Beginner Surfboard - Selecting First Surfboard

Selecting Your First Surfboard – Advice for beginner surfers.

Beginner Surfboard

Let’s begin by saying you can learn to surf on whatever board you like, but some are easier to surf on than others. So selecting the right one will maximize how fast you will pick up learning to surf. So in short if you want to progress quickly, a beginner surfboard such as the softboard or foam surfboard is the perfect learn to surf board.

Why do surf schools teach on a soft surfboard? Because they are highly buoyant which makes them easier to stand up and catch waves and they are made of soft foam so if you happen to hit yourself on the board then the soft material will minimize your injuries. They are super stable on the water usually due to the wide dimensions enabling a new surfer to stand up easier than say a fiberglass surfboard which has less buoyancy. DO NOT be fooled by the myth that starting on a normal fibreglass surfboard is just as easy!  NO NO NO!! Why do all surf schools teach on a softboard!!!

Selecting the right Size Soft board for a Beginner Surfboard

Are you an adult wanting to take up the sport of surfing or possibly a parent working out what is the right surfboard for your child to learn on? The best advice I can give is that a thick soft surfboard is ideal to learn on because you will get more waves and the more waves the better you will become faster.

The basic key is it is about building confidence. Once a surfer has gained confidence on the water whether that is a child or an adult than they will perform much better on a board. So select the days when it is calm and small to begin with.

guide to soft board size selection

6 Foot Soft board – A key factor for a child is to keep them close to shore in the small white water waves, teaching them to manage the small light board. It will be easier for them to stand up in the white water and gain confidence. Here is 4 Year Old Zay standing up on his 6 foot Soft board.

soft board surfboard learn to surf

7 Foot Soft board – With a Teenager or Child around 10 to 14 we would recommend a 7ft size.

A surfboard that is 7 Foot will make catching and riding small waves easier as they maintain speed and flow with the wave. Smaller boards are less stable when kids attempt to stand up. This is why a Child say 10-14 should choose the 7 foot Option.

8 Foot Soft board – An 8 Foot Board is perfect for larger teenagers or an Adult. For Adults the shape of a Softboard is important; a longboard shape is easiest for an adult to learn on. As you will see on the CMP 8 ft Soft board this has that longboard shape with rounded nose and tail. The higher volume in this board makes paddling easier, allowing the rider to stand up and turn earlier, before the wave is too steep. Many adults struggle to stand up on lower volume boards such as a fibreglass or smaller softboard as they often catch waves too late, when the wave is too steep. This is why a Softboard of say 8 ft makes getting onto a wave much easier for an adult and is more buoyant offering loads of stability to learn on.

8 foot softboard cmp

**An important element to keep in mind is that the longer and thicker the board the more buoyancy it will have so the easier to stand up.

So let’s summarize why to buy a soft board to learn to surf

  1. A Soft board is much safer than a Fibre-glass Surfboard.
    Soft boards are a foam board with soft fins. Fibre-glass has a hard surface and much pointier shape with sharp fins. So you need to be extremely careful when falling off that it does not turn and hit yourself or harm someone else whilst you are learning.
  2. Soft boards offer loads of stability due to the thickness of the board. This means they are highly buoyant and makes getting onto a wave easier.
    You will catch more waves because it is easier to get onto which definitely builds confidence for a rider.

When am I ready for a fibreglass surfboard?

Let’s be honest here – it has NOTHING to do with Age! The following 3 questions will help you decide if you are ready:

  1. Can you paddle out the back on your own in waves over 3 ft
  2. Do you ride a wave without falling off most times which are a green wave(not whitewash)
  3. Do you know how to read surf conditions?

**If the answer was NO to any of these than keep riding your Soft board.

CMP Boards Australia offers a QUALITY Surf School Soft Board. We have been operating selling these surfboards for 7 years.  We stock 6 Foot, 7 Foot and 8 Foot Soft Boards and have great package deals. Buy your Soft board from a Quality Manufacturer; DO Not Buy one that is not Surf School Quality. Enjoy the Waves!!

You can visit our Surfboards category to view our entire range of beginner surfboards.


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Our range is all on
display at Berkeley Vale

  • Central Coast 4/7 Enterprise Drive, Berkeley Vale

We are happy to answer any questions you may have by phone on 1300 815 110
If you prefer to speak to Chad as the owner, he paddles in all our products and can help with all technical questions on 0416004440 and also takes phone orders.