Here’s a good way to describe learning how to surf for the majority of folks: you’re going to spend a real long time flailing and failing and then one day you’ll start to get the hang of it, maybe.
Surfing is a unique thing to learn because as you’re trying to practice the basics, you’re doing dealing with an ever changing playing field that is the ocean.
The best way to set yourself up for success is to start with the right equipment.
Arguably the most popular choice for a good beginner surfboard is the soft-top Wave Storm.
It’s cheap, it’s floaty, and it’s safe.
If you’re a Costco member and they’re in stock, you can pick one up for about $100. If not, you can still grab one for around $200, which is still considerably cheaper than most any other beginner surfboard you’ll find.
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Top Picks for Beginner Surfboards
If you’ve never surfed before or are just getting started, some safe bets for a beginner surfboard include:
- The classic Costco Wavestorm surfboard.
- The green Costco Wavestorm (same as the classic, but in another color).
- The Rasta Costco Wavestorm. (same as the classic, but suuuuper chill).
- Paragon Longboards.
Costco Wavestorm Soft-Top Features & Review
The Costco Wavestorm may get a bad rep in some circles, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not a good board for beginners.
Wavestorm Foamie Longboard Specs:
- Length: 8′
- Width: 22.4″
- Thickness: 3.25″
- Volume: 86 liters
- Weight: ~11.5 pounds.
The Wavestorm is a fairly standard mini-longboard shape that features a foamie thruster fin setup.
Wavestorms feature pretty standard soft-top constuction with an EPS core, 3 wood stringers to provide some stiffness, a plastic-lined bottom, and a soft foam top.
It’s length, volume, and big round nose makes for a board that will be easy to paddle and easy to catch waves with.
This is a great board for beginners practicing in the whitewater or small waves at any sloppy beach break.
Obviously, it’s not going to be the most responsive board or the most manageable board in bigger waves, but it does provide an excellent platform for learning the basics of paddling, popping up, and surfing a proper wave.
Once you get the hang of it, you can maximize it’s usefulness and fun by experimenting with some aftermarket fin setups like the Perfect Storm fins.
What size surfboard should a beginner get?
For beginners, the trick to the best surfboard is all about length, width, and volume.
The more volume a surfboard has, the better it will float you.
More float means easier paddling, more stability, and a greater ability to catch small waves or whitewater.
The more length and width help with paddling and stability as well.
A good size range for beginner surfboards is typically about 8′ to 9′ and about 22″ to 23″ wide.
You can think of this as a mini-longboard.
It’ll be long enough for you to have an easier time learning, but not so long that you’ll have a hard time getting it to the beach or moving it around in the water.
Should a beginner surfer get a foamie?
A foamie is an excellent choice for beginners.
They’re safe, they’re forgiving, and they can stand up to the kind of abuse a beginner surfer is expected to give it.
Traditionally glassed surfboards and even pop-outs are more fragile than a soft-top surfboard. If you don’t have full control over your board, chances of damaging it are much higher.
With a foamie, you can run in into the sand, you can pearl over and over again in the shorebreak, you can even probably run it over with your mom’s minivan and it’ll be okay.
You won’t have to worry about waxing it either.
Hardtop surfboard will hurt you if they hit you (or you fall on them) too.
A foam top surfboard is the safest choice for beginners.
Plus, as you progress and move on to different surfboard, having you’re old foamie around for guests who want to learn or kids is a great thing to have at your disposal.
Used Surfboards for Beginners
Another good option for beginners is to check out your local selection of used surfboards.
The same rules apply here: look for something long and wide with plenty of volume.
You can check out your local Craigslist, local surf shop’s used board rack, or an occasional board swap.
If you’re buying a used board as a beginner, don’t worry about the condition all that much. Obviously you want something that’s water tight, but pressure dings, repairs, or yellowing should be no problem.
Worse case scenario is you pick up something cheap and get to practice your own ding repairs.
Best Beginner Surfboards: More Good Choices
The classic, original Wavestorm sells out quick. There are some other styles you can typically find online.
If you’re looking for a beginner surfboard that’s not a foamie, we’ve got a recommendation there too.
In addition to classic Costco Wavestorm, some other great choices for the best beginner surfboard include:
- The green Wavestorm (same as the classic, but in another color).
- The Rasta Wavestorm.
- Paragon Longboard.
- 9′ x 22 1/4″ x 3 1/16″
- This is a pop-out surfboard that will provide you with a little more maneuverability than a typically foamie.
- Single fin set up that allows you to swap out for standard longboard fins.
- This is a fun board in it’s own right that would be a good choice for a more advanced beginner surfer or someone looking for a cheap longboard to mess around with.
Learn to surf!
There you have it, some recommendations for some good beginner surfboards.
Now get out there and have some fun.
Keep your expectations real low and go easy on yourself, you’re probably going to suck for quite some time. That’s just how it works!
Do you have experiences with a good beginner surfboard? Let us know in the comments below!