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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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.
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.