Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Beginner Surfboard

Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Beginner Surfboard

As you are aware surfing is a thrilling and invigorating activity that brings you closer to nature's raw power and beauty, the ocean. If you're a beginner to intermediate surfer, selecting the right surfboard is crucial to enhancing your skills and overall experience in the water. In this guide, we'll explore various surfboard designs, from the versatile mini mal and foam surfboards to the classic Longboard and high-performance shortboard. Let's dive in and find the best beginner surfboard for you!

1. What’s the next step after a Foam Surfboard? 

A Mini Mal is fantastic options for novice surfers looking to transition from a foam surfboard. Mini Mals, also known as Mini Malibus or Funboards, offer a great balance between stability and maneuverability. Their rounded noses and wide mid-sections make catching waves a breeze, while the refined tail shape allows for easy turns and control. Foam surfboards, like the popular Wavestorm surfboard (USA only) or our Gnaraloo Brand, are made from durable materials, making them ideal for learning and building confidence on the waves as you grow out of these boards on a performance level you will want to get more speed and more control in how you surf. Here are a couple of our biggest selling models in this type of Surfboard; Modern Highline, Modern Falcon, Modern Double Wide, Salt Gypsy Mid Tide, Critical Slide Hermit.

2. Epoxy Soft Top Surfboards

Foam surfboards are fantastic choice for beginners some some people they want to go to the next level but might not be ready for a true hard board. We have designed the Epoxy Softboard range with a soft, cushioned deck but with a slick bottom, they provide added safety and comfort while learning to ride. Soft tops are forgiving and less likely to cause injuries, making them a top pick for beginners transitioning to the next level and those new to surfing.

3. Shortboards for beginners?

As you progress and become more comfortable on the waves, you may want to transition to a shortboard. Shortboards are high-performance surfboards designed for advanced maneuvers and fast-paced rides. They are more challenging to ride for beginners due to their smaller size and lower stability, but once you've honed your skills, they can take your surfing to the next level. We have designed a shortboard that helps beginners go to the next level with out too much pain. The Modern Highline was designed to give the surfer the maximum volume in the shortest possible board. Check out the board’s page and make sure you watch the video.

4. Longboards for beginners?

For a timeless and smooth surfing experience, look no further than the classic Longboard. These longer surfboards offer unmatched stability, making them perfect for beginners and those looking to enjoy a relaxing and stylish ride. Longboards are incredibly versatile, allowing you to catch even the smallest waves and ride them gracefully. Here are some examples of our longboards on offer; Modern Retro, Modern The Golden Rule, Critical Slide All Rounder, Critical Slide Logger Head, Salt Gypsy Dusty, Creative Army 5 Sugars.

5. Understanding Surfboard Designs that suit beginners looking to improve quickly

When choosing a beginner surfboard, it's essential to understand the key design elements. The length, width, and thickness of a surfboard play a significant role in its performance. The board’s volume ( or buoyancy rating ) coupled with longer and wider dimensions will help provide more stability, making them ideal for beginners. To become a better surfer you have to get a lot of waves. The right choice is a board that will help you achieve this, the wrong choice is a board that is above your ability right now. Let your ego have a rest and go for what will pay you back many times over in your wave count. As your skills progress, you may opt for narrower and shorter boards to increase manoeuvrability and performance.

6. The key Tips for Buying Your First Surfboard - The Best Beginner Surfboard

Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when purchasing your first surfboard:

  • Consult with experienced surfers or your local surf shop to get personalized recommendations based on your skill level and goals. Our live chat feature is also a wonderful tool to use. Our staff will always give you the right advice to help you get the perfect surfboard.
  • As a good rule of thumb as a beginner you should be riding a board with a volume rating that offsets 85 – 100% of your body weight. So get your weight in kilograms and then look for a board that is 85 – 100% of your body weight in volume. The rule of thumb is 1 litre offsets 1 kilogram of body weight. So if you are 60 kilograms ( 132 pounds ) you should be looking for a board with 51 – 60 litres. 


We realise that selecting the best beginner surfboard is an exciting step in your surfing journey. Whether you opt for the stability of a foam surfboard, the classic charm of a Longboard, or the challenge of a shortboard, remember that practice and perseverance are key to mastering this incredible sport. Embrace the learning process, respect the ocean, and soon you'll be riding the waves with skill and confidence! Life is better when you surf.

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