence, won’t damage yourself too badly and make you really happy in the water.
This foam soft board has a phone, a kind of plasticized outer which made it durable. It also has a slick which called Serling base that glides smoothly across the water. All of these factors come together to give you a light, soft but more durable than the kind of thing you’re going to find in the supermarket.
This funboard has 3 wooden stringers running tip to toe, on two sides an in the middle. This give this board stiffness, durability. So again, it’s going to last for years.
California Board Company is a premium name is soft boards. They use the top end materials and you’ll pay a little more than you do for other brands, but what you get in return for that extra investment is, in our opinion, well-worth the money.
7 feet is a great size for bigger kids from 12-14 year-olds and adult ladies or small guys. It provides plenty of float, pretty thick under the chest which is where you need to volume to help you paddle and catch waves with confidence. This surfboard is very easy to set up with fins and straight forward to use.
Great for big kids and small adults
Soft, light and durable
- Help you to paddle and catch waves with confidence
- Catch waves easily
- Come with removable fins and traction pad for grid
Not for big guys
Less stable than a longboard
Our #4 Rated
This SBBC 8′ Verve is truly a performance focus of top surfboard. It is designed to be a great board for beginners to learn on, but also focus on experienced surfers enjoying their time on the water.
It has the shape to be really fast in proper swell for those looking for that kind of foam steep face charger. If you are younger ground or kids just starting out, this is one of the best go-to-beginner board to learn on but also progress and get better with, keeping your quiver over time.
Every 8′ Verve purchase includes 1 eight-foot leash and three plastic screw-in fins. Even though they are plastic, they have very very stiff things.
This beginner surfboard features a slight entry locker in nose and slight exit rocker in the tail with a relatively flat center section. This flat center section is for maintaining your speed. Front entry rocker in the nose keeps that nose up out of the water while you paddling to really make sure you get to time to set on your board. The slight exit rocker in the tail gives the board the release and smoothness, help the board flows more fluidly.
On the top is a very unique fingerprint foam texture, this is wax free texture so you don’t need to wax this board. This allows the board to stay much cleaner, much fresher for a long time
- Stable, light and safe for beginner
- Easy to paddle and gain speed
- Wax-free fingerprint texture on the top keep it cleaner and fresher
- Purchase includes screw-in fins and 8′ leash
- Also suitable for experienced surfers
- Hard to transport
- Less maneuverable
Above are our picks for top 5 best surfboards for beginners. Each of them has its outstanding features, yet if we need to make a choice, we recommend the Strongblade 10′. This is an ideal long surfboard which is stable and easy to learn on. Start with it first then you can gradually improve your skills and upgrade to more advance board later.
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