Surfing is an aspiration of many. The beach vibe, the surf culture, getting fit or trying something new, and we are here for it! You want to get into surfing, but how to get started? Discover the ultimate guide to picking your perfect surfboard for beginners to kick-start your surfing journey. Who knows, you might be the new John John Florence or Alana Blanchard!
What Size Of Surfboard To Get For Beginners
To be able to guide you in buying your first beginner surfboard, it is important to understand what level of surfer you are. The absolute biggest mistake (everyone makes) is buying a surfboard that is too advanced for your surfing level. Buying a surfboard which is too small for you, will lead to you getting no waves in the water due to instability. Remember when you are starting: the more volume, the more fun. It is best to look for surfboards which are approximately 3 feet taller than you are yourself. Look for boards with volume, length and surface.
The Best Types of Surfboards For Beginners
Foam all the way
If you have never set foot on a surfboard before, beginner surfboards with a lot of volume are the way to go. The more volume, the more stability, the less paddle power you need and the more progress you will have. The faster you can absolutely rock it on the waves and on the beach. It is best to start with a beginner's surfboard made out of foam (we call it a foamie in surf slang). Due to the shape and volume of foam boards, it will be easy to catch waves and get a feeling for the sport. Generally speaking, a 7 to 9-foot beginner surfboard such as our Sideways 'Top Flight' Softboard is the perfect choice as a surfboard for beginners. These come in many vibrant colours, so take your pick!
Mini-Malibu and long-boards
If you can catch waves by yourself on the foamie and “pop up” on your own, it is time to level up and switch to a hard-top surfboard! Checking these two boxes and feeling competent, is very important before switching to another type of surfboard. It is recommended to give at least a mini-malibu if not a longer board a try after soft-top beginner boards. They might feel different and unstable than your foam board but practice makes perfect.
If your ultimate goal is riding a smaller short board, the best next thing after a soft board is a mini-malibu surfboard such as our Sideways “Bullet” Mini Mal Surfboard”. This is an “in-between” board, and a combination of a long and short board. They typically range between 7-7,6 feet. This is the perfect step-up board to improve your progress and manoeuvrability. At Sideways we have a complete collection of Mini-Mals in different colours and styles and our Sideways Mini-Mals, come with complimentary fins. How good!
If you are after riding longer and cruiser waves, a longboard is the perfect step-up for you. The most common longboards range from 8-10 and they offer stability and are perfect for gliding through waves. Check out our Sideways “Talisman” Longboard range as your first beginner's longboard. These longboards have extra volume under the chest area, which will help you catch any wave and ride it out until the end!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are fish surfboards good for beginners?
A fish board is a good step-up board. That is the reason the fish surfboard is also named a “fun board.” For an absolute beginner, we would advise riding a soft board or a longboard first before changing to a fish. Although a fish does have volume and keeps you afloat, it is unstable for beginners. If you are looking for manoeuvrability and a board to use in many different small and bigger wave conditions, the fish is a perfect fit for you.
Are Longboards better for beginners?
Generally speaking, yes. The longboard will offer you stability and will make it easier for you to catch waves with less paddle power. They are harder to break and better to learn the foundations of surfing on. They might look harder to carry outside the water, however once on the water, you will be a wave-catching maniac. The tip for longboards is to master the Eskimo roll to not get beaten by the whitewash. If you are smaller in size, the mini-mal might be the best solution for you.
Which leash length to buy with my surfboard
The rule of thumb for leashes, buy a leash that is the same length as your surfboard. If you buy an 8-foot surfboard, buy an 8-foot leash. If you buy a leash shorter then your surfboard, your surfboard might hit you if you fall off. There are many different types of leashes available, ask our staff which one would be best for you.
If you are still unsure of what beginner surfboard would be best for you, pop into one of our 7 stores for personal advice.