Finding the best surfboards for beginners is not an easy thing. When choosing a surfboard, you need to consider which boards are the best for learning and whether you want a soft-top with a textured skin or not.
Below is our list of best beginner’s surfboards for you to choose from. We have done all the research, so all you need to do is choose the one that suits you best.
There are factors you need to consider when choosing a beginners surfboard, and you can find these in the buyer’s guide designed to help ease your decision.
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We reviewed over 9 of the best surfboards for beginners to create this article. Below are the best options.
This Wave Bandit 6’6 is a fun-shape board with a fish-like shallow tail and is endorsed by Ben Gravy.
As Ben Gravy has attested, this board is perfect for every situation. From river waves to ocean swells, this board is great for beginners who want to test their new skills in different situations and environments.
It has a dual composite core which is made of a high-pressure construction in order to provide maximum stiffness for surfing.
There are dual wood stringer for added strength and a high density slick bottom for a smoother glide.
The 6’6 features a TPU 4.5 inch tri-fin system (fins included) that makes turns and catching waves easier. This board requires surf wax (not included) to ensure that you do not slip when standing up to catch those swells.
The Boardworks Froth Funboard is versatile, light and buoyant with durable construction that makes it perfect for beginners.
It has a fully glassed EPS core that is wrapped in an EVA outer skin to give the Froth Funboard a soft top for extra comfort. It has a thruster fin set for easy turns and maneuvering.
This board was created for versatility and durability, and is great for first time riders to learn on.
With a volume of 71.5 l (18.9 gal), the Froth Funboard has excellent buoyancy and it is also firm enough to hold your weight.
This is called a ‘Funboard’ for a reason - you will catch waves easily and have a great time doing it, no matter your skill level.
Hybrid foam surfboards are durable, have great performance and are semi-beginner friendly.
The South Bay Board Co. Casper 6’8 Hybrid has a CNC-Machined EPS Closed-Cell foam core with 1 full length I-Beam wooden stringer for stability and strength.
The 6oz layers of resin ensure a durable board that can take knocks in the water with little damage.
It has a textured, wax-free top deck to ensure you can stand on the board without slipping and a Bamboo Fiberglass bottom that is hard and firm and will not bend under your weight.
This is the wonderful thing about SBBC Hybrid boards: they have a foam soft top for comfort and a fiberglass hard bottom for stiffness and stability. This is the only soft-top/fiberglass-bottom surfboard on the market.
This is a funboard and is a little shorter at 6’8, but it has a wide shape that makes catching waves easy and fun. Due to being on the shorter side, this board is best for novice riders who are not complete beginners.
The Casper 6’8 has a wider chest area and a rounded-out nose that makes pop-ups a breeze, and a Swallow tail for excellent performance. The board comes complete with 3 large FCS fins, a fin key and a 7’ foot leash.
For a more detailed review on these types of boards, checkout our detailed article on foam boards.
The BIC Sport G-Board EVO 8’ is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers with its soft top and twin reinforced stringers that provides extra strength and stiffness.
The EVO 8’ features a thruster tri-fin system (soft fins included) and a soft deck that does not require any wax. Learning to surf on this board is easy due to its durable and lightweight construction.
It offers novice riders wonderful performance while still being a fun board to learn on.
This board is great for surf schools too as it can take knocks with very little damage which would mean that it would not need to be replaced as often as less durable boards.
It has a high volume for extra buoyancy to keep you from sinking, and the reinforced stringers offer wonderful stability for beginners to stand on.
The G-Boards are constructed of watertight foam and a bottom deck that offers riders a wonderful glide and is impressively durable.
The Driftsun Nymbus is our Best Budget board and offers riders all the features of a high-performing board. It provides a fun and safe surfing experience for beginners.
It has an EPS foam core with an EPE soft-top foam top deck that has excellent, no-wax traction.
It has a removable tri-fin system for easier turns and a seamless thruster nose with a wide body and curved rear for a smooth glide.
This is an excellent board to learn on as it makes catching waves fun and easy, while giving the rider a comfortable and safe experience.
The board has excellent speed and the fin system makes maneuvering those waves easy for beginner riders.
This is a wonderful training board to help you gain confidence and will have you mastering your balance and technique in no time. The soft-top means that even if you lose your balance, your board will not hurt you when you fall.
There are 3 color-coded sizes to choose from: Pink 58 in /147.3 cm; Green: 66 in /167 cm and Blue: 72 in /182.9 cm.
South Bay Board Co. 8’ Verve is well suited for older kids and adults to learn on. It has a soft top deck and thicker rails for a safer and easier surfing experience.
The rounded nose and tail offers stability for beginner riders and the full length double concave bottom deck provides speed and improved performance.
The top deck requires no wax and the concave bottom deck has been reinforced with a HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) hard, slick plastic for speed.
This board is constructed of Closed-Cell EPS foam with an auto-release valve, 2 layers of resin and an additional 2 layers of bamboo body armour for incredible durability.
Coupled with dual wooden and one fiberglass rod stringers and the 8’ Verve is one of the best boards to learn on.
It has the strength and durability that provides beginners with the confidence needed to stand up and catch those waves.
Come complete with PVC lined waterproof fin holes, FCS fins and leash with Shaka Logo, FCS fin boxes and a tail bumper.
The Rock-It Big Softy 8’ is designed to be wonderfully buoyant and easy to maneuver while still being stiff enough to offer beginners a stable board to learn on.
Constructed of proprietary EPS foam with a UV resistant, wide textured soft top that does not require surf wax (although adding some wax would be a good idea for beginners to improve their grip).
The board features 3 epoxy nano-coated marine wooden stringers for resistance to water absorption and comes with 3 safety fins.
The Big Softy 8’ is fully recyclable and the creation process is completely environmentally friendly.
Side note: the stripes at the bottom of the board are supposedly meant to help dissuade shark attacks by tricking the sharks into thinking that the board (and thus the person on it) is an inedible object and part of the natural environment.
Liquid Shredder FSE 7’ is one of the boards that are favored by Surf Schools as they are soft, fast and stable. The board is head laminated and cost-effective, making it the Best Value buy board on our list.
It has an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam core with dual wooden stringers for stability, strength and stiffness.
The board features a colorful EPE (Expanded Polyethylene) soft foam top deck with an anti-slip texture and comfortable feel. The bottom is constructed of slick, hard PP (Polypropylene) for added strength, rigidity and speed.
This FSE 7’ glides smoothly with its PP slick bottom and the EPE soft top deck makes falls less painful than they usually would be.
The removable tri-fin thruster system (fins included) allows for easier turns maneuverability and the EZ-Seal rubber fin system prevents unnecessary water from entering.
Wavestorm is one of the most popular surfing board brands in America and that alone should tell you how great their boards are.
The 8’ Sunburst is the Best Overall board on our list due to the wonderful quality and experiences this board offers its riders.
Constructed of a strong EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam core that is reinforced with 3 Marine-ply stringers for strength and stiffness.
The bottom has a HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) slick skin for stiffness and a smooth glide through the water. The HDPE bottom and 3-stringer system ensures that the board will not bend under your weight.
The top deck features a soft WBS-IXL crosslink deck and rails with WaveStorm’s exclusive SunBurst color art on the deck. The textured deck and traction pad means you will not slip when standing up.
This, coupled with the firm stiffness of the board, ensures that beginners will have no trouble catching waves.
The 8’ Sunburst is the Best Overall beginners board, offering optimal performance with a lightweight, buoyant and easy to handle board - and the color art top deck is aesthetically pleasing too.
The board comes with an ankle leash, traction pad and removable bolt thru fins.
foam longboard is the best beginner’s learning board. It is buoyant, has reach and is sturdy enough to stand on. Catching waves on these boards is also easy and fun. Because foam boards have such great buoyancy, they are great for nearly all waves and swells, and thus perfect to learn on.
Surf schools prefer these boards as well because their soft top means you will not be injured if you fall and their durability means they last longer and do not need to be replaced as often.
Yes, it is. You see, the more volume a surfboard has, the greater buoyancy it has. For experienced riders, this may not be all that much of a problem since they already have the ability to stay upright on the board.
However, beginners need the extra buoyancy that comes with foam longboards. It keeps you afloat and helps you to stay on the board for longer. A beginner would need a board with about 65l (17.2 gal) of volume and up.
Balance is everything, but it takes time to master it well enough for the volume of the board not to matter too much. I’m certain that many experienced divers have a preferred volume for surfboards, since they will know what works for them or not.
This depends on whether the board you choose to purchase has a textured top deck and how effective it is. Some textured top decks still require a little surf wax to increase grip. For beginners it might be best to err on the side of caution and add a layer of wax, regardless if the top deck is textured or not.
As with the surf wax, it all depends on the board. Some boards come with their own traction pad too. In my opinion though, it is always best to be prepared for every situation.
It is better to buy a traction that you might not need, than to be on your board in the water and realise that you should have gotten one. It will be a lot easier to learn to surf and catch waves if you do not need to worry about slipping for every pop-up.
The answer is simple: Invest in a surfboard bag. This will save you so much money in the long run. These bags act as a protective skin for surfboards, keeping your board safe during storage and travel. It protects your boards from knocks, scratches and cracks that usually occur outside of the water.
Another simple solution is to put your board in a safe place after use. When you are done surfing, place your board flat on the ground (to prevent it from falling) and in a spot where it will not be stepped on. The same applies to when you store it at home.
And finally, rinse your board with clean water after every use. This removes the salt and brine that the seawater leaves on your board. Seawater is highly corrosive, and can easily damage your board if proper care is not taken.
Buying a beginner’s surfboard is not an easy thing with all the options on the market. Below is an outline of features to look out for that make a great beginner’s board.
There is one important thing that you should understand: short boards are not good boards to learn on. They have less buoyancy and you have to catch waves at the critical moment. They require more effort on the rider’s board and are thus not good for those just learning to surf.
Foam longboards are the best option to learn on. They have the reach and buoyancy that makes catching waves easy even for beginners. They also have a stringer system and a high density bottom deck for stability, firmness and stiffness that makes balancing easier.
The soft top makes falls less painful and they are designed to be durable enough to take knocks without too much damage.
You may have noticed that most surfboards have specs that include the volume of the board. This determines how buoyant the board will be.
For beginners, the surfboard needs to have a minimum of 65l (17.2 gal) of volume, and the more the better. As a novice surfer, your balance will not be the best, and you need a board that has excellent buoyancy and is stable and firm enough to hold your weight.
This is another reason why shortboards are not great for beginners to learn on: they have a lower volume than longboards and foam boards.
The best thing to look out for is a soft-top top deck that has a textured skin. This will be comfortable and while also giving you a wonderful grip for pop-ups.
Not all surfboards are textured and have a soft-top (although all foam boards have soft-tops). A textured top deck is highly convenient, however you could always use surf wax if there is no textured skin.
It is important to note though, that having a soft-top surfboard is one the features that are great for beginners as it is more comfortable to lie on and you will have a softer landing for falls.
The best bottom deck on a surfboard will add extra stability and strength while also aiding speed and giving you an easy glide through the water. Look for surfboards with a bottom deck that offers these qualities.
Examples of great bottom decks are: HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene). They provide an easy glide and offer extra stability.
Other features to look out for are the stringers system being used and the fin system.
Stringers are used to increase stability and stiffness, ensuring that the board will not bend under your weight. The fins are used to give you maneuverability and makes turns easier. Your board should come with its own fins and if it does not then I would not buy it.
Most boards come with their own leash as well (although a rare few do not). Having a safety ankle leash is important for surfing. If your board does not come with one, then you should get one before you go out on the water.
Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.