How to Choose a Surfboard

How to Choose a Surfboard

My guess is that if you’ve typed in how to choose a surfboard and landed here you’re probably a beginner looking for a beginner surfboard or you’re possibly looking for a gift.

There are a few simple things to consider and I’m going to show you how to choose a surfboard that is right for you.

The best beginner surfboard is usually wider and longer.  The extra length and width in most beginner surfboards provides that extra stability. It is however usually a trade off against manoeuvrability.

The more floatation a board has, the easier it is to paddle onto a wave, which then gives you more time to get to your feet before the wave starts breaking.  However the more floatation a surfboard has the more difficult it is to get out through the break.

Always choose your surfboard based on the waves you’ll be riding and because you’re looking for information on how to choose a surfboard, it’s pretty safe to assume your not going to be looking at high performance surfboards.

How to Choose a Surfboard for beginners

How to choose a surfboard for a beginner depends on a few things.

The best beginner surfboard depends on just how coordinated you are and whether you  have experience with other board sports like skateboarding, wakeboarding or snowboarding?  The best surfboard for beginners will also depend on how fit you are.

If you’re relatively fit and have good balance and experience with other board sports, I’d go for a funboard no shorter than 6’8 or 7’0.  This will make the learning curve a little steeper but the board will allow you to progress onto the next stage a little quicker.

If your fitness needs some work then I’d recommend a longboard in smaller waves.  This is sure to get you going and before you know it you’ll get the bug and your fitness improves because you just can’t stay out of the water.

The best surfboard for a beginner is always a trade off between the size of the board for it’s stability and ease of paddling versus the manoeuvrability of the board.  Just don’t get too small a surfboard because unless you have some serious dedication a surfboard that’s too small will only frustrate you and hold you back.


Funboards have the extra length and width that adds stability for the beginner learning how to surf, but they’re not a big as a longboard and that makes them a little easier to get out through bigger surf.  They also have more manouverability than a longboard but not as much as a shortboard.  Funboards are also sometimes called mini mals.  These boards will get a beginner going and progressing to a stage that requires a more responsive surfboard.


A  longboard is a the easiest type of surfboard to learn how to surf on.  Longboards have the maximum amount of volume and stability which makes it much, much easier to get on the waves and get to your feet.  Getting to your feet is made easier because the board doesn’t wobble around as much for a beginner who isn’t yet getting to their feet in one smooth movement.  The drawbacks here are obviously manoeuvrability and due to the extra size and volume of the board, when the waves start getting larger than 2ft, a beginner will have more difficulty getting a longboard out the back of the break.

Groveller Shortboards

The groveller type of shortboard is designed with less entry rocker to prevent the board from pushing water and bogging down in fat sections of the wave.  A groveller shortboard has extra floatation distributed in the width and thickness of the board and this help keep the board shorter whilst maintaining volume. These boards are generally ridden around 6 inches shorter than a normal shortboard.

All Rounder Shortboards

An all rounder surfboard is really for the surfer who already has their balance and is at least surfing the face of the wave.  At this point the beginner surfboard starts to hinder your progress and you’ll need to move onto something that has more manoeuvrability.  An all rounder is really just that.  It does it all pretty well and most surfers move to an all rounder as their 2nd surfboard.  An all rounder is also sometimes called a one board quiver.

High Performance Shortboards

High performance shortboards are for the experienced surfer who wants the best board for the best waves.  High performance shortboards normally have less volume than other boards and are designed for precise movements on every area of the wave.  These surfboards are not for beginners and this type of surfboard will hinder a beginner’s progress.

So that our little article on how to choose a surfboard.  We’ve assumed that mostly beginners are searching for this kind of information and hopefully it gave you some help.

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