Surfboards are one of the most enjoyable ways to have fun in the water, and if you’re new to surfing altogether you’ll probably be eager to get your first one.
Choosing the best surfboard for beginners requires some patience though, and with that in mind, we’ve created this detailed buying guide to walk you through it.
Most importantly, buying your first surfboard should be done with humility. Don’t expect to get the biggest and best one as your very first investment, at least until you have the skill and experience to handle it.
You might not even end up liking surfing in the long term, so it’s not a hugely expensive purchase you should make for your first one. Whether you want it for kitesurfing or regular surfing, this is the most important rule to follow.
There are other features you’ll have to consider and it’ll all depends on where and how you want to use it.
If you prefer something for kitesurfing, are buying one for your child, or need a board to be the right fit for you physically, these are all things you’ll have to consider in your search for the best surfboards for beginners.
The more experienced you become, the more specialized you’ll want your board to be, but for beginners, there are some great options out there that are the perfect fit.
We’ve rounded up the top performers in this category to make your search a little easier, with our top picks for the best starter surfboard options.
Our Recommendations for the Best Surfboard for Beginners
Surfboards for beginners are all pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be an easy experience trying to buy your first board.
We’ve found the best surfboards for beginners with features that should suit most newcomers and a little about what makes them such a popular choice.
Best Surfboard For Beginners
BEST OVERALL: South Bay Board Co Verve Surfboard
South Bay Board Co has created the ultimate beginner foam surfboard with the Verve, offering 8 feet and 74 liters of volume for you to practice on.
This quality surfboard is made with a wax-free top deck and closed cell EPS molded foam in its core so even though it’s made for beginners, it’ll last you for many years to come.
The Verve is a popular choice from SBBC and mid-range in size to suit more riders, whether you’re a child or adult who’s learning how to surf. What customers love most about this surfboard is how well it rides the waves and how it can handle a lot more than most beginner boards.
From the wax free fingerprint top deck that keeps your feet gripped as tightly as possible to the durable foam construction that allows you to surf rough waves, it seems they’ve thought of everything for beginners through to professional surfers.
There were some minor inconveniences which could do with an upgrade, mainly the foot leash. Some surfers commented that they replaced it altogether to prevent it from wrapping around their legs, but that will be entirely up to you.
It’s more buoyant than other surfboards which is ideal for beginners but more seasoned riders may find this cumbersome when sitting out and waiting for your wave.
This soft top surfboard has so many features to offer, and they’re all minor factors that make a huge difference.
An HDPE bottom deck and netting that helps soften the impact, double concave bottom deck for greater control, two wooden and one fiberglass stringer, durable rubber bumper, and PVC fin holes to stop any water from entering the board.
These seemingly small features come together to create the best surfboard for beginners to intermediate riders.
The South Bay Board Co Verve 8’ Surfboard can be purchased on Amazon for around $400 with free shipping and free returns, and the option for further discounts depending on your payment options.
While there’s no word on a warranty it appears any issues other customers have had were taken care of swiftly from customer service. This is by far the best surfboard for beginners we could find, and it’ll serve you very well out on the waves.
RUNNER UP: South Bay Board Co Hybrid Surfboard
If you’re after surfboards for beginners who have a little bit of experience up their sleeve, the South Bay Board Co Hybrid Surfboard is your best option.
This 6′ surfboard is a hybrid made with both bamboo fiberglass on the bottom deck and an EPS closed cell foam core, resulting in absolute strength and power in a shortboard. Measuring 72 x 20 x 2.5″ with 35.5L of volume it’s ideal for surfers who want something smaller in size.
This hybrid surfboard is a very light 7lbs but capable of holding up to 220lbs in size. This lightweight feel doesn’t mean it’s weak though, as customers were most impressed with how it handled tough conditions.
The perfect mixture of fiberglass and foam makes it ideal for those with some experience or beginners wanting to up their game. It’s durable and made to last so if you spend a little extra on this shortboard you won’t need to upgrade for many years.
On the downside though, it’s not ideal for small waves or calm waters. It has a lot of volume for a shortboard at 35.5L so you’ll find it’s pretty buoyant and not capable of tackling smaller rises. You’ll want to stick to choppy conditions and large waves to really get the best use out of it, so in that way, it can be limiting, especially for a beginner surfer.
This surfboard from South Bay Board Co comes with plenty of extras including two 6oz layers of resin for strength, tapered rails with a nose and tail rocker to suit its size and a full length wooden stringer.
The Razzo shortboards have a rounded nose and wider chest so it delivers high speeds and performance for when the conditions on the water are intense. It features the no-wax fingerprint textured soft top that this brand is famous for so you’re able to keep your grip no matter how shaky things might be.
The South Bay Board Co Razzo Surfboard is available for the lowest price on Amazon for around $450 with free shipping to your door. Free returns are offered should there be any issues, but there’s no word on whether it’s covered by warranty.
For shorter surfboards for beginners and intermediate riders, the Razzo is one of our favorite picks.
Alternative: Giantex 6’ Surfboard
If you want the best surfboard for children or prefer something basic to start with, you’ll love everything about the Giantex 6′ Surfboard.
This shortboard is made with durable top foam and an HDPE bottom that lets it travel at high speeds with ease, and it comes in a range of bright colors. For surfers who have zero experience it’s perfect for learning the basics and thanks to the fishtail design, you’ll get more traction when you’re out riding those first waves.
This is the perfect surfboard for kids because it’s lightweight and features a rounded nose. This helps it not get stuck in the waves so they can maneuver them easily.
It also has a responsive bottom skin that adds speed and keeps the board stiff and strong. These small features will be hugely beneficial when you’re learning the basics of surfing.
According to customers, it’s not made with the highest quality materials and therefore not intended to be a surfboard that will last more than a couple of years.
Judging by the price, this is to be expected, but you will want to take extra care not to leave it in the sign and put it away completely dry when you’re not using it. These little things will hopefully lengthen its life span and give you some more value for money.
This surfboard is pretty easy to put together with the instructions included and Giantex has a dedicated customer service team on hand to reply within 24 hours. The measurements are 72” x 20” x 3” and it weighs a very light 5lbs.
The Giantex shortboard can hold riders up to 200lbs so it’s a little less forgiving than other brands of this size, but it should be perfect for any kids or lighter adults who want to use it.
The Giantex 6’ Surfboard is better suited for small adults and kids and priced at around $90 on Amazon, you can see why.
This budget-friendly board still has a lot to offer and makes the perfect entry-level board until you learn a bit more about the water sport and figure out what type of specialty features you require from your next one.
The Giantex board is stiff, easy to use, and perfectly sized, so it ticks all the boxes for one of the best beginner surfboards.
Alternative: Grande Juguete Surfboard
If you’re in the market for a beginner surfboard for your kids, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune, and the Grande Juguete Surfboard is the right choice.
This short board is just 5.5 feet long and made with a durable foam deck and surrounding wood parts so it’s lightweight but strong enough to tackle the waves. It comes with a few options for bright designs to please any child’s taste and it has great visibility out in the water for those parents who might feel a little wary.
The best thing about this budget-friendly shortboard from Grande Juguete is how easy it is to carry. If you’re a family looking for a small board to take along for your kids you’ll find it fits well in your luggage without being bulky.
Measuring at 64” x 20” x 2” and weighing around a few pounds, you’ll barely notice it but it’ll bring hours of joy for your child. It’s simple to use and perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of surfing and how to catch a wave.
At 5.5’, make no mistake that this is a small board. Some customers were shocked to find out just how small, even though the measurement is written in the product description. It states that it’s capable of holding surfers up to 150lbs or less, but other reviews claim it has a 100lbs weight limit maximum before it starts to affect the performance.
Therefore, we’d recommend this only as a kid’s board otherwise you’ll probably find it can’t even hold your weight in the water.
Other notable features of this board include the removable fins for transport and a strategically placed fishtail to give you more speed. It’s made with a foam top, EPS core, EPE deck, and hard PP bottom so your child will be able to ride it without fear of doing any damage.
There’s additional wood support in the foam deck to add to its pliability and as long as the surfer is within the recommended weigh capacity it should surf pretty safely.
If you don’t want to spend a lot and aren’t after a specialty surfboard, the Grande Juguete Surfboard is a good option for kids who want to learn how to surf.
This 5.5’ board costs around $90 on Amazon and it has a satisfaction guarantee offered by the manufacturer, making it a cheap but effective option or their first surfboard.
Alternative: Liquid Shredder Surf Board
Beginner surfboards for kids are a special market on their own, and one of our favorite finds for little ones wanting to learn how to surf is the Liquid Shredder Surf Board.
This economy series foam board is six feet long and capable of holding up to around 100lbs of weight. It makes use of different types of light foam in its construction as well as wooden stringers that give it a much-needed boost in strength.
As a heat laminated composite foam board, it’s ideal for those learning how to surf. Your kid will feel stable thanks to the EPS core and hard slick bottom and get a good grip on the top deck with the textured surface.
Even those kids who feel uneasy on their feet shouldn’t take long to learn the basics, so there’s no need to spend hundreds on their first surfboard when you can find one as stable as this.
There were some downsides though, and mainly it had to do with the quality of construction. Some users found that the board chipped after a few months of heavy use and that the cover warped when left in the sun too long.
Considering your surfboard will probably be out in the water and sun for some time when you’re learning how to ride it, you’d want something that’s going to keep its appearance and color for a while longer. While it didn’t affect the performance, it was still disappointing to find the brightness of the board fade after a short time.
This board comes in three different colors of yellow, blue, and red, and they vary in price significantly without offering any real advantage. Each of the bright colors gives you great visibility though, so you can keep an eye on your kid as they ride the waves.
Made for novice riders and those weighing less than 100lbs, you’ll be able to get good speed on it thanks to the superfast bottom and the added wooden stringers that give it stiffness.
The Shredder comes with a 90-day non-commercial warranty which is more than we’ve seen from other brands. The board costs between $130 to $190 on Amazon, depending on which color you choose, and that includes free shipping directly to your door.
As a beginner kids’ surfboard without any of the bells and whistles, the Liquid Shredder surfboard is a great entry-level choice and one that will help you grasp the fundamentals of surfing.
The Ultimate Surfboard FAQ
Beginner surfboards don’t have too much to them if you know what you’re looking for, but that doesn’t mean purchasing your first one will be an easy feat.
There are a few technical terms and features that you should understand first to make your first purchase less confusing, so we’ve answered some common questions about surfboards to help you out.
How Much Is An Average Surfboard?
The price of a surfboard can vary significantly depending on a few factors, with the most important being the materials used. A good quality surfboard from a reputable brand costs between $800 to $1,000.
However, for a beginner surfboard or one made for kids or with less weight capacity, you can expect to spend a lot less, usually a few hundred dollars for a good brand.
Why Are They So Expensive?
The cost of a surfboard depends on what they’re made out of and how they were made with the most expensive ones costing thousands of dollars.
Handmade surfboards are the most expensive because of the labor used to make them which includes sanding and shaping.
The cheapest option for surfboards is a board made of polyurethane and mass-produced in a factory, but their quality won’t always be as high.
Is A 6’6 Surfboard Good for A Beginner?
A surfboard is measured in feet and inches and the best size for you will depend on your weight and height, as well as your skill level.
Generally, a beginner will want to opt for a 7’0″ board if they weigh under 155lbs and then go up around five inches at a time for each additional 20lbs you weigh.
A 6’6 board would be ideal for a child or smaller surfer and suitable for a beginner learning how to surf.
How To Get Started With Surfboarding?
Once you’ve established that it’s a sport you want to progress with, you can purchase your beginner surfboard and learn more advanced moves on your own.
With a few hours of practice spent each week, you’ll be able to go farther out and ride bigger waves, then feeling comfortable to upgrade your board and try new techniques.
The Beginning of Your Surfing Passion
Whether you want to learn to surf to enable you to kitesurf or have always wanted to ride the big waves for yourself, you’ll need the right board to get started.
There’s no need to spend more than a few hundred dollars for a quality name brand beginner board, and if you want to spend even less than that there are still some great options.
Surfboards are generally made with a lot of time and care, so their price tags can seem scary at first.
However, keep in mind how much use they’ll get and how the better their quality the easier they’ll be to ride and you’ll see why.
Once you’ve caught the surfing bug you’ll never want to let it go, so choosing the best surfboard for beginners could be more important than you realize.