Surfing will never go out of style for both young and old. According to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA), up to 35 million global citizens are self-proclaimed surfers.
If you’re new to the sport, you’ll want to purchase a beginner’s surfboard. Professional boards are best reserved for skilled surfers.
That said, what kind of boards work best for a surfing novice? In a sport where size is critical, the right surfboard matters. Most beginner boards are larger than the professional ones but still made with quality materials.
Take a look at our list of the five best surfboards in the marketplace, along with ratings for each.
What We'll Cover
South Bay Board Co.
Another eight-foot beginner board new surfers love is South Bay Board Co. In the company’s Big Softy style, this lightweight board has a volume of only 81 liters. The board consists of three marine wooden stringers coated with an epoxy nano-coating to impede waterlogging.
Even the pros love using the Big Softy, which makes it one of the most popular boards in the surfing community. The surfboard’s buoyancy is unmatched and facilitates easy paddling.
For younger surfers who appreciate sustainability in their surfboards, South Bay Board uses all recyclable materials. In addition, it has a unique feature that first-time surfers may appreciate. The board has a diamond-weave pattern that works as a visual deterrent for sharks.
Reviewers note that the surface of the board has a great grip. Even so, waxing your Big Softy is recommended in order to increase its grip capability.
- Only 81 liters in volume
- Great buoyancy on the waves
- All recyclable materials
- May require wax for better grip
Formula Fun – Shortboard Fish 5’3″
NOT YOUR AVERAGE FOAMIE: This foam board packs a major punch. Our foamies have everything that makes regular surfboards great--without the weight, wax, and cost. This board is designed from a solid...
Some beginner surfboards are only available through a manufacturer like Formula Fun Company. That said, the company’s Fish Surfboard is one of the best beginner boards out there. Its unique custom-molded shape, waterproof resin coating, and tri-fin system will help you hold your own in the water. Reviewers say this board works better on the waves than other beginner boards.
The Fish Surfboard also measures at just 5’3″, making it shorter than models like Wavestream. If you’re worried about looking like an amateur, this board will put your fears to rest.
Its high-density, fully waterproof EPS core makes up the bulk of materials here, turning the board into another environmental favorite. Its three laminated wood stringers are also waterproof.
The board is well-designed to keep your ankle leash protected, a unique feature missing from other boards. Another unique design aspect is the board’s ability to hold weights up to 190 lbs., proof that California Board Company makes inclusive products for many.
Purchasing is available directly through the Amazon website. While a little more pricey than others, the board more than makes up for it through amazing features for first-time surfers.
- It’s only a little over six feet
- Has a durable EPS core
- Waterproof wood stringers
- Holds a person weighing up to 190 lbs
- More expensive than some beginner boards out there
Soft Foam Construction Classic Surfboard, strong EPS core with 3 stringer system
Soft WBS-IXL ( Water Barrier Skin ) crosslink top deck and rails High Density (HDPE) Polyethylene slick bottom skin ...
Surfing neophytes tout Wavestorm as one of the top-tier boards, offering durable and environmentally friendly materials. At eight feet, it’s the perfect size. So, it won’t make you look like a newbie.
One of the strongest benefits of a Wavestorm board is the barely noticeable ankle leash, which helps you stay on the board during a wipeout (when a wave throws you off the board). The leash can be removed once you improve your skills.
Thanks to a strong EPS core with three marine-ply stringers, this board can hold up for years until you progress to a professional level. Plus, it has a textured trackpad to prevent you from falling off the board during your first-time surf.
As one of the most affordable boards on the market, you can’t go wrong with this entry-level choice.
- Durable and eco-friendly materials
- Comes with a discreet ankle leash
- Textured trackpad
- More expensive when purchased at online e-commerce stores like Amazon
Bic Sport G-Board Evo Soft Surfboard
As a high-quality, eight-foot beginner surfboard, BIC’s G-Board is the heaviest on this list. It weighs in at 20 lbs. and may be a little heavy for most beginners.
However, the board is highly durable, giving it a longer life cycle than the Alpen Flow board above.
Designers added a soft deck, offering more cushioning as the surfer rides giant, cascading waves. A non-slip grip also reduces the chances of slipping anyway.
The board has an EPS core with molded-in wood or composite stringers. The use of fiberglass makes the board durable. Meanwhile, rippable shapes increase the fun factor on the waves.
One drawback is that, due to its affordability, the board is often unavailable on platforms like Amazon. When that happens, you’ll have to wait until the item is back in stock.
- Very durable
- Non-slip grip surface
- Has rippable shapes
- Fiberglass materials to help it hold up for years
- Sometimes not available on Amazon, requiring you to pay more through the manufacturer
Paragon Surfboards Retro Noserider Longboard
HIGH-PERFORMANCE SHAPE: This Retro Noserider features what you'd expect from a high-end performance long board: a 9" center fin (FIN INCLUDED), single bottom concave, 6oz top and bottom glass job a...
Here you have one of the most basic beginner surfboards currently available. True, this board comes with few bells and whistles. However, it offers superior speed and fin performance, thanks to a rounded nose/pin tai design and a unique double concave bottom.
At eight feet, this Paragon Surfboards board is sturdy and reliable. It also holds surfers weighing up to 250 lbs., a major advantage over the others.
You get the usual fins, leash, and stomp-pad here, along with a surfboard traction pad. With the pad, surfers never have to worry about waxing their surfboards.
The company placed the pad at the tail-end of the board to prevent a surfer’s back foot from sliding off while riding the waves. Such a design is critical for safety and agility on the waves, making the board a popular choice for beginners.
Aesthetically, the board does look a little plain. It comes in five colors: blue/white, multi-color, SeaFoam green, orange/white and white. However, the board has the added advantage of being scratch-resistant.
- Top-tier speed and fin performance
- Holds weight up to 250 lbs
- Better design on the traction pad
- Plain design
- Not designed for long-term use: the fiberglass may detach from the foam core and cause a bubble to form
This list should give you a good primer on which boards to use during the next surfing season. Depending on where in the world you live, you can try these boards now or wait until next summer.
Regardless of your choice, these eco-friendly boards are sure to provide you hours of fun on the waves!