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Beginner’s Surfboard Guide | How To Choose Your First Surfboard For Beginners

So you’ve had a couple of surf lessons and well and truly caught the surfing bug! Welcome to the club! A good next step if you are looking to improve and get into the water as much as possible is to buy your own beginners surfboard. You can save money on expensive surf hire and have the flexibility to go surfing whenever you want. But there are so many surfboards out there so which is the best surfboard for beginners? And how do you know which surfboard is right for you?

At Circle One, we supply surf schools and outdoor centres across the UK and Ireland, so know exactly what surfboards are best for beginners. We have designed many of our surfboard ranges with beginners in mind and made them ideal for progressing your surf technique. All our surfboards are hand finished and made from quality materials and design. We’ve been at the forefront of UK surfboard design and innovation since 1969 and use our experience in all our boards from beginners to experts.

Soft Foamie or Hard Epoxy Surfboard?

So the first question is would you prefer to keep learning on a soft top foamie surfboard as you find in most surf schools so may be what you are used to? Many people would say for better progression you should move straight onto a hard surfboard made from epoxy resin or polyester, but we don’t necessarily agree. More and more surfers of all abilities are opting to surf soft top surfboards now, and there is a growing range of well built, technical soft top surfboards on the market. Our Performance Soft Top range by the Australian Board Company is a great example as they are constructed the same as a technical hard surfboard underneath, but with a soft foamie top. They surf the same as a hard surfboard but are more forgiving if you fall onto them. For kids learning in particular soft surfboards are safer and offer good grip.

Or if you like the look of a hard epoxy surfboard, choose a lightweight board with generous volume like our Southern Swells or Pulse surfboard ranges. Learn how to wax your surfboard correctly to ensure you have enough grip all over the board to help you pop up.


What Length Should You Choose?

The length of your surfboard can depend on a number of factors such as your own height and weight, and what length you would be comfortable with. In general as a beginner you should choose a surfboard longer than your height, and with plenty of width and volume to aid buoyancy. This helps you to catch waves and balance better on the board. A mini mal surfboard of around 7′ 6″ – 8′ in length is a popular choice for adults and families looking for a versatile surfboard anyone can enjoy. For kids, teenagers and smaller or lighter adults, you could go shorter and opt for either a funboard of around 7′ or 7′ 2″ or even shorter for kids between 6′ and 7′.


Surfboard Shapes

Surfboards come in many different shapes as well as sizes. On a beginner surfboard it is best to go for a board with a rounded nose as that increases buoyancy on the front of the board, improving the ability to paddle into waves. Width is generally important all the way down the board including in the tail to make sure you have plenty of buoyancy when you are up and riding waves. Aim for a surfboard with at least a width of 20″.

beginners surfboard

Surfboard Volume

Your optimum surfboard volume depends on your weight and ability primarily, but also the size of the waves you are surfing. See the below chart for a guide to the minimum surfboard volume in litres you should look for based on your weight and ability.


Our Top Picks


Beginner Soft School Surfboard with Handle

The top choice for a pure beginners surfboard which is perfect for all the family to learn to surf on. This is our tried and tested surf school and outdoor centre surfboard which most people learn on if you have lessons. Massive width and volume make catching waves easy so everyone can enjoy being in the sea this summer! We have models ranging from 7ft – 9ft, with or without a handy carry handle to make carrying it down to the sea easier.


Australian Board Company Performance Soft Top Surfboard

The perfect blend of a soft top learner board, with the performance of a progressive hard surfboard. This surfboard for beginners is perfect for adults and kids to learn safely, but also progress into bigger surf and try new tricks and surf skills on a safe soft surfboard. These boards are designed with generous volume to be buoyant and very stable so first time surfers can easily catch and ride waves and build up the confidence to start performing basic turns. At the same time, the premium construction offers longevity and a more refined ride than your standard beginner board, so improver to expert surfers will also find plenty to love about this board! The smaller sizes of 5′ 2″ to 6′ are a perfect surfboard for kids, or intermediate teenagers and adults, while the 6′ 6″ to 8′ are better suited for adults to progress on.


Australian Board Company Pulse 7ft Epoxy Surfboard

A great fun hard surfboard for most abilities and conditions! The 7ft length would make a great first board for adults or kids looking to progress their surfing. The 47L volume is great for catching waves but this board is also manoeuverable enough to start turning on waves and is easy to control for smaller surfers and kids.


8ft Razor Mini Mal Matt Finish Surfboard

This is a surfboard to take you from beginner to intermediate and beyond! If you don’t want to buy a specific beginners surfboard but instead would like to futureproof your surfing and get a surfboard for life, this is the one. Built from top quality premium fibreglass and epoxy laminate, the Razor surfboard series excel in all surf conditions. The 8ft mini mal has 52L of volume but with almost 22″ in width and such premium construction would be suitable for any adults to learn and progress on.


If you would like more specific advice on the perfect surfboard for you, then please give us a call on 0330 043 1256 or email us on [email protected].

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