The Best Surfboard Manufacturers & Shapers

What are the best surfboard brands on the market today?

It seems like a pretty straightforward question, and if you know anything about surfing, you probably have a good idea.

But for newbie surfers, it’s not as straightforward, and understanding which brands are best can make it significantly easier to find the perfect surfboard.

The Best Surfboard Brands

What follows is a list of the best surfboard brands based on our opinions and experiences.

It includes well-known surfboard shapers, manufacturers, and surfboard brands you’d expect to find on all “best of” lists.

Just remember, it’s only our opinion, and just because a surfboard brand isn’t included on this list doesn’t mean you should avoid it.

Channel Islands Surfboards

Channel Islands Surfboards has been making premium boards for decades.

The Santa Barbara surfboard company has grown from humble roots to become a state-of-the-art surfboard manufacturer that’s praised by surfers of all skill levels.

Created by Al and Terry Merrick back in 1969, Channel Islands is now headed by Britt, Al’s son.

He produces a range of high-performance surfboards in collaboration with some of the best surfers in the world, including Tom Curren, Michael Dunphy, Pat Curren, John Mel, and Wade Goodall.

Firewire Surfboards

Firewire Surfboards is one of the world’s biggest surf brands and is taking huge strides toward making the sport eco-friendlier.

Some of the brand’s best boards include the Glazer, the fish tail Seaside, and the excellent Twice Baked.

Kelly Slater—often considered to be the greatest ever surfer—has been associated with Firewire for a number of years.

Simon Anderson Surfboards

Simon Anderson is famed throughout the surfing world as the man who invented the Thruster Surfboard.

The surfboard shaper has had a massive impact on the industry and the brand that carries his name continues to innovate, with boards made for advanced surfers as well as beginners.

It’s easily one of the best surfboard brands out there and dozens of professional riders would agree.

Chilli Surfboards

Chilli Surfboards is a fan favorite that never disappoints.

The iconic chilli logo has featured on some of the best boards produced in the last few years and the brand has been at the forefront of surfing technology.

Chilli Surfboards was founded by Jamie Cheal, an Aussie shaper who worked on his first board aged 13 and soon developed a passion for the craft.

Lost Surfboards

Lost Surfboards is the biggest surfboard manufacturer in the United States.

It sells a variety of new boards every season (ranging from beginner surfboards to more advanced options) and these include fish boards, high-performance boards, mid-lengths, longboards, step-ups, and more.

Pukas Surf Shops

Pukas surf shops operate out of major European cities and serves as a meeting place as well as a leading provider of longboards, shortboards, hybrid surfboards, and surfing gear.

It has also organized a variety of surfing competitions over the years, helping to cement itself as one of the most recognizable surf brands in Europe.

DVS Surfboards

DVS stands for “Dick Van Straalen”, a surfboard brand based in Australia.

Dick has been shaping boards since the 1960s and produces a small collection of high-quality hand-crafted boards.

Maurice Cole Surfboards

Maurice Cole is one of the best surfboard shapers in the world and every board from this top brand will be personally shaped by him.

You can piece together your own board based on a variety of presets and add-ons, after which it will be hand-shaped to your specifications.

McTavish Surfboards

McTavish is a top surfboard brand based in the famous Byron Bay, Australia.

It was founded by Bob McTavish back in the 1960s and it has since established itself as one of the best surfboard brands in the world.

SPYDER Surfboards

SPYDER Surfboards was founded in 1978 by Dennis Jarvis, a keen surfer who wanted to build high-quality surfboards to his own high standards.

After a few years, news of Dennis’s skills spread and he opened the SPYDER Surf Shop to cater for the increased demand.

Today, that Hermosa Beach location spans over 7,000 square feet and includes all kinds of surfing, skating, and snowboarding equipment.

What is the Best Surfboard Brand for Beginners?

Many surfboard brands have boards tailored toward beginners, including Lost Surfboards, Channel Islands Surfboards, and other top manufacturers outlined above.

It’s more about the board than the brand.

Your budget will also play a role.

If you’re a complete beginner and you don’t know where to start, we recommend getting a cheap longboard from somewhere like Costco.

The Wavestorm is a pretty good option as it’s available for less than $200, can be picked up in-store, and should last until you’re ready to step up (and beyond, as it’ll always remain a fun board).

You don’t need to think too much about high-performance surfboards, professional board shapers, fin setups, and other such details.

Just stick with the basics until you’re comfortable on the water and you can worry about all of that later.