The best surfboards to take your summer to the next level

Marcelle Huels
  Nov 27, 2022 1:00 AM

Ask any surfers about this sport and they'll likely begin waxing lyrical about the mind-body advantages of riding waves. As absurd as they may sound, they do have a point: surfing is incredibly healthful, providing a contemplative, total-body workout with minimal impact that leaves us feeling great. Additionally, all you need to get started is a top-notch wetsuit or board shorts and one of the best surfboards, provided you can find a beach with waves.

Like any activity, surfing may be made or broken by the equipment you choose. The best surfboards aren't necessarily the most expensive or stylish; rather, they're the ones that are most suited to your skill level and the surf conditions. This means a bigger board that's simple to stand up on in smaller, weaker waves for beginners and beginner-intermediate surfers.

The best for beginners and intermediate surfers, as well as some examples of the best boards you can get online, are provided below.
 

Our Top Picks 

1. THURSO SURF Lancer - $179

This kid-friendly soft surfboard is a whole package – it is extremely lightweight, stiff, and durable. It has got a heat-laminated slick bottom that maximizes the board’s speed and a high-density IXPE deck that is responsible for making the board comfortable to use. 

This model has a fishtail that not only makes it suitable for fishing but also allows you to control the lift and the speed of the boat. You will find the board to have two wooden stringers in charge of the flexing and strength controlling and two fins ensuring the ultimate level of stability. No falling or slipping in an accident will ever be in sight (especially since an ankle leash comes with the board too)!

2. South Bay Board - $359

Whatever board size you select, you will receive a high-quality piece of surfing gear that will last a long time. Choose a surfboard that is 8 to 9 feet long if you are just starting or one that is 7 feet long if you have some surfing expertise. Be ready to answer questions about where you acquired your surfboard.

This South Bay Board surfboard is renowned for its HDPE-reinforced bottom deck, screw & leash plug, and fingerprint-free, wax-free top deck. Three fins are located on the board's bottom to maintain speed, and the tail has a spherical rubber bumper to ensure the board may be stored safely vertically.

The board's construction is fairly tough; it has an EPS closed-cell foam core, waterproof fin holes lined with PVC, and a capacity of up to 200 pounds.

3. Wavestorm Classic Soft Top Foam -  $213.26

Since longboards are typically easier to manage, a beginner will find this Wavestorm classic surfboard with an 8-inch width to be their best buddy. The company's brand of surfboards is the most well-known in the USA, and the excellence of their products is undeniable evidence. 

Your surfing experience will be safe and fun thanks to the board's sturdy EPS foam core, three stringers, and Water Barrier Skin soft crosslink deck. Both the detachable fins and the traction pad are present. You don't need to worry about standing solidly on the board while riding waves in the wild because the board takes care of that for you.

It guarantees your safety, security, and readiness to face fresh, salty problems. You won't get sunburned thanks to the UV protection that is integrated into the blue pinstripe pattern. Additionally, it serves as a barrier of defense to prevent the material of the surfboard from deteriorating. Invest in one to start enjoying the pleasures of the enigmatic oceans today.

4. California Board Company Fish Surfboard  - $205.66

How crucial do you find comfort? The California Board Company fish surfboard is the best option if that is your top goal. Even in the heaviest wave storms, it may float since it is thick but lightweight. With the neoprene padded strap, it is stable enough to keep your ankle fastened to the board. Thanks to the integrated multi-layered wood stringers finished with waterproof varnish, it is strong enough to last you for many years without falling apart. The bottom of the surfboard is made of an IXPE slick material, and the fin system has three fins. The leash has molded fittings.

Due to the board's practical design and surf-friendly size, you may surf all day without taking many breaks. Bring it along with you on your weekend trip to the coast and use it to test your surfing prowess. We can guarantee that you will like using the board and gazing back at the photos shot with your friends and family's instant cameras.

5. Giantex 6' Surfboard - $99.99

This Giantex model is a reasonably priced surfboard that is appropriate for beginners, experts, kids, and adults. Its sturdy foam, EPS core, EPE deck, and PP materials guarantee that the utmost speed is reached without compromising safety. There is no need to make any further purchases because the pack comes with a leash and transaction pad. 

The fishtail of the board gives it the traction it needs to handle challenging waves, and the removable fins make it simple to transport the board wherever you go. There is no question that you will be able to use your board without restriction and without concern about it breaking thanks to its weight capacity of 200 pounds.

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Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Types of surfboards

These are a few types of surfboards you should know:

1. The Shortboard

The 9'6" longboards were drastically altered into 6'6" surfboards by Bob McTavish, Nat Young, and Dick Brewer during the so-called shortboard revolution, giving rise to the legendary shortboard.

Now, shortboards are the most widely used surfboard design worldwide. Though it can be challenging to paddle a shortboard, it is simpler to duck dive than a longboard. Shortboards are also simpler to turn on and will react swiftly in crucial situations and wave sections. The thruster (tri-fin) system is the most popular fin configuration for shortboards.

The South Bay Board belongs to this category. 


 

2. The Longboard

Longboards were the first surfboards used in the modern age. Longboards are long surfboards, as their name suggests. Typically longer than 9 feet, longboards have a rounded or blunt nose, a lot of forward width, and broad tails.

Longboards are quite buoyant and have a lot of foam volume. They can therefore be paddled easily and rapidly enter any wave. The longboard is the ideal surfboard for tiny waves because it planes out well in choppy summer swells. Longboards may be ridden on the nose and are rather stable, although they turn slowly and with difficulty. They do, however, illustrate a tradition, a fashion, and a statement in surfing history.

The Waveform is an example of a longboard.

3. The Fish

Fish surfboards are comparable to shortboards, although they are typically shorter and wider from the nose to the tail. They level better and generate a lot of speed on small- to medium-sized waves as a result of their breadth and low rocker.

Steve Lis, a San Diego-based kneeboarder, created the fish model in 1967. In addition to having a fish-inspired tail, these small, quick surfboards are commonly used with a twin-fin arrangement.

The 1980 Retro Twin Fin by Mark Richards, a magic contest surfboard that assisted the Australian win four world titles between 1979 and 1983, is one of the most well-known fish models.

The California Board, Giantex, and THURSO are examples of fish surfboards.

4. The Malibu/Funboard

A malibu is a cross between a longboard and a shortboard, often known as a funboard. They are a popular choice for both novice and experienced surfers.

For experienced riders who love having fun in mild summer weather, they can also serve as a backup choice. Malibus are forgiving boards in ankle-to-waist height waves and normally vary from 6' to 8'.


 

5. The Gun

Large shortboards called "guns" are designed for rough surf conditions.

Pat Curren, who invented big wave surfing, is largely regarded as the inventor of the firearm. He was among the first surfers to take on Hawaii's Waimea Bay. Big wave guns are quite simple to paddle and will enter a big wave rapidly, but they are difficult to turn due to their size.

They range in length from 7' to 12' and typically have a pintail. The nose of big wave surfing boards is narrow, and thruster fin setups are frequently used.

6. The Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Longboards resemble stand-up paddleboards, although the former was the product of ancient Hawaiian and African water rituals.

SUP surfers move their boards across the water with the help of a paddle. SUPs are made of epoxy and fiberglass and are wide and thick. They are normally available in inflatable form and range in height from 9' to 12'.

Users of stand-up paddleboards can surf small- to medium-sized waves, but they can also have fun on flat water in places like lakes, rivers, and canals.


 

7. The Tow-In Board

With the advent of jet ski-assisted big wave surfing, there was a need for short, narrow, and low-area boards.

The tow-in model was introduced in the early 1990s by Dick Brewer and first tested by Laird Hamilton.

Tow-in boards are equipped with a small quad or thruster fin setup, and foot straps and are heavier than standard surfboards.

Traditionally, tow boards feature pin or swallow tails and range between 6' and 6'6''.

Buying Guide

Although it's simple to be seduced by expertly made high-performance surfboards, it's crucial to avoid overshooting and picking up a board that's much beyond your skill level because it will ultimately impede your advancement.

Here are some important considerations to make when buying your next board; as you can see, we've divided them up largely based on ability level.

1. Volume:

When you first start surfing, volume is important. You don't need to paddle as hard to reach the breakers if your board has lots of volume because it floats well in the water. On the water, larger capacity boards are also more stable. You won't tire yourself on your paddle out and you'll have a pretty level area to practice your pop-ups if you choose a board with lots of volumes.

All that volume will start to annoy you until you've mastered catching waves with beginner boards. These boards are bulky and difficult to move about because of their extended lengths, wide bases, and thick cores.

Additionally, they are so buoyant that you cannot duck dive through the waves with them, making it extremely difficult to exit through larger surf.

At this point, you should start experimenting with boards that have less volume, but we advise going carefully to avoid feeling overwhelmed once more and ultimately slowing down your development.

The Waveform for instance has a volume of 86 liters, which is extremely helpful for beginners.

2. Material:

The traditional starting board is a soft top board. The polystyrene foam used to construct the deck is much softer than the materials used to construct hard top boards. This makes your board safe and also shields you from collisions with your board, which are essentially inevitable as you learn. The foam may ultimately rip, but it's doubtful that this will result in waterlogging. Finally, soft top foam boards are wonderful for little waves since they are lovely and buoyant as well. This makes paddling a little bit easier.

The Waveform, South Bay, and THURSO are excellent choices here.

3. Nose shape

Any nose-first crashes will be less painful the more rounded the nose is. Additionally, rounded noses have a lot of water contact, which makes paddling for waves much simpler and increases your ability to catch little waves. Therefore, you should unquestionably use a board with a rounded nose if you're a novice.

You'll want to test out those bigger waves and take up some more speed as your confidence grows. But it's a big jump to just get onto a high-performance shortboard. Try out a rounded point nose instead; it's still very collision-friendly and will reduce drag because less of the nose will be in contact with the water.

4. Leashes

Most boards come with a leash, but if yours doesn't or you need a replacement, make sure your leash is at least as long as your board so that if you fall, your board will likely be far enough away from you to be safe. It won't hurt to add one or two more feet.

You can lose an additional foot or two as your surfing skills advance. To reduce drag, even more, some experienced surfers will use a leash that is one foot shorter than their board. However, doing so increases the chance that you will fall and strike your board, therefore you should only do so if you have a very high level of surfing control.

The Giantex has a built-in leash if you’re looking for one.

5. Traction pads

We advise against using a traction pad when starting. You'll be practicing on a soft surface, and eventually, the adhesive will probably destroy the foam. Additionally, soft tops are already fairly sticky; some only require a light coat of wax, while others require none at all.

You'll start to consider your twists and other tricks more frequently as an intermediate surfer. While you're getting a feel for things, a traction pad will assist keep your feet in the proper position. We recommend a low kick and a multipiece pad that you can stretch out to cover a large area.

FAQs

1. How thick should a surfboard be?

Generally speaking, the easier it is to paddle a surfboard the thicker it is. Additionally, the more waves you can ride, the quicker you can paddle. Because of this, experts advise investing in thick surfboards if you are a beginner or intermediate surfer. You won't drop too far if you use a thick surfboard, and you can probably catch gentle waves.

Having said that, using a thick surfboard won't make you a pro surfer. They inhibit your ability to control the board and impede your performance. The easier it is to control your board and let it "dive" into the water, the thinner it should be. Compared to a thicker board, it won't float as much and will greatly support you. You might want to consider a skinny surfboard if you want to take your surfing more seriously or if you are ready to develop your talents.

2. Does the length of the surfboard affect its stability?

Yes, the length of the surfboard does affect its stability, which is the quick response to this query. Shortboards don't give you the most stability, but because they produce less water resistance, they are easier to navigate. They don't do the best job of keeping you stable while surfing, but they are wonderful for riding little waves and giving you complete control of the board.

You can maintain your balance for a longer period thanks to the longer boards' capacity to carry a longer waterline. The longboard's extra surface contributes to its decreased shakiness when you accelerate in search of a wave.

3. Can you learn to surf by yourself?

Given the price of instruction, it is fair to question if you can learn to surf on your own. A qualified instructor can teach you how to surf more quickly and with fewer accidents. It is feasible to introduce oneself, thus this is not meant to imply that you can't.

However, if you meet some of the qualifications, it is much more likely to be successful. You must have some level of physical fitness, sufficient arm and leg strength, and a basic understanding of balance. Additionally, you must be able to swim, have perseverance, and be prepared to take things slowly as you become more accustomed to the untamed ocean of your choosing. A beach that welcomes beginners is also essential.

Do your study and prepare yourself before heading out to surf. For example, how much do you know about the tides and potentially harmful creatures that live in the ocean where you choose to surf? Before getting on your surfboard and wading into the sea, you must be aware of the answers to these and other questions.

Just as important as understanding the guidelines and etiquette of surfing is picking the correct beach and surfboard. Before you ride green waves, practice standing and paddling. And above all, be careful (and ask your friends or family members to come with you if there is such a possibility).

4. Why are surfboards so expensive?

Surfboards were initially made of wood and were designed to last. They were inexpensive since the timber was readily available, but they took longer to assemble because the planks had to be made by hand.

Manufacturers began utilizing them more frequently as surfboard-friendly materials like polyurethane and fiberglass started to appear because of their low weight and ease of assembly. When compared to, say, those produced by small surf shops in Hawaii, the cost of the ones that are now widely accessible has gone up but has mostly remained affordable.

The price of the surfboard will increase with its authenticity. Polyurethane surfboards are the most practical for beginners because of their inexpensive cost and comparatively high level of durability. Be prepared to spend an additional couple hundred dollars, though, if you want to stand out from the crowd with a unique surfboard.

5. What height is ideal for a surfboard?

Surfboards must be picked based on your height, even though this does not apply to individuals looking to start paddleboarding.

According to the general guideline, your shortboard should be 2 to 6 inches taller than you, your longboard should be 3 feet longer than you, and your fish board should be 2 to 4 inches shorter than your shortboard.

Final Thoughts

A good must have a strong buoyancy so that the ocean may "dismiss" your mistakes and a decent enough speed so that you can feel the connection between the board and the ocean.

Our one pick based on that would be the Giantex 6’ Surfboard. Beginner surfboards like the Giantex 6' Surfboard are ideal for prolonged practice sessions. Not just because they are attractive to look at, but also because they are constructed with the same quality that most beginner brands have at a very affordable price, they are worth seeing the first time you stand up on a wave.

To find out more about other outdoor sports gears, check out our other articles.