Beginner Surfboards: 5 Tips to Buy the Best Board in 2022

August 11, 2022

Listen. I get it, buying a beginner surfboard can be a difficult and daunting process. You want to buy the best surfboard at the best price and actually catch waves.

Don’t sweat it, all surfers go through it at some stage or another (or parents of surfers too). In this guide, we’ll walk you through the five major tips and considerations for buying a beginner surfboard so you can be confident that you are making the right choice from a multitude of perspectives.

What is a beginner surfboard?

First and foremost, let’s define what a beginner surfboard is so we’re all on the same page. A beginner surfboard board is a surfboard that is forgiving in many areas of surfing mechanics. Its characteristics include high buoyancy, increased width and thickness to traditional boards, and a soft top construction to minimize injuries.

These characteristics make it easier to learn how to catch waves, stand up, and enjoy surfing in smaller, rolling waves. Today, many experienced surfers will have what might be considered a beginner surfboard in their collection, because these boards are still fun to use for intermediate to advanced surfers when the waves are smaller.

What size should a beginner surfboard be?

The size of a beginner surfboard depends on the size of the surfer. Check out this handy surfboard size calculator to figure out general dimensions for a surfboard. 

As a general rule of thumb, most adults who are beginner surfers would do well on a 7’ soft top surfboard due to its user-friendly characteristics. Kids under 12 might be better suited on a soft top under 6’ as they will be easier to maneuver and will have less width than a 7’+ surfboard, making them easier to paddle.

Here are some recommendations:

Best Beginner Surfboard for Kids

Beater Twin Pro Jamie O’Brien by Catch Surf

This board took our pick for best all-around soft top. Adult or kids alike will love its versatility, but any kid finding this under the Christmas tree or with a birthday bow will be infinitely stoked.

Buy now

Best Beginner Surfboard for Adults

Odysea 7Ft Log Softboard by Catch Surf

For beginner adults, this 7’ board is a good option because it has a nice soft deck, can catch waves easily, and comes with fins!

Buy now

Best Beginner Surfboards to Buy 

Beater Twin Pro Jamie O’Brien by Catch Surf

Buy now

Odysea 8Ft Log JOB Pro Tri Softboard by Catch Surf

Buy now

Sally Fitzgibbons Signature by Softech

Buy now

Ben Gravy Performer by Catch Surf

Buy now

What are the types of beginner surfboards?

There are not actually predefined beginner surfboards in surfing, just boards that are better suited to beginners. It would the equivalent of saying there are beginner driver cars, which there are not, just cars that go slower and are easier to operate.

That said, the boards that are best for beginners are soft tops. They are generally the easiest to learn on, the least expensive, and the most durable. 

Where can you buy the best beginner surfboards?

Beginner surfboards can be purchased online, at your local surf shop, and even at big box stores. One of our top picks to buy beginner surfboards online is via SurfStitch as they have a large selection of soft top boards in all different sizes and prices.

Local surf shops are good options if you want some customer service and want more of a tactile experience. 

Finally, if you want to get a really cheap surfboard and insult the entire surf industry as a whole, you can go to a big box store and show the world that you don’t support cool surf brands.

How much are beginner surfboards?

It’s possible to get a beginner soft top surfboard for around $250. Compared to a traditional polyurethane or epoxy construction surfboard coming in north of $600, these are much cheaper options that usually come with accessories like fin and leashes.


Dan L

Dan is the founder and editor of SwellSpy and frequently surfs Sebastian and Ft. Pierce inlets. He loves classic Land Rovers, a good BBQ, and an uncrowded peak with friends.

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