5 Best Surfboards for Beginners

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.

Best Overall

Rock-It 8’ Big Softy 9.6 Check Price

Best Mid Range

California Board Company’s Fish 9.3 Check Price

Cheaper Choice

Wavestorm 8.8 Check Price

BIC Sport G-Board EVO Soft Surfboard 8.0 Check Price

Alpen Flow 8’ Foam Surfboard 6.8 Check Price

1. Rock-It 8′ Big Softy

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Soft Foam Construction Classic Surfboard, strong EPS core with 3 stringer system
Included removable bolt thru fins ankle leash traction pad
Dimensions 8' x 22 1/2" x 3 1/4" Weight 11.5 lbs
Volume 8...

Another eight-foot beginner board new surfers love is Rock-It. 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, Rock-It uses all recyclable materials. In addition, it has a unique feature that first-time surfers may appreciate. The board has a zebra-like striped 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.

THE PROS: THE CONS:
  • Only 81 liters in volume
  • Great buoyancy on the waves
  • All recyclable materials
  • May require wax for better grip

2. California Board Company’s Fish Surfboard

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This custom molded shape has 3 multi-layered (molded-in) laminated wood stringers coated with waterproof resin. It has a heat laminated high denisty 100% waterproof EPS core and high density polyet...

Some beginner surfboards are only available through a manufacturer like California Board 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 6’2″, 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 CBC website at €193.98 or US$249. While a little more pricey than others, the board more than makes up for it through amazing features for first-time surfers.

THE PROS: THE CONS:
  • 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

3. Wavestorm

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Soft Foam Construction Classic Surfboard, strong EPS core with 3 stringer system
Included removable bolt thru fins ankle leash traction pad
Dimensions 8' x 22 1/2" x 3 1/4" Weight 11.5 lbs
Volume 8...

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. Amazon sells it for $193.47, but you can also find it for a cheaper price at stores like Costco.

THE PROS: THE CONS:
  • Durable and eco-friendly materials
  • Comes with a discreet ankle leash
  • Textured trackpad
  • More expensive when purchased at online e-commerce stores like Amazon

4. Bic Sport G-Board Evo Soft Surfboard

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Durable, rippable shapes for maximum fun at a terrific price
Perfect for the Beginner or the advanced rider that wants to turn small waves into a rippable skate park
6 sizes (3 models) to choose fr...

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.

THE PROS: THE CONS:
  • 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

5. Alpen Flow 8′ Foam Surfboard

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Specifications: 8′ Feet Long x 23" Inches Widex 3.7"Inches Thick/ Volume: approximately 72.9 liters/Weight: approximately 15 lbs/ Easily Supports Beginner Riders Up To 230 lbs
Package includes:All ...

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 Alpen Flow board is sturdy and reliable. It also holds surfers weighing up to 230 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 just two colors: white and gray. However, the board has the added advantage of being scratch-resistant.

THE PROS: THE CONS:
  • Top-tier speed and fin performance
  • Holds weight up to 230 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!