I’m A Beginner Surfer. What Size Surfboard Do I Need?

Maybe you’ve taken a lesson or two. Maybe you borrowed a surfboard. Maybe you have seen North Shore and you just decided you want to surf.

You are wondering what many beginner surfers have wondered before you who are ready to buy their first surfboard, “What size surfboard do I need?”

Surfboard size isn’t the only thing to consider. Beginner surfers need to decide which type of surfboard to buy. Do you go for a shortboard or a longboard, a funboard or foamy? What about a fish? The options seem endless.

We will breakdown surfboard size and type for beginner surfers and will work through the details to help you get set up with buying your first surfboard.

What Size Surfboard Is Best For Beginners?

The first surfboard you buy doesn’t necessarily need to be a proper longboard, but you should buy a longer surfboard. We are talking about surfboards that are 8 to 9 feet in length.

If you are shorter and lighter surfer about 5’9” and 150 pounds a surfboard close to 8 feet will work for you.

If you are closer to 6’ and 200 pounds you want a bigger board in the 9’ range.

How To Size A Surfboard For Beginners

Sizing a surfboard at this stage in the game isn’t critical. Just make sure you err on the size of a fuller surfboard in the 8 to 9 foot range as stated above.

The Biggest Mistake Beginner Surfers Make Buying Their First Surfboard

The biggest mistake you can make when buying your first surfboard is to go too small. A smaller surfboard will make learning to surf difficult. The worst that can happen with a surfboard that is too big is that you will outgrow it fast, and you won’t be able to turn it like you want to.

When you outgrow your surfboard sell it and buy a surfboard that is a little smaller than your previous surfboard. Buying your second surfboard will be easier since you have experience with your first surfboard.

Are Foam Surfboards Good For Beginners?

Which is the better surfboard for a beginner surfer to buy? A softboard or a hardboard?

We encourage beginner surfers to buy a foamie surfboard in good condition if they can find one for their first surfboard. Foamies have more float, are cheaper and are less likely to get a ding compared to hard surfboard.

If hard surfboards are all you can find, don’t worry. Buying a hard surfboard will also work.

Remember this first surfboard you buy is a means to an end. You are buying it so you can develop you surfing skills. Once you do that, you will be looking for a different surfboard to continue to develop your surfing.

What Type Of Surfboard Is Best For A Beginner?

Beginner surfers should stay away from smaller shaped surfboards. This includes shortboards, fish surfboards, and grovelers.

Stick with a surfboard with more foam in the 8-to-9-foot range. This includes longboards, funboards shapes, egg shapes and bigger foamies like the Wavestorm?

How Expensive Is A Beginner Surfboard?

Remember, you want to stay on the cheaper side when buying you first surfboard without buying a surfboard that is in bad condition.

You can buy a brand new Wavestorm for about $220. You can find other foamies in a similar price.

You can find new and used hard surfboards between $200 and $300.

Ultimately, you are balancing the cost of the surfboard with its condition. Try to find a used surfboard in the best condition at the lowest cost.

Should A Beginner Buy A Used or New Surfboard

Don’t waste your money on a new surfboard. You want to buy a used surfboard as your first surfboard for a reason – You are going to outgrow it, sell it and move on to your next surfboard.

What to look for in a used surfboard

You want to buy a used surfboard that is watertight and still has support to help you develop your surfing skills. Fixed dings are OK, but we are not looking for a fixer up surfboard.

That means you want to avoid surfboards that have unrepaired dings (cracks) or too many dings. You also want to avoid any surfboard that has been buckled where the board has been creased (almost broken in half).

Don’t buy a hard surfboard that has soft spots in the fiberglass. This is damage that can’t be repaired or isn’t worth the repair.

Be wary of surfboards that have a lot of yellowing. The yellowing is a sign of surfboard material breaking down and is on its way to the great surfboard heaven in the sky.

Lastly if you feel like someone is pressuring you or rushing you to buy their surfboard, they are probably trying to sell you a surfboard you don’t want.

Where to buy your first surfboard

Don’t go to a local surf shop to buy your first surfboard. Surf shops will mark up the surfboard to make a profit. We want to go cheap for your first surfboard.

If you took a surfing lesson and really like the surfboard you used, you can ask your surfing instructor to purchase it.

You can also buy your first surfboard on/at:

  • Craigslist is always a good option for buying gently used surfboards.
  • eBay is another great used and new surfboard online option.
  • Facebook Marketplace can be a great resource for buying used surfboards.
  • Garage sales can have some great buys if you are lucky.
  • The Board Source in Carlsbad, CA in San Diego is great if you live in Southern California. It’s a pick-up only retailer.

I’m A Bigger Surfer. What Size Surfboard Do I Need For My Weight?

As a general rule of thumb, taller and heavier surfers will need longer, thicker and wider surfboards. These surfboards have more volume, and so they provide more buoyancy. After all, a surfboard isn’t magic and if you’re too heavy for your surfboards, you’ll sink long before those big waves hit.

If you are bigger beginner surfer try to buy a used surfboard from someone who has a similar build as you as a starting point for the right type of surfboard.

The Second Most Important Aspect of Your New Surfboard

The most important aspect of your new surfboard, second only to buying your first surfboard, is how much you use it. We call this “time in water”. The more you use your new surfboard the better surfer you will be.

Don’t be picky about surf conditions. Just make sure the surf conditions are safe and shoot for the highest wave count you can with each session. The more waves you catch the faster you will develop your skills.

When you feel like you have outgrown your new surfboard, it’s time to sell it and buy a surfboard that better fits your improved surfing skills.

Beginner Surfboard Length FAQS

How Much Should I Spend On My First Surfboard?

Go cheap for you first surfboard. Plan to spend between $200 and $300. Stay away from expensive surfboards.

What’s The Best Size Surfboard For A Beginner?

It depends, but generally speaking, you want a surfboard that is between 8 and 9 feet in length.

Is A 7ft Surfboard Good For Beginners?

A 7 foot surfboard may be good for a beginner but it depends on your weight. If you are a smaller surfer, then 7 feet could be the right amount of surfboard for you.

What Kind Of Surfboard Should I Get As A Beginner?

Stick with longboard, fun shapes and egg surfboards

Can Beginners Use A Fish Surfboard?

Beginner surfers should stay away from fish shaped surfboards. They are too small to support you a beginner surfer’s skill level.

What Is The Best Surfboard For A Beginner Girl

Girls typically have smaller frames and weight less, therefore they can get away with a smaller surfboard in the 7-foot range.

Are NSP Surfboards Good For Beginners

NSP surfboards are good for beginners for their first board as long as they are the right size and are used. The right brand is much less important than getting a board with a lot of float for beginners.

Are Narrow Tail Surfboards Bad For Beginners

Don’t worry about the shape of a surfboard’s tail. Get a surfboard with enough float and the tail shape won’t matter.