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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of catching the perfect wave, but to do so, all surfers must first master the basics. Certain surfboards are specifically designed to make your entry into the sport easier by providing added buoyancy, stability and control. Longboards with a high volume and a length of around 8’ are best. Other things to look out for in a beginner surfboard range from a foam construction (for a lighter, more manageable feel), to traction pads (to help you stay on). In this article, we look at some of the best options for entry level surfers.
Best Overall: Gold Coast Surfboards Soft Top 8’8” Heritage Surfboard
The Gold Coast Surfboards Soft Top 8’8” Heritage Surfboard is a classic longboard designed with beginners in mind. It measures 106” x 23” x 3”, giving it a total volume of 86 liters - enough to ensure plenty of stability and buoyancy for those tackling the waves for the first time. The rounded nose shape also contributes to the board’s overall stability. Despite its large size, an EPS foam core keeps it relatively light; while three internal stringers (two wooden and one fiberglass) give the board added durability.
Croc-textured IXPE foam on the top deck makes it easier for you to grip on. When you do fall off, the soft top makes getting hit by the board less painful; while the reinforced slick HDPE bottom glides easily through the water. Essentially, the Heritage Surfboard is designed to provide just the right blend of beginner-friendly comfort and performance, so that you can continue to enjoy it long after you’ve learned the basics. Your purchase includes fins, fin screws and a 9’ leash. Order your board in blue, green or white.
Best Runner-Up: Gold Coast Soft Top 8' Verve Surfboard
Measuring 8’ in length and 23” in width, the Gold Coast Verve Surfboard is a slightly smaller option for those looking for added maneuverability without sacrificing too much in terms of stability. The "croc skin" textured soft top deck provides extra grip, giving beginners a helping hand when learning to stand. When you lose the battle against gravity and collide with your board, the IXPE Foam Board Top Deck will take some of the sting out of falling. The EPS Foam Closed Cell Core does not take on water and can support riders weighing up to 200lbs.
Reviewers praise the board for its stability and for how easy it makes the paddle-out process. The slick HDPE bottom lets you cut through the water efficiently, while two hand-resined wood stringers and one fiberglass center rod add strength and rigidity. The Gold Coast Verve comes in white and lime green. Your purchase includes three screw-in fins and a board leash.
Best Budget: Wavestorm 8’ Surfboard with Brushed Graphic
Combining quality with an affordable price-tag, the popular Wavestorm 8’ Surfboard is the best value beginner surfboard on Amazon. It measures 22.5” in width and 3.75” in thickness, giving it a total volume of 86 liters. At 11.5 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight - making it easy to carry to the beach and more forgiving in the event of a rider/board collision. The board features an EPS foam core reinforced by three marine-ply stringers.
Use the soft top deck’s textured traction pad to help you stay upright and guide your foot placement. The HDPE bottom slick allows the board to maintain its shape throughout a whole summer of fun at the beach, while the blue pinstripe graphic is designed to withstand direct exposure to UV sunlight. As an added bonus, the price includes a removable thruster fin set, a removable ankle leash and a pre-installed leash plug.
Best for Lighter Riders: Gold Coast Surfboards 7’ Ruccus Surfboard
The Gold Coast Surfboards 7’ Ruccus Surfboard is the ideal choice for beginners weighing up to 150 pounds. At 84” x 22” x 3”, it provides 49 liters of volume and tips the scales at just 13 pounds - making it easy for smaller riders to carry to the shore. It handles exceptionally well in the water, too, with a full easy rocker, a rounded nose and a classic squash tail combining to give extra stability and control.
The croc-textured IXPE foam top has a widened chest area to help with your pop-ups. The bottom deck features a hardy diamond-weave HDPE slick, while the EPS foam core has three stringers (one fiberglass and two wooden). Use the rubber tail bumper to store your board upright without damaging it. Bonus extras include three screw-in fins, a 7’ leash and a leash plug screw.
Best for Larger Riders: Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip 10’ Surfboard
Particularly tall or large individuals in search of the perfect beginner surfboard should consider the Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip 10’ Surfboard. Its added length provides the increased buoyancy required to support and stabilize larger riders; while the rigid multi-stringer core gives the board plenty of strength. The board’s famously durable construction includes reinforced rubber bumpers on the nose and tail.
Perhaps the best feature of this board (and the one that makes it a favorite with surf schools all over the world) is its patent-pending deck design. Inserts show you where the board’s center point is, where you should be when paddling and where to stand up; giving you confidence in your foot placement without having to look down. The soft foam top deck is also textured for increased grip. This blue and white board comes with fins included.
Best for Kids: California Board Company 7’ Surfboard
The California Board Company 7’ Surfboard is a popular choice for kids, with Amazon reviewers labeling it the perfect starter board for next-generation surfers. Its aqua and white stripes appeal to style-conscious youngsters, while the shorter length makes the board lighter and easier to handle than a classic longboard (yet more stable than a standard shortboard).
The board boasts an EPS core for maximum buoyancy. Three laminated wood stringers ensure that it stays in good condition from season to season, while the shape is designed to perform well even after your kids have graduated from beginner status (giving you the best possible value for money). Other highlights include the polyethylene slick bottom; the triplefin set-up for optimum speed and control; and the included leash with its padded neoprene ankle strap.
Best for Progression: BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard
Available in a range of beginner-friendly lengths, the BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers alike. Its shape makes for easy progression from entry level skills to more challenging feats - making this the perfect fit for those that don’t want to outgrow their first board (or pay for a more advanced one) too quickly. With a closed cell polyurethane foam core and an ultra-durable polyethylene outer shell, the board’s construction is also designed to go the distance. Added bonuses include the integrated 3D traction pad and the included FCS fins. Choose from a selection of white boards with a range of different colored motifs.