What Size Surfboard Should I Get as a Beginner?

Surfboards come in all shapes and sizes- how do you know which one is right for you as a beginner? Get all your questions answered here about what size surfboard you should get to start your surfing journey off on the right foot!

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The Three Main Surfboard Sizes for Beginners

When you’re just starting out, the process of choosing a surfboard can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll go over the three main surfboard sizes for beginners so that you can make an informed decision.


Longboards are the original surfboards, and they are still popular today. They range in length from 9 feet to 12 feet and up, and they usually have a wide nose and a round tail. Longboards are easy to paddle and they provide a stable platform for beginners to learn on. If you’re just starting out, a longboard is a great choice.

Mid-length boards
Mid-length boards are also called mini-mals or funboards. They range in length from 7 feet to 8 feet 6 inches, and they have a narrower nose and a squared-off tail. Mini-mals are easier to maneuver than longboards, but they are still stable enough for beginners. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to paddle and maneuver, a mini-mal is a good choice.

Shortboards are the boards most commonly used by experienced surfers. They range in length from 5 feet 6 inches to 7 feet 6 inches, and they have a narrow nose and a pointed tail. Shortboards are fast and maneuverable, but they can be difficult to paddle if you’re just starting out. If you’re an experienced surfer or if you’re looking for a challenge, a shortboard is the right choice for you.


A funboard is a great option for beginners. It is also sometimes referred to as a mini-mal, which stands for “mini malibu.” Funboards are typically 7 to 8 feet long and have a wider nose and tail than other types of boards. This makes them more stable and easier to paddle. They are also more versatile than other board types, so you can use them in a variety of wave types and sizes.


A shortboard is the traditional surfboard that most people think of when they picture surfing. It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of wave conditions, from small and weak waves to large and powerful waves. Shortboards are typically between 5’6” and 7’0”, with the average beginner surfboard being around 6’0”.

The main downside of a shortboard is that it can be difficult to learn on. The smaller size makes them less stable, which can make it harder to catch waves and stand up. They also require more skill to ride than larger boards. For these reasons, we recommend that most beginners start with a longboard or funboard (also known as a mini-mal).

How to Choose the Right Size Surfboard

When you are first starting out in surfing, it is important to choose the right size surfboard. A too small board will make it difficult to catch waves and a too large board will be difficult to control. The right size board will also depend on your weight and height. In general, a beginner should start with a surfboard that is around 7 feet long.

Consider Your Height and Weight

When you’re just starting out, the most important factor to consider when choosing a surfboard is your height and weight. You want a board that’s big enough to give you some stability, but not so big that it’s unwieldy. A good rule of thumb is to get a board that’s about chest-high when you stand it on its tail. If you’re on the cusp between two sizes, it’s usually better to go with the smaller of the two.

Other factors to consider include your skill level and the type of waves you’ll be surfing. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want a wider and shorter board that’s easy to paddle and will help you catch waves more easily. More experienced surfers can opt for a narrower and longer board that’s more difficult to paddle but will allow you to ride faster and perform more maneuvers.

No matter what type of board you choose, make sure it has good quality foam and construction so it will last through many waves (and wipeouts).

Consider Your Skill Level

Before you start looking at boards, it’s important to consider your skill level. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced surfer?

If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a larger board. A larger board will give you more stability and will be easier to paddle. It will also help you catch waves more easily. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move to a smaller board.

If you’re an intermediate surfer, you may want to start with a mid-size board. A mid-size board will give you more maneuverability than a larger board, but will still be stable enough for easy wave catching.

If you’re an advanced surfer, you can go with a smaller board. A smaller board will give you the agility and speed you need to perform complex maneuvers.

Consider the Wave Conditions

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a surfboard is the wave conditions. Different boards are better for different types of waves. For example, a longer board will usually paddle better and catch waves more easily than a shorter board, but it will also be more difficult to maneuver. A shorter board will be easier to maneuver but won’t paddle or float as well as a longer board.

If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to choose a board that is versatile and can be used in a variety of wave conditions. As you become more experienced, you can start to specialize and get boards that are designed specifically for the types of waves you like to surf.

A Few Final Tips for Choosing the Right Size Surfboard

If you’re a beginner, you might be wondering what size surfboard you should get. The good news is that there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you choose the right size. First, consider your height and weight. You’ll also want to think about the type of waves you’ll be surfing. With these things in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and choose the right size surfboard for you.

Talk to a Local Surf Shop

One of the best ways to figure out what size surfboard you need as a beginner is to head down to your local surf shop and talk to the staff. They will be able to help you figure out what surfboard will work best for your height, weight, and level of surfing experience.

If you don’t have a local surf shop nearby, or if you’re looking for a second opinion, you can also check out some online surfboard sizing calculators. These calculators will ask you for your height, weight, and level of experience, and then they’ll recommend a few different surfboard sizes for you to choose from.

Try Out Different Boards

Now that you know the different types of boards and have an idea of the size you need, it’s time to go try some out! The best way to figure out which board is right for you is to go to a surf shop and talk to the staff. They will be able to help you figure out which types of boards they have in stock and can give you advice on which one will work best for you.

If you don’t have a local surf shop, or if you want to do some research before you buy, you can also check out websites like Surfline where they have a huge database of different boards with reviews from real surfers.

Once you’ve done your research and figured out what kind of board you want, it’s time to go buy one! If you’re still not sure what size surfboard to get, don’t worry, most surf shops will let you trade in your board after a few months if it doesn’t work out.

Don’t Be Afraid to Upgrade

As you become more comfortable with surfing and start to progress, you’ll probably find that you want to upgrade to a larger or smaller board. That’s perfectly normal! In fact, it’s actually encouraged.

One of the most common mistakes beginner surfers make is sticking with the same surfboard size for too long. If you find that you’re constantly struggling to catch waves or that you’re always falling off your board, it might be time to consider upgrading to a different size.

On the other hand, if you find yourself constantly riding waves but never really progressing in your surfing ability, it might be time to downsize to a smaller board. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect surfboard size for your skill level and surfing goals.

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