How To Pick The BEST Beginner Surfboard

Posted on , updated on

So many people have started surfing in the last couple of years, especially here in the UK with lots of us heading to the coast for our ‘staycations’ during the fun, fun COVID times. If you’re new to surfing then there is an awful lot to learn, one being which surfboard to use. And let’s be honest, there’s heaps of shapes and sizes of boards out there with new ones coming out all the time and it can be super overwhelming!

Luckily for you, the following will help you decide! 

Here’s my thoughts on the main features any beginner surfboard should have:

Beginners naturally struggle in a few areas, these being:

  • Paddle Power
  • Wave Catching
  • Stability

Whichever surfboard you choose, it should be able to help you more than frustrate you through the learning process. The key is knowing what you need.

Surfboards are a combo of different features and the best example explained to me for this is when you played Mario Kart as a kid, you had heaps of different features for the Kart which enhanced your Acceleration, Weight, Handling, Traction and Top Speed. The key is to get a combination that fits what you need help with. 

Mario Kart selection screen

So with a surfboard, these features are:

  • Speed, Stability, Buoyancy & Manoeuvrability.

And to boost one feature might also reduce the amount of another e.g. More Stability = Less Manoeuvrability. 

For beginner surfers, manoeuvrability is a lot less important than stability so you would want to choose accordingly. Another example is more buoyancy (which helps with paddling and catching waves) would be a more important feature than speed especially in those beginner stages.

Out of the boards shown below, 

The Short board with the Fish tail on the left is definitely not the one to go for sitting at 5’9 with 27 Litres, this board is far too small for a beginner to catch waves on and doesn’t provide much stability. On the polar opposite side, would this mean the 8’0, 115 Litre lime green board on the right is the perfect choice? Maybe for the first couple of sessions since these boards are designed with one thing in mind, stability.

But the best type of board for a beginner who is also looking to progress would be right bang in the middle like the yellow 7’0, 66 Litre Softech. This board has the combination of providing great paddling, stability and manoeuvrability. 

  • This board is like paddling a longboard but with 25% less weight & length, meaning you can paddle with ease and potentially catch more waves.
  • Stability-wise, this board is a nice thick one measuring at 3 ⅛ inches meaning it’s not going to excessively roll from rail to rail super easily but because of the reduced length, you’re still able to turn it with the right technique.

Foamies have become more popular over the years, becoming less “uncool” thanks to people like Jamie O’Brian and companies like Catch Surf and if i’m being super honest, Foamie’s Are Your Friend. If you’re a beginner surfer looking to progress your surfing to cutting across the face of a wave and practising turns then a foamie is probably the perfect board for you! It also adds a little more confidence knowing you’re riding a foam board and not a hard fibreglass board, so getting potentially hit on the head isn’t that scary! 

Personally I love a foamie sesh and most of us at Ticket To Ride do as well! Adding a foamie to my quiver is definitely something I want to do in the future. They’re a perfect blend of all the benefits of different surfboards into one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>