Finding The Best Surfboard For Beginners (2021 – 2022)

If you haven’t been surfing before, buying a surfboard can be a pretty difficult task.

There are lots of factors to consider and it can take some time before you begin to learn how to ride properly.

There are certain boards available that are better to learn how to ride on than others, and we want to help new surfers like you find those boards.

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Our Picks: Best Beginner Surfboards for the Money

  1. BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard
  2. Wavestorm 8′ Surfboard
  3. Paragon Surfboards Retro Noserider Longboard
  4. Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard
  5. Solid Surf Co Throwback Surfboard

What To Consider Before Buying

In order to help you come up with a good surfboard, we have come up with a buyer’s guide to go over the various factors that you should consider.

We have also compiled a list of beginner surfboard reviews that you can check out in order to get an idea as to some of the options that are available on the market.

guy surfing

Experience level

Determining your level of experience is the first step that you should take after deciding on some kind of a budget for yourself to stick to.

Generally an inexperienced surfer will have the hardest time maintaining their balance, getting the proper stance in order to surf properly and getting used to things like grip, where to stand and how to paddle a unit.

For this reason a longer board of at least 8-ft is generally better as it will allow you to be able to slow things down while you get used to and master your techniques. 

If you have some experience behind you, then one of the things you may want to do is get a board that allows you to be able to turn more sharply and put more power behind you.

An advanced surfer will want a board with a high range of motion and the ability to travel in a straight line.

Volume

If you are brand new to surfing and don’t know what makes a board different from another board, one of the main things that is different from board to board is the volume.

If you are a beginner, a board with more volume is probably something that you may want to look for.

A board that has more surface area is going to float better on the water and it is going to be much easier to maintain your balance on.

The nice thing about a board that has a lot of volume, is that the board is generally capable of riding in all sorts of different wave conditions with relative ease.

The easiest way to get board volume is to find something that is nice and thick in size or to find something with a lot of length to it.

Materials/ Features

When you are looking for a surfboard, you should always take a look at the finer details.

Some small aspects of a board can really change your surfing experience.

A board that has a leash for example; will allow you to be able to stay attached to your board, regardless of how bad of a wipeout you have while you are riding it.

Another thing that can make it more difficult for you to fall off, is a quality grip pad located on the top portion of the board.

It is important to note that grip does add to the weight of the board, but it does allow you to be able to stand on the board much easier and can even teach you the proper location to stand on the board when you are surfing.

Depending on the location that you are surfing, another accessory that you might find that comes with your board is a wet suit.

If the water in your area is really cold a wet suit can allow you to be able to surf without feeling super chilly and is a nice thing to have so that you can surf regardless of the weather conditions unless there is a thunderstorm out.

Fins

There are various amounts of fins on a surfboard each serving various purposes.

To put it in general terms, the more fins you have, the more drag that will occur.

Drag will make a board more difficult to use in slower water conditions.

In order to explain what each of the designs are good for, we have created a list below:

  • Single: This type of a fin design is best for learning the basics of surfing on. Unlike the other boards that are available, these types of boards you have to rely on your rails in order to be able to turn the board rather than the fin.
  • Dual: If you want to be able to maneuver your board with ease, then a dual fin board is the best option for you. The fins will help you be able to turn and you won’t have to rely on your rails in order to be able to turn the board which some people prefer.
  • Thruster: The most common type of setup that you will find in a surfboard is a design that has three fins built into it. These designs allow for a pretty good balance between speed and stability which is largely why they are so popular.
  • Quad: If you want to be able to hold your ground through heavy waves, then a four fin design may be the best option for you. A four fin design will allow you to be able to manauevre your board with ease and if you get a board that has adjustable and removable fins then you should be able to change to other designs that you like or want to try out, which is certainly something that you may want to consider.

Types of Boards

If you don’t know anything about the types of surfboards on the market; there are a lot of options available and they can really range in price as well as quality depending on the amount of money that you spend on a unit.

If you are brand new to surfing, it can be difficult to determine how often you are going to use your board.

Generally speaking you can at least determine how often you go swimming in order to get a general idea as to how much time you will spend in and around the water.

If you only go a few times a year, you should may consider getting yourself a cheaper lower quality board so that you aren’t wasting your money on something you don’t use.

If you go to the beach every once in a while you may want to have a mid-size budget for a board.

If you are there all of the time then you should maybe consider a bit of a larger or mid-size budget as well.

Below, we have broken down the many types of boards available in order to give you an idea as to the quality of the different materials and types available.

  • Foam Board: If you are looking to learn or you just want a cheap board to mess around on, then a foam board is probably going to be your best option. These types of boards are extremely light weight in design which makes them extremely easy to transport. These boards float extremely easily which is nice if you want something stable. You should always make sure to check the weight limit of the board as some of these types of boards are specifically built for kids.
  • Mini Mals: This type of a board is basically a shorter version of a longboard. These boards offer a lot of control and a decent amount of stability since they maintain the shape of a longboard.
  • Funboards: These types of boards generally fall somewhere in size between the mini mals and the shortboards on the market. The boards offer very good maneuverability and have pointy noses which allow the user to be able to duck dive down and under waves in order to hit the ones that they want to with relative ease.
  • Fish Surfboards: If you want something that is pretty wide and offers a good amount of stability on the water, then this could be a good option for you. This board is easy to turn even if you are riding it at low speeds and on small waves.
  • Shortboards: These boards generally range from five to seven feet in length and generally requires a fairly experienced surfer in order to be able to ride the board properly. These types of boards are the best for slow waves or waves that have a fast barrel to them. The boards generally have three fins in their design, but can normally adapt to your preferences.
  • Longboards: If you are looking for traditional then a longboard is the way to go. This style of board is used by experienced surfers and new surfers alike. The longboard has a large surface area and is quite buoyant allowing you to be able to maintain your balance relatively easily and stay on the board for a longer period of time, even in rough wave conditions.

Our Picks: Surfboard Reviews

1. BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard Review

BIC Sport Dura Tec Surfboard

If you are looking to get a surfboard in the mid to low price range then this board could be a good option for you.

This board is available in different color options in order to suit your needs and it is also available in sizes that range from five foot ten inches all the way to nine feet in length when they are in stock.

This board is generally meant to be used by beginner or amateur surfers due to the fact that it is fairly wide and it is designed to be fairly easy to ride.

Pros:

  • Three fin design of this board is easy to ride
  • Available in a wide variety of colors and a wide variety of size options
  • Traction pad on the surface of the board will allow you to be able to maintain grip with ease
  • Pretty reasonable price tag on the unit appeals to a broad range of people

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with any accessories included

Verdict:

So long as you aren’t looking to buy yourself a ton of accessories and you just want a quality surfboard then this could be a good option for you.

You will be able to choose the size as well as the color that you like at the checkout.

Overall, a very good board for the price tag that should meet the satisfaction of both beginner and amateur surfers thanks to the three fin design of the unit and a high quality board offering good grip and a variety of size options.

2. Wavestorm 8′ Surfboard Review

Wavestorm 8' Surfboard

If you are looking to get yourself something for a pretty reasonable price tag and want something that is of a decent size then this board could be a good option for you.

This board has a very slick design and has the standard three fin system so that this board is easy to use for someone with a bit of experience behind them.

The board is made out of soft foam, with a strong EPS core with 3 stringer system.

Pros:

  • Three fin system is common and easy to learn on, but also good for experienced riders as well
  • Slick bottom of the board helps it to be able to skim across the water with ease and travel at a fast speed
  • The length of this board makes it quite stable on the water
  • Light weight design of this board makes it easy to transport and easy to carry around wherever you need to go
  • Includes removable bolt thru fins ankle leash traction pad

Cons:

  • This is a foam board so it is a little bit more prone to breaking
  • The eight foot design can make this board a little bit more difficult to maneuver around tighter turns

Verdict:

So long as you are willing to get a foam board, this board is high quality.

The three fin design allows the board to be able to travel at fast speeds on the water, but it doesn’t get rid of all of the maneuverability and take away your balance.

3. Paragon Surfboards Retro Noserider Longboard Review

Paragon Surfboards Retro Noserider Longboard

If you want to get quality longboard that is suitable for beginners as well as more advanced surfers, then look no further.

Perfectly suited for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers up to 250lbs, this board let’s you catch more waves thanks to its generous 72L of volume.

Paragon’s ParaLite Epoxy material makes this board lighter, stronger, and more buoyant.

Its superior performance and strength have been proven in a wide variety of wave conditions.

This 9’0″x 22 1/4″x 3 1/16″ 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 and a gloss finish.

The main benefits of this retro shape are the enhanced glide and stability that make it a breeze to walk up to the nose of the board.

This is the result of a wider-than-normal square tail, a full nose and 50/50 rails.

Pros:

  • Design leads to enhanced glide and stability in the water.
  • This board is lighter, stronger, and more buoyant than similar models.
  • Works well for surfers of all skill levels

Cons:

  • Cost may make it out of budget for some beginners.

4.  Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard Review

Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard

This board from Lib Tech is another great option if you want to invest in a quality surfboard that will last you as your skills grow.

Built to fill the gap between shortboard and longboard, this “mid size” shape works in all conditions and catches waves like nobody’s business!

Whether you’re a beginner looking for something that’s easy to progress on, a weekend warrior looking for maximum wave time, or an OG who’s looking to walk the plank and hang 5 on a small wave day, this board is tough to beat.

Oh yeah, and speaking of tough, this surfboard is made with Lib Tech’s legendary construction that’s virtually indestructible. 

Where to get the best price on this board:

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Works well in a variety of water conditions
  • Easy maneuverability for beginners
  • Durable board design that’s built to last

Cons:

  • Cost higher than many cheap boards

5. Solid Surf Co Throwback Surfboard Review

Solid Surf Co Throwback Surfboard

If you don’t mind spending a bit of a more than the cheapo boards, then this could be another good option for you.

The coolest thing about this board is that it is super eco-friendly and sustainable.

Like all Solid Surf Co boards, the Throwback is made with an eco-friendly BIOflex construction that’s easy on eyes and on the ocean.

A retro fish that’s performance ready, the Solid Surf Co Throwback Surfboard is a versatile board that’s built for just about everyone.

Featuring a volumized retro beak, this paddle-able ride handles mush with grace and treats newer riders well.

The mellow v concave and a thinner tail make the Throwback easy to engage and suitable for high-performance ripping too.

Pros:

  • Performs well in a variety of water conditions
  • Ideal for all skill levels
  • The most sustainable and eco-friendly surfboard brand on the market

Cons:

  • Higher price tag

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about this board – 

This board is a killer performance retro shape. The hemp that solid is making these with really makes the board less chattery comparatively to a standard eps board. This shape alone works so good in all types of conditions. Its also really cool to see a company trying to make something more sustainable. If you’re a fan of epoxy boards I recommend it. If youre a fan of poly boards I also recommend it. The hemp doesn’t add to much weight to where they feel like a poly and it still has the spring and responsiveness of Solids bio flex. Board is Amazing

Final Word

Hopefully after reading the buyer’s guide as well as the list of reviews you now feel as though you have a better grasp as to the features you may want on your own surfboard.

There are plenty of options available and it is important to make sure that you set a budget that is both reasonable for how much you plan on using the board, as well as what is reasonable for your financial situation.

It is always a good idea to try and remember to check into the return policy of the board that you plan on purchasing and it is a good idea to check into the warranty as well, in order to see both how much the manufacturer trusts their product as well as to see how long you can expect it to last.

Best of luck in your search and hope that you find yourself an awesome surfboard!

top image license: DepositPhotos

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