How to choose a surfboard: Beginner Guide [2022]

When it comes to surfing, having the right board is key. Not all boards are created equal- some are designed for speed, while others are meant for stability in big waves.

With the right surfboard, catching waves will be easier than ever. You’ll be able to improve your surfing skills faster and have more fun out in the water. So how do you choose the right one for you? It’s simple!

Read on to learn how to choose a surfboard that’s perfect for you.

Types of Surfboards:

Longboard Surfboards

Longboard surfboards have distinct features from short boards and skimboards. Longboarding is usually considered a slower, heavier technique that is closer to how surfing originated as a pastime.

Often the riders use less of their feet on the board and more of their whole body weight, perfect for those who need an extra push or prefer simplicity.

On average, longboard surfers will often ride waves with different types of rights: quick, hollow and steep breaks; also they might look for flat-faced lopeds (sets) which break slowly and offer lots of time to maneuver back up onto the wave.

Longboards may be simple but there are some key differences you should consider before selecting one that fits your needs best – such as how heavy or how light you are.

The average adult male weighs around 176 pounds, while the average female weighs 126. If you’re lighter than that then consider a board between 24-28 inches in length; if heavier – go with one of 30″ to 36″.

These size differences will affect how the board sits on your feet, how it behaves in different conditions, how much speed you can get and more.

Midsize Surfboards or Funboards

These boards fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum; not too heavy and not too light – riding waves around 2-4 feet tall with relative ease and style!

They’re also great for intermediate surfers looking to push into more advanced (and steeper) surfing spots and perfect for girls who want a solid stick without sacrificing performance.


Perfect for taking on shortboard waves while having a ton of fun. They are generally around the same size as a Midsize Surfboard, but they have more width and thickness which makes them more buoyant and stable in the water.

This allows you to catch smaller waves with ease and work on your turns without feeling like you’re going to wipe out at any moment.

Don’t let their size fool you though – these boards are definitely for intermediate and advanced surfers who have mastered how to ride shortboards and want a slightly longer board that will help them get more speed in turns!

Hybrid Surfboards

Hybrid surfboards are high performance boards. They are versatile boards that can be used in a variety of wave conditions, from small to medium-sized waves.

Their design makes them easy to paddle and catch waves, and they provide plenty of stability for riders. Hybrid surfboards are typically shorter than traditional longboards, making them easier to maneuver.

Groveler Surfboards

Groveler Surfboards are an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate riders. These boards provide plenty of stability while also having forgiving characteristics that allow the rider to easily catch waves, even in large swells. Grovelers have flat bottoms with small tails, making them easy to paddle into waves on your stomach. This is also how you should be paddling when you are learning how to surf for a more natural experience

Fish Surfboards

Fish Surfboards can handle all types of waves, from small to large and everything in between. They provide plenty of stability while being easy to paddle into the wave face on your stomach or on your back.

Fish surfboards are typically short and wide, making them a great choice for beginners and intermediates. They are also easy to turn, making them a good choice for advanced riders as well.


Shortboards are designed for experienced surfers who want to catch more waves in a shorter amount of time.

They are narrower and lighter than other boards, making them more maneuverable in the water.

Shortboards can be used for a variety of wave sizes, but they excel in smaller, faster waves. Because they are less forgiving than other boards, beginners should not use shortboards until they have mastered the art of surfing.

Step Up Boards

Step up from a smaller board to a bit more surfboard volume and reduced weight with STEP UP SURFBOARDS. Perfect for beginner-intermediates, these boards enable the absolute best ride.

These are usually made up of polyurethane foam or are epoxy boards, they can handle any wave thrown their way. The soft feel also makes them a great option if you’ve been surfing on hard boards your whole life. With waves getting bigger every year, it couldn’t hurt to have one of these under your feet!

Gun Boards

Gun surfboards are perfect for those who want easier longboarding tricks as well as no fuss paddling in flat water or small waves due to how quickly they accelerate from zero speed from across breaks and how high the top half rigid wing extends out over head making balancing and aerial tricks much easier.

The trade off is that they don’t catch waves as easily and can be more difficult to control in larger, more powerful surf. If you’re looking for a versatile all-rounder then a hybrid might be the best option for you!

Choosing the Right Size:

Surfboard Volume

If you are looking to take up surfing as a hobby then it is important that you first learn how to choose the right size surfboard. Not only will this allow for good form but also great balance on the board.

A longer board, around seven feet long, would be best for beginners who have never tried surfing before. These boards can typically carry riders between 120 and 160 pounds easily.

If someone were taller or heavier than these measurements they might want to consider an eight foot board, which still has moderate paddling speed thanks to its widths of 21 inches wide at the tail and 16 inches at the middle of the rail line-up.

There are many things for people considering how wide their surfboard should be based off their weight including how skilled they are, how much experience with surfing they have and how heavy the person is.

The heavier a rider is, the wider their surfboard should be to ensure that it can handle their weight without causing too many problems during paddling or riding waves.

A good way for people who are looking at how wide their board will need to be based off how heavy they are is to estimate how many times the total weight of their body will fit in a foot.

This can also be used when deciding how long it should be as well. For example, if a person were around 200 pounds they could calculate that five feet would work out perfectly for them because this would mean that one time the total amount of their weight would fit in a foot.

Another thing to consider when choosing how wide your surfboard should be is how skilled you are. The more experience you have, the narrower your board can become without sacrificing stability and speed.

Intermediate riders who weigh around 165 pounds could ride a six-foot-eight inch board without any problems while an advanced surfer with the same weight could ride a board that is around six feet long.

Using how much experience you have and how heavy you are together to decide how wide your surfboard should be will give riders an idea of how difficult it might be for them to balance on their board during riding waves.

Surfboard Nose Shapes

When it comes to choosing the right size surfboard, you must also consider the surfboard’s nose shape. The nose shape of a surfboard will affect how the board behaves in the water. There are three main nose shapes: round, pointy, and square.

Round-nose surfboards

Round-nose surfboards are typically used for beginners because they are more stable and forgiving. They are also a good choice for anyone who wants to ride a smaller wave. Round-nose surfboards have a rounder shape and less pointed nose, which makes them more buoyant and easier to catch waves.

Pointy-nose surfboards

Pointy-nose surfboards are designed to help you catch more waves and make turning easier. They’re also great for speed and maneuverability. If you’re looking for a surfboard that can help you get up on waves quickly, then a pointy-nose model is a good option for you.

Square-nose surfboards

A square-nose surfboard is designed for small, mushy waves and is best for beginner surfers. These boards are stable and easy to ride, making them a great choice for those just starting out.

Surfboard Tail Shapes

There are a variety of surfboard tail shapes, and each one offers its own benefits and drawbacks. The four most popular types of tails are the round tail, the squash tail, the pintail, and the fishtail.

Round tails

Round tails offer predictability and stability. They’re good for beginners because they help you stay on course and are less likely to spin out. However, they don’t generate as much speed as other shapes.

Squash tails

They’re also better at turning than other shapes, making them a good choice for experienced surfers. However, they can be more unstable in choppy water.


Pintails provide great speed and they’re especially well-suited for long-boarders and those who want to travel in a straight line. They’re not as good at turning as other shapes, though.


Fishtails are the most maneuverable type of tail shape. They’re great for experienced surfers who want to do tricks and turns.

Wave Size & Type

When choosing your first surfboard, waves size and type should be considered. This is because of how they affect how you ride the wave. The different types of waves are beach breaks, point breaks, reefs and river mouths.

Beach breaks

Beach breaks occur when there’s high water onshore – such as during high tide or stormy conditions – which makes for longer period waves that break with less force than other types of waves – making them safer for beginners to catch their first wave on without wiping out too much.


Pointbreaks occur at big mountain outside corners which creates fast and powerful head-high-to-overhead (aka “HDO”) waves that require experience and skill to manage their power and navigate the barrel.

Reef waves

Reef waves are found in areas with coral reefs, which create a bumpy surface that can make for an intense and challenging surfing experience – these types of waves are not recommended for beginners.


Rivermouths occur when a river meets the ocean and creates powerful waves due to the current running into the ocean swell – beginners should avoid these types of waves.

Beginner surfboard

Long surfboards

The long-board is best for new surfers. A fish or boat shape board will help you make your turn much easier since it’s like paddling with one side of the board away from the wave. It will give you more time to evaluate how to handle yourself in the water.

It makes easy work out of making that hard cut into shore break situations or through any choppy conditions where waves are breaking on uneven ground like reef formations.

Plus, the weight distribution is a lot easier on your body when you need to extract yourself from a difficult situation out there compared with a more traditional beginner boards that have a tail plugged into them too far off at one end and a lot of width which makes turning more difficult.

Mini Mal Surfboards

Hard Mini Mal Surfboards are good for beginners because they are durable, easy to control and provide a lot of stability in the water. These surfboards are great for people who weigh over 160 pounds and no more than 200.

Foam Surfboards

When you’re just starting out, it’s important to use a soft and foam surfboard. Foam surfboards are lightweight and easy to maneuver, which makes them ideal for beginners. They also provide plenty of flotation, which keeps you afloat in the water and helps you stay on your board.

Surfboards for experienced


Shortboards are typically great for intermediates because they provide more control and can be easily handled. They’re also a good option for those who are looking to get more air time and do more tricks.

Fish Tail Surfboards

Fish Tail Surfboards also work for intermediates because they provide more stability and control than other boards. They are perfect for those who are looking to improve their surfing skills.


You might end up buying the wrong board if you don’t consider your budget. There are a variety of boards on the market at different price points. Some of the most expensive boards are made with high-quality materials and construction, while others may be more affordable but not as durable.

What Accessories Do I Need For A Surfboard?

Surfboard Fins

Generally speaking, the longer the fin is – or those with a greater surface area – make for faster speeds. As such, any surfer who has high agility and general speed as their priority should be thinking about picking up a long board (i.e., 10’6″) rather than a 6’0″ board that does not necessarily ride very fast. These smaller boards typically focus more on balance and control; something that could be perfect for someone just starting out in surfing and trying to find their rhythm inside the water.

Alternatively, those who want maximum lift should be looking for a fin that is about 40mm or less in size. While there are different styles of fins, such as the single and twin-fin setups, they can all be used to achieve extra lift.

However, you must bear in mind that how much speed and how high your board will go – depending on how fast it is – is not how it will land. If you have a high-speed board, but can’t seem to slow down or control the speed when going up and coming off the wave, then that’s not how fins work!

Surfboard Nose Guard

Surfboard nose guard is a type of protection that can be fitted to the front of a surfboard. It is designed to prevent the nose of the board from being damaged in case of an accident.

This can be especially useful if you are beginner surfer, as it will help protect your board from becoming scratched or chipped. The nose guard is made from a durable material and is easy to attach and remove.


A leash is a safety measure used to tether the surfer on their board. Leashes can provide extra buoyancy and help us stay upright on our boards if we fall off of them.

A leash is a crucial part for most surfers, but they may also choose not to use one in order to tow other surfers or skimboarders out into waves that are too difficult or dangerous without the risk of losing their own life in the process.

Surfboard Bag

A surfboard bag is a must-have for any surfer. Not only does it protect your board from the elements, but it also keeps it safe during transport. There are a variety of bags on the market, and each one has its own benefits. So how do you know which one is right for you?

Here are some factors to consider when shopping for a surfboard bag:

Board size: The bag should be large enough to fit your board comfortably. If it’s too small, the board will shift around and could get damaged.

Shape: There are a variety of shapes and sizes available, so choose one that fits your needs. Some bags are designed for short boards, while others can accommodate longboards and even stand-up paddleboards.

Construction: There are two types of bags on the market today, soft and hard shell. Soft shell bags allow you to put your board in any direction while a hard case bag only allows for it to be oriented one way during transport.

Color: Surfers tend to use bright colors when choosing their boards and bags. This makes it easy to identify your gear when you’re out on the water.

Price: Surfboard bags range in price from around $30 to over $200. Choose one that fits your budget and needs.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know a lot more about surfboard shapes and how they suit different levels of surfers, it’s time to choose the best surfboard for you.

Consider your height, weight and surfing ability when making your decision. If you’re still feeling lost, ask an experienced surfer or visit the local surf shop for help. They’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction. And don’t forget: have fun with it! Surfing is all about enjoying the ride.