The Top 7 Surfboards For Beginners Reviewed
Do you want to be one of those cool dudes or dudette, riding the waves without worry? If yes, then it’s past time for you to see about surfing. Sadly, the pure desire to surf doesn’t make it happen. In fact, far too many newbies give up after taunts of ‘kook’ (nickname for beginner surfers) from the hard-core surfer dudes. In reality, though, everyone was a kook at some stage. You can’t become one of the real surfers if you don’t give it your best shot, with the best board by your side.
The board you choose is vital for making yourself a success in the sea. Jumping straight in with a serious board for serious surfers is going to see you over the edge and continuously in the water. That’s because boards for experienced riders are often heavier and harder to tame.
The ideal beginners’ boards are lightweight or foam options with increased buoyancy and less risk to the rider. Even better, there are now a plethora of cool beginner boards to ensure that you don’t look like the new surfer on the beach. And, we’re going to look at the best option for ensuring you’re like a fish in the water in no time.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Surfboard For Beginners is the South Bay Board Co. 8’8 Heritage.
Best Surfboards For Beginners
First is the iconic South Bay Board Co. 8’8 Heritage. This beginner-friendly foam surfboard kicks things off on a firm footing with the right materials, shape, and appearance for any beginner’s needs. This foam board with its soft top is sure to provide comfort and ease in the water which you simply wouldn’t get with a more ‘advanced’ board. That ensures you’ll be able to learn far faster than you might otherwise. The longboard body is also big, and big is always best for beginner stability.
As if the comfortable longboard shape weren’t enough, South Bay Board Co. has completed this model with wax-free ‘fingerprint’ foam on the top deck. This means you don’t even need to get your newbie head around the hassle of waxing your board. Instead, you can keep it clean at all times and focus on your time in the water. This saves hassle, as well as ensuring that your board stands the test of time.
We wouldn’t expect any less from the company which offers arguably the highest value and most durable beginner boards on the market. Even better, they offer a 30-day free returns guarantee if this isn’t the first board you’re hoping for. But, with 94% of 5-star reviews on Amazon boasting about this being a fantastic beginner board, we don’t think that’s likely somehow. Even better, there’s no chance the more experienced dudes and dudettes out there will laugh at you when you have a South Bay Board Co. offering tucked under your arm.
- [Performance Focused Soft Top Surfboard]s: All 7’ Ruccus, 8’ Verve, & 8’8 Heritage Surfboards are custom designed to be beginner friendly, incredibly durable, and very performance focused. The best Premium Beginner Surfboards will feature custom ‘Fingerprint’ Textured Wax-Free Top Deck, Slick HDPE Double Concave Bottom Deck, Perfectly molded shape with Hand Tapered Rails, Durable 3 Stringers, Heat damage Prevention Valve + Bamboo Lining, complete with FCS Compliant Fin Boxes and Fins + Leash
- [7’ Ruccus Surfboard]: 84’ x 22” x 2.85” - 49L of Volume | Designed by Surfers, influenced by traditional fun board shapes, the 7’ Ruccus Soft Surfboard is a great surfboard for beginners (typically younger kids) as well as being a great small wave soft top surfboard for adults and experienced surfers. | Supports Beginner Riders Up To 170lbs - Ideal for kids to learn to surf on and grow with — Phenomenal small wave board for this with more surfing skill — Did I mention it’s Wax-Free?
- [8’ Verve Surfboard]: 96” x 23” x 3” - 74L of Volume | Designed by Surfers, influenced by traditional beginner surfboard shapes with a twist of modern design and improved performance aka the Foam Torpedo | Trust us, it’s WAY EASIER to learn how to surf on an 8’ Verve than the squared out, floppy Costco surfboard | Supports Beginner Riders Up To 200lbs - Ideal for older kids and adults to learn to surf on - Perfect for making the most of any small/crumbly summer wave- Also still Wax Free!
- [8’8 Heritage Surfboard]: 104” x 23” x 3” - 86L of Volume | Designed by Surfers, influenced by traditional Longboard shapes, the 8’8 Heritage features a 2+1 fin system. Either surf traditional single fin or performance Single Fin + 2 Side Fins, the 8'8 Heritage is the cheater board that keeps surfing obscenely easy, especially for cross stepping and nose riding! The 8'8 supports beginners up to 230lbs - Great for any of us lazy surfers out there, this board paddles fast and catches EVERYTHING.
- [Why SBBC's Premium Beginner Soft Top Surfboards?]: ☑️Wax-Free Top Deck, ☑️Full Double Concave Bottom Deck reinforced with Slick, Woven HDPE hard plastic, ☑️Custom, Perfectly molded, Closed-Cell EPS Foam Board Shapes (not generic chinese cookie-cutter shapes with pretty prints), ☑️(2) Wooden + (1) Fiberglass Rod Stringers, ☑️Tail Bumper, ☑️ Auto-Heat Release Valve +  6oz Resin Layers +  Bamboo Body Armor Layers for extra durability, ☑️FCS Compatible Fin Boxes and Fins + Leash
While we’re on the subject of South Bay Board Co., we had to spare a mention to the equally worthy 8’ Verve. While Amazon five star reviews are down to 75%, this is still a board well worth shouting about. In fact, this is an option which many instructors will point you towards. No surprise considering that it comes complete with a package choice which could see you investing in a traction pad, travel bag, thruster fin set up and leash, as well as your board itself. What could be better for starting your journey on the water with the full shebang?
This board is also designed with a round nose, wide chest area, and rounded tail section to ensure your stability and speed at all times. Let’s just say that there’s a reason why this board is commonly referred to as the ‘foam torpedo’ by those in the know. If that doesn’t seem like enough, this option also offers an entry level knocker in the nose and tail. That effectively means you could keep this board loose while ensuring that you stay above the surface during your takeoffs and turns.
Best of all is, of course, this board’s eight feet in length which provide the flotation and stability which you need to find your sea feet. Add to that the carefully layered materials, including two wooden stringers, and you could say that this is a sound selection. And, of course, being a South Bay Board Co. offering, this also comes with the chance to exchange if you aren’t happy after 30 days. If you want an affordable and inclusive package which fantastic customer service behind it, then, this is the beginner board for you.
Moving away from South Bay Board Co. now, we have the Wave Bandit ben Gravy Pro EZ Rider. Now, firstly, let’s appreciate that this board is endorsed by the iconic semi-pro surfer Ben Gravy, as can be seen from the funky bottom skin graphic displaying his logo. If it’s good enough for Ben, it’ll certainly see you looking the part when you’re out on the waves. The fresh design and fun egg shape of this board make it the ideal option for your learning needs. More advanced surfers would undoubtedly struggle to laugh at a beginner board as funky as this.
Perhaps most worth a mention, though, is the fact that this baby has an astounding 100% five-star reviews on Amazon, many of which claim that this is the ideal board for surfers of any level. And, there are certainly many pros (including Ben Gravy himself) who wouldn’t sniff at an option like this.
The only slight downside to this board over the other two mentioned is that you will need to wax the soft top as there’s no coating in place. But, let’s be honest; standing on the beach with your waxing gear is a fun part of the surfing life.
There are fins included when you buy this board, as well as dual wood stringers and a composite core for stiffness when you’re out on those fierce waves. It’s a sturdy, affordable board which could see you living by the Wave Company motto of “Surf’s Up Everywhere!” in no time at all.
- Fun Egg shape great for beginners and advanced alike
- Double Maple wood Stringers
- EPS core surfboard
- Pop thru TPU 4.5 inch tri fin set up
- RADICAL bottom skin graphic
With the most affordable price point of the list so far, you really can’t go wrong with the Wavestorm 8’ Classic surfboard. What better way to avoid breaking the bank when you’re in the beginning stages of your surfing journey? And, of course, the affordable price of this board is by no means a reflection on the quality it brings. Quite the opposite, in fact; this is a board which appears in the majority of ‘top beginner boards’ lists. And, a look at what’s on offer makes it easy to see why.
Wavestorm is the most recognizable soft board brand working in the US right now, so it’s not surprising that their classic offering is a beginner staple. In fact, this baby is one of the best-selling beginner boards of all time. That’s no small accolade, and it could mean that this is the starter board which you’ve been looking for.
The most iconic thing about Wavestorm is their EPS core, which comes complete with three marine-ply stringers, as well as a water-barrier graphic skin with a textured grip. All of which works to ensure the durability of your board, making this an investment which will last you for years. Even though it’s an economical choice, then, it more than promises value for money. With a recommended weight of 200lbs, this board also promises to suit young or older learners alike. No matter your age, then, this board could suit you.
- Soft foam construction// EPS core with 3 Stringer System
- Soft WBS-IXL ( Water Barrier Skin ) crosslink top deck and rails High Density (HDPE) Polyethylene slick bottom skin Exclusive Color Graphic art deck
- Included removable bolt thru fins ankle leash traction pad
Last but not least, we have a beginner board so cheap that it’ll astound you. The price point of $85 makes this the ideal choice for those who’ve never ridden the waves before. This way, you can try surfing out without leaving yourself out of pocket if it isn’t for you. Ideal for both adults and children, this would also make a fantastic beginner board for the surf-curious youngsters in your life.
Again, though, the affordable price point of this board doesn’t mean a compromise on quality. This colorful offering comes complete with a durable top foam and an HDPE high-speed bottom which could see you soaring in no time. This offering also comes complete with removable fins and a set up which couldn’t be simpler. Even without any prior knowledge, then, you should be able to get this board up and ready to go.
As you can guess from the name, this board is also a bit of a giant, making it a more comfortable learning experience all around. Of course, as can be expected for such an affordable offering, riders of 100lbs+ may struggle with this one. But, for petite and young budding surfers, this is by far the most price-friendly beginner offering there is out there.
- 🏄【Durable Construction】 Made of durable top foam and slick HDPE high speed bottom. It is a strong and responsive bottom skin that adds stiffness and maximizes board speed. This surfboard has durable foam top, EPE deck, EPS core and PP ahrd slick bottom.
- 🏄【Colorful Surfboard】 This surfboard is designed with free leash and transaction pad which is comfortable and convenient to use. With this board, beginners can enjoy wonderful surfing experience.
- 🏄【Removable Fins Design】 Fish tail gives the board more hold and traction, provides more surface area from rail to rail, and allows for planning speed and lift. Also the removable fins makes the surfboard easy for you to transport.
- 🏄【Widely Use】 This surfboard is ideal for kids adults and children beginners.Item Dimension:72'' X 20'' X 3''(L X W X Thickness), Please check the suitable size before buying.
- 🏄【Convenient Use】 Simple assembly is required according to the instruction included. Note: Please consider the weight capacity before using the surfboard. If you have any quality problem, please feel free to contact us, we will reply to you within 24 hours.
South Bay Board Co. has a reputation for creating some of the best surfboards on the market today, and this board certainly ticks all of the boxes. It is a hybrid surfboard, which means that it contains a hard fiberglassed bottom and a soft top. The purpose of this is to deliver outstanding performance, and we would have to say that this board definitely does that. Every shape is designed on a bespoke basis and is tasted to make sure the most fun performance shapes possible are provided.
It features a squash tail, expanded chest area, and a thruster nose. The performance-based, soft-top board is made to surf more like a shortboard than anything. It provides a lot of fun, with the design of the board helping to cut deep into the face of the waves effectively, yet you still get a lot of ride versatility with this board.
We were certainly impressed by the construction of the board, which is solid. The foam on top of the board takes wax just like you would expect a regular board to do, and definitely better than what a normal soft top board would. The fcs plugs are also solid with this surfboard, and there is no unwanted flex either. During the summer time, this board won’t let you down thanks to the wide tail and the low rocker.
- [Performance Focused Hybrid Surfboards]: All SBBC Hybrid Surfboards are custom designed to be semi-beginner friendly, incredibly durable, and very performance focused. Check other ‘Performance’ soft top boards and you’ll find NOBODY offers the incredibly high quality shapes, materials, and design like SBBC does. ‘Fingerprint’ Textured Wax-Free Foam Top Deck + Fiberglassed Bottom Deck + FCSII Fin Boxes + Shaka FCS Fins + Leash = The Ultimate Wave ready set-up.
- [What is a “Hybrid” Surfboard? ]: The Hybrid Surfboard series is the ONLY Soft-Top + Hard Fiberglassed Bottom Surfboard on the market - The crafting of the board is the same as traditional high performance fiberglassed board with a Wax-Free Foam deck resined to the top deck. Every shape is custom designed and tested to ensure the most fun performance shapes possible.
- [Why SBBC Hybrid Surfboards?]: All SBBC Hybrid Surfboards feature ☑️Wax-Free Soft Top Deck, ☑️Hand Glassed, Wood bottom Decks, ☑️CNC-Machined EPS closed-cell foam core, ☑️FCSII Fin Boxes & FCS Fins, ☑️ Full length I-Beam wooden stringer, ☑️ 6oz layers of resin for extra durable boards, ☑️Tapered Rails + Proper Nose/Tail Rocker for the size/style of the surfboard
There are a lot of good surfboards on the market today, yet there is no denying that a lot of people are opting for a soft top surfboard because of all of the benefits associated with them. However, you still need to make sure you choose with care and that you select a board that ticks all of the boxes. We’re sure you will not be disappointed with this option from Boardworks.
With this surfboard, you have a product that combines a foam deck with a hard underside and an interior maple stringer, which create a performance that is impressive and consistently stable, irrespective of the size of the waves.
When choosing from the different boards available, we love the understated color options with this board. This includes the likes of denim, mint, papaya, plum, and sky. If you are looking for something more mellow and calming, instead of vibrant and bright shades, this is the surfboard for you. Plus, there are extra-short sizes available, ensuring that everyone’s needs are catered to.
There are a number of unique features that come with boards that have been made by Froth in order to ensure they stand out for the right reasons. This includes the use of high density EVA on the tail block and nose for extra durability and safety. Real Future fin boxes and fins are also included, rather than your typical pull-through rubber fins.
All in all, we think that this is a soft top board that goes above and beyond what is available on the market at the moment, and this is why we recommend it so highly.
- Created for fun and versatility with generous volume for catching more waves
- Can be enjoyed by beginners, rippers and wake surfers
- Full EVA wrapped deck and rails for safety
- Slick skin bottom for speed and Glide
- Froth brand recognized in the wall street journal's gear & gadgets column as "game changing gear"
How To Choose A Beginner Surfboard
Here is a great YouTube video explaining what type of surfboard you need as a beginner and why: