Videos Surfboards Buyers Guide

Choosing A Beginners Surfboard

How to choose a beginners surfboard?

Choosing your first board or one for your partner or kids can be a bit overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be!

We are the largest supplier of starter surfboards and boards to progress on in the UK so you need look no further for expert advice.

We’ve tried all the boards we sell to make sure they are suitable; our kids have put all the smaller boards through their paces too so if you need some pointers or a recommendation get in touch.

There are two types of surfboards to consider when thinking about what you’re going to invest in. The first and most popular choice is a foamie also referred to as a soft board, the reason these are so popular is because they are soft to the touch and cheaper than a hard surfboard. Softboards come in a range of sizes, constructions, prices and colours, there is something for everyone from little kids to older surfers. We’ll dig into the details later on in this blog. Foamies offer stability, easy paddling and wave catching and a gentle learning curve.   

The second choice is a hard board. Hard boards do all the things that a foamie will do but are less forgiving in the early stages. Initial progression will be slower because these boards are less stable but once the basics are sound progression is faster.

The key factors that will determine the board that is right for you are weight, height, how often you’ll surf and what your goal is, whether its just a bit of fun or whether you want to push on. There are many factors to be considered when making your choice, hopefully the info in this blog will make the process a bit easier.

Please use our chart below as a rough guide for helping you choose a beginner surfboard for you and your family. 

Beginner Surfboard Size Guide

Please also remember there is no definitive right size board for you, there are so many variables involved around the individual surfer, wave conditions, and time spent in the water that, so what we aim to do is get you as close as possible to the board that will maximise your surfing enjoyment.

Watch our video guide on how to choose the right foamie!

How Much Should I Spend?

The price varies between different brands and models largely due to the quality of construction and the materials used.

As with all things, the more you pay, the more you get... but rest assured we don’t sell any boards that us and our kids haven’t fully tried and tested to the extreme!

Beware of £50-£100 foamies on ebay and other sites, they’re £50 for a reason, they’ll last a couple of surfs and then crease or fold and become unusable and unwelcome landfill. Cheap boards through their inferior construction will flex too much, when this happens the board loses speed, speed is key to riding waves, the faster you go the easier it is. The better boards that we offer are guaranteed to work in UK conditions and help you enjoy your surfing. Spend what you afford balanced out with how often the board will be used. If its for two weeks in the summer, you don’t need to spend as much as if the board is going to be used a lot more often.

Kids being lighter can get away with a lower price point because the board doesn’t need to be so stiff, if you’re a 90kg bloke though its worth investing a little more to get something that’s going to be fit for purpose.

Best Surfboards For Kids

Kids come in all shapes and sizes so basing a guide on what to go for on age is a starting point, but a bit of extra info might be relevant. The key factor for kids is to build their confidence in the water so a soft surfboard is the way to go. When the board bumps them, it won’t hurt like a hard board would and the extra floatation in these types of boards gives more stability and a greater chance of immediate success!

There are lots of boards to choose from, from kids up to 10-12 years old and up to around 50 kgs go for something between 6’ 0 and 7’ 0. The extra length gives more stability but will be tougher to turn but they key here is that your kid has fun, catching more waves = more fun.

Top picks here are the Surfworx Base or Hellcat boards, The RYD Everyday foamies, Catch Surf Logs or the California Board Company Sushi Fish boards. The boards themselves come with softer safety fins and can also be purchased at a subsidised price as a package which will include a quality padded boardbag and wax. You’ll read that you don’t need to wax a foamie, take it from us you do, it makes surfing so much easier.

Best Surfboards For Adults

The right choice of first surfboard for an adults depends on a number of factors: weight, height, fitness and how often you're likely to go surfing. Without this info it's hard to give an accurate guide as to which board will work!

We list the weight ranges on each of the boards on our website to help you narrow the choice, but these are just rough guides not hard and fast rules, there is always room for variation. The tough part is finding the balance between a board giving enough volume that it helps you float, makes paddling and wave catching relatively easy, all without getting it so big, you have no hope of turning it or potentially even carrying it! The same basic rules apply for men and ladies.

On the boards you’ll see there is volume listed this is the amount of floatation in the board, the amount of float in a board can differ even in the same lengths this is due to the type of construction used in the boards, both volume and length when used together will give a good idea of what size to go for. This is less relevant with lightweight kids but with adults becomes more important.

For adults we give the following rough guidelines on weight/board size guides:

- Up to 75kgs go for 7’ 0 to 7’ 6

- 75 to 85kgs go for 7’ 6 to 8’ 0

- 85kgs and heavier go for 8’ 0 or bigger

On volumes:

- Up to 75kgs go for 50 to 60 litres

- 75 to 85kgs go for 60 to 75 litres

- 85kgs and heavier go for 75 litres plus

Top picks are the Surfworx Banshee or Ribeye models, RYD Everyday, Catch Surf Log and Ben Gravy Wave bandit model, the Softech Roller, and finally the funky looking California Board Co boards. Each board has a description to help with making the right choice but do of course feel free to call us on 01243 674250 or email on

The boards themselves come with softer safety fins and can also be purchased at a subsidised price as a package which will include a quality padded boardbag and wax. You’ll read that you don’t need to wax a foamie, take it from us you do, it makes surfing so much easier.

Our Foamie Brands

We hunt high and low to find the best boards out there, if there is another brand of board you’ve seen but we don’t have it, it’s probably because we don’t think it represents value for money or good enough quality or longevity.

Surfworx – we helped design and develop this range, quality is great, and these are designed for UK surfers in UK waves, the balance of length and volume has been painstakingly worked out to make sure the boards are functional. It’s the most comprehensive range out there from basic board for kids with the base model to top end quality in the Ribeye designs. The Proline model is great for better surfers looking for a bit more performance too.

RYD – simplicity is key here, super clean designs, great quality and functional shapes. We like that these boards have a carry handle too. sized from 6’0 to 9’0 they are a good bet. They also offer more performance focused boards for better surfers, The Hanks Dude, Drone Ranger and Seas Movie models are super popular and ideal for crowded sessions or weaker waves. 

California Boards Co. – the unique wood look designs are really popular, based on the Surfworx designs these boards give a more individual look and give the same great quality.

Catch Surf – these funky designs come at a higher price point but definitely stand out from the crowd. The brainchild of famous surfer Jamie O’Brien they are the punks of the foamie world. They pack in heaps of volume and have the most varied range in terms of styles and colours of boards. The Ben Gravy Wave Bandit range represent great value too.

Softech – another varied range of boards from the standard looking Roller range to the more performance focused Flash and Bomber models. The Flash and Bombers are super popular with more seasoned suffers looking for a high wave count and fun in smaller weaker waves. The Rollers are right up there with any other higher volume beginner boards.

What's Next After a Foamie? Which Hardboard is Right For Me?

Whether you’re coming off a foamie or going straight on to a hard board to start your surfing voyage 90% of people fit into the size range of a mini mal (round nosed) style board between 7'2 and 8'6. This size range is focused on maximizing the number of waves you catch (wave count) and making sure you have enough stability to ride for long enough to start to progress. A min mal style board gives you these attributes. If you go too short, you’ll reduce the number of waves you catch, too long and you’ll never be able to turn the board and progress.

The epoxy surf boards from CortezNSP and Torq surfboards are the perfect next step. They give a more positive ride than a foamie and are a step up to riding the face of the wave and starting to turn the board. This kind of construction is lightweight, super tough and the shapes of these boards are great, very much more refined than a softboard.   

 We list the suitability of each size to the weight of the surfer on each product so you can have a stab at working out what's suitable. After that it's all about the budget and colours!

If you don’t want an epoxy board like one of these than you’ll be looking at a handmade PU board. PU boards have a fibreglass shell which means they are more responsive to surf which gives faster progression but they’re not as tough as the epoxy boards. They are tough enough but won’t withstand knocks and bangs in the way an epoxy board will do. The Seastix range of PU surfboards (PU means polyester construction, a foam core layer of glass sealed with resin) are a really good option, designed and built in the UK they are ideal for UK waves and UK surfers. Epoxy boards are undoubtedly hard wearing and tougher than PU boards, but the compromise is always durability versus performance.

So, there you have it, hopefully this guide will help you make a decision on which board is suitable for your needs.

All the boards we sell are tried and tested and we take your enquiries about a £100 foamie as seriously as we do for a £700 high performance board.

We have guys here who are just starting out on their surfing adventure, all the way through to people who have surfed for 25 years (or more!!) so we have a really good idea of what board will work for you.

Guaranteed damage free next working day delivery puts your mind at rest, if you're not happy in any way we'll refund or swap the board out for you.

At Boardshop you get more... we offer a trade in service, so you can get some money back against your new board by trading in your old one, we also have a loyalty scheme too that will save you money and we offer 0% finance. If you buy your wetsuit from us, you also get an extra year on your warranty for no extra cost!

We love talking surfing, surfboards and everything else related so get in touch if you need a hand via email at or call us on 01243 674250

View All Beginner Surfboards!